200 year-old house on 25 rocky acres in high country upstate NY and SO many highbush blueberries!
Monday, November 30, 2009
Mud Puddles and Trenches
My driveway looks like this these days, higher than the yard on both sides, and mostly mud puddle. Last year, I had moved in for a whole week before it started snowing and the puddles froze. To avoid the ice, I parked on the far side of the driveway on the yard (thanks to my time in SC I know that's OK). What happened is that I killed all the grass over there with dripping salty water. It's just now mostly grown back. Some people advised me to fill in the holes (ie, raise the driveway more), but it seems to me that's just going to make the problem worse in the long run.
When the ground thawed in the spring I took a shovel out and dug a trench on both sides of the driveway so water could drain into the yard. (The lower right corner of this picture shows one of the trenches.) The trenches worked great, so I tried to "make it better" by filling the trenches with sand. It should work! Wastewater treatment plants use sand to filter water. But in this case, the sand completely stopped the water and I ended up digging the sand back out.
What's happening now is that trucks (logging, garbage, etc) and my car ride over the trenches and I need to re-dig the trenches after every rain to empty the puddles. I desperately want to make sure there's no ice in here over the winter. I think I need to bury pipes in those trenches to keep them open, but I have no idea what to buy. Just a standard PVC schedule 40 pipe? Something special? It's OK if I don't immediately find out the exact right thing to do. I've got a shovel and two good hands.