Water catchment: phase 1, day 2

1 06 2021

If you missed yesterday’s post, a brief recap: I’m telling the story of the first phase of the building of the first of Spring Creek Basin’s two new water catchments. In this first phase, don’t think building UP so much as digging DOWN (the up-ness will come in phase 2). There were some holes to dig before the pretty stuff – the water tanks – could be placed, and the tanks had to be placed before the moisture-gathering roof can be built.

Day 2 started with more digging of the holes. Though they measured side to side and other side to other side, to contain the roundness of the big tanks, because of the crumbliness (that’s a highly technical term in the world of dirt-hole digging) of the dry dirt, they really had to overdig, and the middle two holes eventually became one rectangular hole. Daniel is at the controls of the mini-ex, and Jim has the laser level “stick.” (For the first half of this day, Mike was meeting another group at another range site, and Garth had the day off to attend the graduation of his kindergartner!)

In the afternoon, Mike arrived with Tres Rios Field Office Manager Connie Clementson and BLM employee Whitney Carnahan (I knew her when she was a seasonal and don’t know her married name) to show off and explain the project. Daniel and Jim were just about to use the excavator to pick up the first water tank and lower it into the first hole.

Daniel and Jim finagled a way to strap the tank through the holes in the top in order to lift it with the excavator. Destination: hole in the foreground.

Once again, we had Jim in the hole (inside joke) while he steadied the tank and Mike directed Daniel. Jim’s left hand is on the lower valve opening, and straight above that is the top valve opening. There’s a much bigger hole on top of the tank (which has a screw-top lid), and those were the holes the guys used to run the strap through and lift the big bugger. Those valves also had to “face front” to align with the pipe-’em-all-together pipe that would run across the “front” of the tanks, then down to the trough.

Because of the off-center location of the top holes, though, it was hard to get the trough quite settled in the hole.

This was kinda when they realized the holes needed to be a wee bit bigger to accommodate the dirt crumbliness. I also want to point out Daniel at lower right: he dug little entrance/exit ramps into the holes for easy(er) access. As it turned out, he ended up digging the holes out a fair bit bigger for really good access, which they needed in order to align the tanks with the valve holes in the right spots after they dropped the tanks into the holes.

Tomorrow (which is to say that day’s tomorrow), they used the UTV to drag out the tank to enlarge the hole (along with the other holes) and commenced the dropping of the tanks!



5 responses

1 06 2021
Maggie Frazier

Certainly makes clear exactly how much is involved in “just putting water tanks & troughs” in! This will make it so much better for the horses!

1 06 2021

It’s a big job, and that’s only phase 1! Some of the horses are in that area already, seeking grass. Having water there will be extremely beneficial.

1 06 2021

What an undertaking !! So happy for all involved but especially for the horses !

1 06 2021

Me, too. 🙂

1 06 2021
Karen Schmiede

Glad for the great BLM guys and their work for the horses!

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