How High’s the Water Mama?

We have water at the barn…

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Just not pumping from the well. The section of trench between the curtain drain and the barn was filled up again. We were hoping it would have drained out by now but thought it must be due to the heavy rains this past week. M hooked up a little pump to the truck and tried to pump out the water so we could install the 90 feet of electrical conduit without his muck boots filling up with water.

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It was taking forever so M took the pump apart and found a piece of plastic was plugging it up. By the time he got it put back together and it was pumping properly, the sunshine we had been enjoying left and the rain was back. We ended up installing conduit in the drippy wetness anyway.

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The next day, the trench was filled again (see first picture). Now it didn’t rain that much overnight, so I guess we can rule out a root cellar when we build the house.  Good thing we decided to add more gravel to build the barn foundation up higher and spent the extra time and money to put in the curtain drain around the perimeter of our zone 1.

Once the conduit was in place, we ran the wires through. The gray cable is the wire we are running 600 ft up the hill to power the well pump. The two black wires are being run out to the curtain drain (about 90 ft) to the spot where we will build a pump house for our future micro hydro system. The orange wire is for power to the future greenhouse which will be built attached to the south side shed of the barn (10 ft).

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thisis the end of the 90 ft of conduit - the well pump wire continues on up the hill to the well. Where I'm standing to take this pic is where the curtain drain is and the future micro hydro pump house. the black pipe with the yellow poofs coming out of it is a 30 ft section of perforated pvc pipe that the water line runs through as it crosses the curtain drain. M filled the pvc pipe with spray foam through the perforated holes and created an inexpensive insulated pipe to keep the water from freezing as this section it is laying on gravel and susceptible to freeze. Better than paying $80 for special insulated pipe sleeve!

This is the end of the 90 ft of conduit that runs from the barn – the well pump wire continues on up the hill to the well. Where I’m standing to take this pic is where the curtain drain is and the future micro hydro pump house. The black pipe with the yellow poofs coming out of it is a 30 ft section of perforated pvc pipe that the water line runs through as it crosses the curtain drain. M filled the pvc pipe with spray foam through the perforated holes and created an inexpensive insulated pipe to keep the water from freezing as this section is laying on gravel and susceptible to freezing. Better than paying $80 for special insulated pipe sleeve! Our awesome friends S & J shared that tip.

While M was fiddling with the pump I took advantage of the sunshine and planted Black Locust trees along what will be the perimeter of the chicken yard. They are spaced 10 ft apart and will, in about 8 years, become permanent fence posts.  I grew these from seed I started in late January. They are about 2 – 3 ft tall. The tarps are covering compost piles (remember all of the dairy cow manure we’ve been hauling?). We have them strategically placed all over zone 1.

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We are headed back down today to replace some conduit connector parts that we discovered after the fact would not be up to code. Blerg. If that goes well, then the pump will get installed next week and hooked up to the tanks in the barn.

I’ll be glad to get this project off of our plates. I have a bacon post to tend to.

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About La Femme Farmer

Starting up a small farm is the goal for the second half of my life. It's a late start I know, but better late than NEVER! Growing food, cooking and eating are my passions and now I get to do it full-time (and then some). and yes, that's a tomato from my garden!
This entry was posted in Construction, Homesteading, Preparing the land, Tree Care, Uncategorized, Water Management and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to How High’s the Water Mama?

  1. Bill says:

    I’m enjoying your updates and remain impressed at how well you planned out your place. I’m looking forward to seeing pictures of chickens roaming that yard someday.

    • Thanks Bill, but even with all of the planning we made more than a few mistakes on this one. Just spent this whole last weekend fixing them which included pulling all of the electrical wires back in and re-running it back out. Not fun. But I think I’ll focus on happy thoughts of my chickens running around in their food forest someday!

  2. Wow. I have to admit, the water in that ditch is just depressing. I mean, I know we’ve had some rain lately, but that’s a lot of water. Miserable to work in those conditions, too. And just out of curiosity, how did you get the wiring through the conduit?

    • I know. I’m trying not to get sucked into a depression (much like the “sole-sucking” mud in that trench!) about that ground water on our building site. We siphoned it out again this weekend with no rain and in a couple of hours it was filled back up. Must be an underground spring.
      As to the wire, I fed it through the conduit from inside the barn and M pulled it through each section of conduit – one at a time, then glued the next section of conduit, etc… But then we had to cut out some connector pieces that wasn’t to code this past weekend, so pulling, coiling, fixing, replacing, and re-running the wire got a little trickier. But we did it. Finished after dark last night. Thank goodness for headlamps!

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