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Author Topic: Log waterbars  (Read 570 times)

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Offline DeerMeadowFarm

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Log waterbars
« on: July 20, 2021, 11:19:19 AM »
Looking for some help. One of the roads in my sugarbush is quite steep and the rain we've had in Massachusetts has made it clear that I need to get serious about water bars. The slope is quite steep so I will need many water bars placed fairly close together. I know water bars are not the number one method of erosion control but after researching on line and given my terrain, equipment and financial resources (my daughter is starting college this fall!  :o) I think I am kind of forced to utilize log water bars described here: https://www.fs.fed.us/t-d/pubs/htmlpubs/htm07232806/longdesc/fig20.htm

I have a couple of questions. I have mostly hardwood at my disposal; red oak, ash, hickory, cherry and maple (red and sugar). Is any of these better than the others? Are any of these completely not usable? Can the bark be left on or should it be removed?

Thanks in advance for your help in suggestions!

Offline BradMarks

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Re: Log waterbars
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2021, 11:39:26 AM »
The old time ones I've come across look like they use cants in the roadbed, not whole logs fwiw.

Online mike_belben

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Re: Log waterbars
« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2021, 12:51:20 PM »
Hickory and maple will rot extremely fast in dirt contact, especially with bark on.   Red oak lasts a long time with bark off. I dont know ash at all but from how fast guys say it turns to trash on the stump by EAB i think red oak would be my choice unless you had white oak, locust, osage or hedge.  



For the future... If theres sufficient light on the hill then this is the most robust, adapted to all climates, flood and drought tolerant, unkillable erosion control grass i have encountered.  It will grow in a compacted rock driveway and will hold a hill together.  

Echinochloa crus-galli
Proverbs 19:11

Offline DeerMeadowFarm

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Re: Log waterbars
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2021, 02:14:55 PM »
Thanks for the info on the grass Mike. I planned on planting something; I just wasn't sure what. 

Offline peakbagger

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Re: Log waterbars
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2021, 07:02:39 PM »
Rubber razors are nice alternative if you can find some with scrap converyor belting.

Offline DeerMeadowFarm

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Re: Log waterbars
« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2021, 07:50:22 AM »
Rubber razors are nice alternative if you can find some with scrap converyor belting.
This is what I'd really like to do, but finding the belting has been the issue for me. My BIL did this at his camp road in VT and it's awesome but he bought new rolls of belting but I can't afford that.

Offline peakbagger

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Re: Log waterbars
« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2021, 06:37:11 PM »
I just ran into this place https://www.repurposedmaterialsinc.com/index.php?p=catalog&mode=search&search_in=all&search_str=belting

I have not bought anything from them but they do have lot of interesting stuff including belting.

Price is right.

Offline barbender

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Re: Log waterbars
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2021, 12:12:28 AM »
Check with a sand and gravel outfit. They usually have no shortage of used belting laying around.
Too many irons in the fire

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Log waterbars
« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2021, 05:27:15 AM »
It was common practice on forestry roads on the BC coast to use water bars. But those roads were crushed stone and gravel, not mud. There was nothing placed in the road, just an angled shallow ditch.
No amount of belief makes something a fact. James Randi

Offline Plankton

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Re: Log waterbars
« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2021, 09:08:40 AM »
I would just dig rhem if you have the equipment. Make the wide and shallowish so you can still go over them easy with a wheeler or a tractor. Should hold up for a long time if your not driving over them with anything super heavy.

Offline mudfarmer

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Re: Log waterbars
« Reply #10 on: July 25, 2021, 11:17:28 AM »
Don't have much experience with oak but from your list I would use black cherry and even possibly saw the sapwood off a la BradMarks. The sapwood of cherry rots fast but the heartwood will last years. Search the internet for "black cherry rot resistance", Purdue says "Decay Resistance
The heartwood of cherry is classified as resistant to very resistant to decay."

What Plankton is talking about they call a 'broad based dip' in most of the BMP publications etc.


Offline DeerMeadowFarm

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Re: Log waterbars
« Reply #11 on: July 26, 2021, 07:32:09 AM »
I would just dig rhem if you have the equipment. Make the wide and shallowish so you can still go over them easy with a wheeler or a tractor. Should hold up for a long time if your not driving over them with anything super heavy.
Yah, I think I'm going to try that first. I'm just afraid that the slope is going to be too steep...

Offline RPF2509

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Re: Log waterbars
« Reply #12 on: July 26, 2021, 11:19:04 AM »
Waterbars are required here in CA post logging on every skidtrail and unsurfaced road.  They are almost always made by equipment, infrequently by hand.  6" deep with minimum 6" berm.  Travelled roads use rolling dips which are generally wider more compacted versions of the above.  The key is to angle them about 45 degrees to the direction of the road to shed water downslope.  Extra rock on top of of the berm helps them hold up to heavy travel.  Don't use the road when wet if it can be helped.  Dirt/ gravel ones are easily fixed if rutted.  The steeper it gets the closer you space them 50' is minimum distance between (50% slope or greater)  300' maximum (flat ground).  Properly constructed and spaced, they are very effective in controlling erosion.

Offline peakbagger

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Re: Log waterbars
« Reply #13 on: July 27, 2021, 02:31:37 PM »
The waterbars on my lot were very aggressive to the point where I could drop a 18" culvert into them and still have a ditch on top. I have been considering filling them in with the rubber razors in place of culvert and keep a bit of a swale upstream. Its a steep sidehill road so my guess was whoever put them in figured might as well dig them deep. In at least one spot they didnt slab the slope and made a major washout that is still healing 30 years later.   

Online mike_belben

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Re: Log waterbars
« Reply #14 on: July 27, 2021, 07:27:21 PM »
What do you mean by slabbing the slope?
Proverbs 19:11

Offline peakbagger

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Re: Log waterbars
« Reply #15 on: July 27, 2021, 08:23:35 PM »
Cutting diagonally up a steep slope rather then going straight up it.


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