Water catchment: phase 1, day 3

2 06 2021

The third day of the water-catchment build story finds us back in Spring Creek Basin with the full team. Daniel used the excavator to widen the holes for the tanks, and the other guys used shoves and rakes to clean out the crumbly bits (into the excavator’s bucket). Then the holes were primed – literally – for the dumping and aligning of the tanks.

Let’s get to work!

Daniel had already combined the two middle holes to one and is cleaning out more dirt, and Jim checked the depth.

Mike and Jim took a quick check of the depth of the hole (and this image gives readers a better look at the ingress/egress ramp).

Mike and Jim had to get in the hole to do some finesse digging of the sandy dirt crumblies. By this time, the dirt was approaching the consistency of powder. (I’m not sure whether I’ve ever mentioned on this blog, but it’s dry out there … !)

In addition to cleaning out the holes, Mike and Garth checked the level of the bottom to make sure it was prepared for the tanks to sit level right when they went in the holes.

Lots of dust is created by powdery dirt when a 3,500-gallon water tank drops over the edge after four brawny guys push it into a hole! Don’t worry, the tank won’t sit like that. This is a capture of a split second before the tank rocked back to flat on its base.

While Garth took over the controls of the excavator, Daniel and Jim were in the hole to do some fine digging.

The guys had to roll the tanks from where we’d off-loaded them from the flatbed to the edge of the hole, then maneuver them to topple into the hole (this is the middle hole, with one tank already in it), in a controlled manner so the valves faced forward.

More fine work from Mike, Garth and Jim. …

This is one of my favorite pix of the whole project so far. All our BLM guys, working together for the benefit of our Spring Creek Basin mustangs. 🙂 Priceless.

When the tanks were all placed in the ground, it was time to dig the trench for the pipe.

Daniel and Jim were all over the putting together of the valves for each of the tanks. Those went in place by the end of the day …

… helped by Mike, using (I think) Daniel’s grandpa’s aluminum wrench!

Thursday: last work day (because of Friday’s rain), on which the pipes were attached to the valves, and each other, and down to the eventual location of the trough.



10 responses

2 06 2021

~ my favorite part “ our BLM guys, working together for the benefit of our Spring Creek Basin mustangs. 🙂 Priceless.“ How wonderful to have that kind of dedicated help and cooperation for the sake of mustangs ! Thank you TJ for the story ! I feel like I was right there in the dust !

4 06 2021

It really is priceless to have this kind of collaboration – for our mustangs and the range they depend on. As it gets more and more dry, we need these partnerships more than ever!

2 06 2021
Sue E. Story

What a great job chronicling this project with your lens so we get to see everything in process, TJ! And what a dusty, heavy-lifting project it is. Thanks again to those hard-working BLM guys and all that they do to benefit our mustangs!

4 06 2021

I told them how much they’re appreciated by all of you readers. 🙂 They do a tremendous amount of work – they’re the range guys for something like half a million acres! – and they truly enjoy what they do.

2 06 2021
Maggie Frazier

With all of what we read & hear about BLM employees (the ones involved in the roundups etc) What a great crew these guys are.

4 06 2021

I’ve been very glad of this opportunity to brag on our BLM guys. I know some really good folks throughout Colorado, but ours are the best. 🙂

2 06 2021
Karen Schmiede

Thank you TJ, this was very interesting. Thanks to the guys for all the hard work for the horses.

4 06 2021

I passed along your thanks and that of all the commenters, and I think they were pleased to hear it. 🙂

2 06 2021

Much thanks to all the BLM crew for doing this. What a great collaboration you have with them. Prayers for rain and full tanks and troughs after all this hard work.

4 06 2021

We work well together, that’s for sure. 🙂 Thank you for the prayers! We’re all praying hard for rain!

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