March 12, 2015
Clearing The Storm Drains
This week, we were treated to much warmer temperatures - a strong sign the blistery cold may be coming to an end. However, warmer temperatures mean lots of melting, plus the forecast called for rain, so the grounds crew at my farm spent an afternoon clearing the storm drains on the property.
Storm drains help to prevent flooding, ponding, and possible road erosion from occurring. Keeping them clear is very important, whether they’re on your property or in front of your home on a public street. A lot of rain and snow is naturally soaked into the ground, but if the soil is completely saturated, the water runoff doesn’t have anywhere to go unless cleared storm drains are nearby. Luckily, the rain held off until all the drains were cleared of snow and debris. Here are a few pictures of this process.
A couple were taken from a very interesting vantage point, which I know you’ll find interesting...
1 Here is an aerial view of my farm taken with a drone. On this day, the temperature was above freezing, and rain was expected that evening, so the grounds crew was busy clearing the storm drains along the roads of the property.
3 These radio-cotrolled machines take excellent pictures, but it takes a lot of practice to learn how to maneuver it correctly.
4 Dominic enjoys using his drone at the farm because there is so much open space. The drone is not very large, and this type of drone weighs just between two and three pounds including the battery.
5 Here, Dominic concentrates on his "driving" while Mike works with him to get the necessary images. The drone's remote control unit is a very manageable size and its controls are very easy to use. Here is the link to my blog containing some of Dominic's other drone pictures of my farm...http://www.themarthablog.com/2014/08/why-i-love-my-drone.html
6 With all the snow and below freezing temperatures this year, it took some time to get to each storm drain. Phurba and Dendi shoveled through at least two to three feet of heavy snow before reaching each one.
7 If you have storm drains, or catch basins, near your home, it's a good idea to mark where they are located before the start of the winter season. This will save a lot of time and needless digging when you have to clear them of snow and debris.
8 We used stakes that were tall enough to see in the deep snow, and marked both sides of the catch basins, so there wasn't any confusion when it came time to accessing them.
9 Finding all the drains was quick and easy. We wanted to get all of them cleared before the rain, and especially before colder temperatures returned.
10 At least two feet was cleared in front of every drain. This allowed enough room for thawing ice and rainfall to flow.
11 As Phurba finished one drain, Chhewang moved down the road to clear another. Sometimes several different types of tools were needed to adequately clear them and remove the ice.
12 Here, Phurba cleared the swale leading to the drain, so water was directed properly. A swale is a low-lying depression in the land designed to help manage water runoff.
13 Any debris in the way of the drain that could cause or contribute to clogs was removed. If drains aren't properly maintained, ponding or flooding will eventually wash out the roads.
14 Grates catch any debris, such as leaves or twigs, from flowing into the drains.
15 Here at the farm, all of my catch basins are covered with bluestone caps. The grated drain openings are on the sides.
16 Chhewang made sure there was a clear path and ample room for any water runoff to flow.
17 Some spots were more difficult to clear than others. For tight areas, a hoe was used to remove the ice.
18 In some areas, layers of ice had to be chipped away and cleared from the drain openings as well as the grates - it has been a very rough winter season.
19 And soon, our drone images will once again be fields of green instead of mounds of white.