Water catchment 2: Phase 1, day 3

16 06 2022

Partnership is the name of the game with our wonderful BLM guys: Mike Jensen, Garth Nelson and Daniel Chavez. We got a lot done on the water-catchment project yesterday, and there are a lot of pix; let’s get to it!

The above was the first tank to go in the hole dug the day before by Garth. Daniel was back with us, which was a good thing; we needed lotsa muscle.

Pretty soon, things were looking like this at the site.

Then the guys got right to work installing the valves to each tank. (What the heck is Mike doing, you ask? Did I mention yesterday that the gnats were out? Yours truly wore my handy-dandy head net, and I helpfully provided some bug spray for all three delicious-to-gnats BLM’ers (reapplyment was necessary frequently). Garth and Daniel made the extraordinary scientific discovery that plumbing primer and glue is most excellent gnat bait.)

Some extra tweaking and digging out and fine-tuning of the space was necessary (which gives you readers another fine view!). To repeat from yesterday, this catchment features five 2,500-gallon tanks, compared with the four 3,500-gallon tanks in last year’s project. They’re a couple of feet shorter (so the hole doesn’t have to be quite as deep (and we bury them to help keep the water inside from freezing during the winter)), and the walls/plastic is a bit thicker, so they’re a bit more sturdy.

Once again, as with last year’s project, we used lengths of culvert to protect the valves at the base of each tank. The hole will be filled in around the tanks tomorrow, and with these culverts – set vertically – we’ll still be able to access each valve. While Mike and I cut out holes at the base of each for the valves and pipe that links each of the tanks, Garth and Daniel …

… got busy gluing all the valves to the pipe that will link them each and thus allow water to run down the hill to the trough.

Here’s a view of the culverts in place over the valves for each tank.

Then the guys moved right into digging the trench from the end tank down the hill to the trough spot. Garth is carrying the 100-foot length of “flexible line” (that’s a technical term meaning I don’t have a clue what it’s actually called) that will run from the tanks to the trough.

This pic, just because I like seeing all three of our guys in their element: doing what they do for the mustangs of Spring Creek Basin. 🙂

Overall view of the project site: Daniel has dug the length of the trench, and he was leveling out the spot for the trough. At farthest right, you can see the end of the flexible line sticking up from the trench. That will tie into another couple of sections of PVC pipe, from horizontal through an “elbow” to a vertical piece to come up into the trough from the bottom (see the little white bit at the right side of the overturned trough?).

Checking the level of the trough, which is acting like a giant reflector to put light on Daniel’s and Mike’s faces under their ball caps (as a photographer, I appreciated that very much!).

We got the trough set and piped/connected, and here, Daniel is covering the line and part of the trench while Mike stands by to do some shovel work. Today, we’ll set another length of culvert over the valve just barely visible and attach that flexible line to the tanks above.

We got a lot done yesterday!

Today will see the end of this phase of work, and then we’ll wait out the very hot months and build the roof structure over the tanks this fall. We’re tough, but the forecast calls for a high temp of 98 degrees. Yesterday, the forecast was for a high of 88, and it was 94 when I drove out of the basin. Following that mathematical formula, we could exceed 100 degrees today? Yeah – it’s a good idea to wait to work on welding steel pipes and steel purlins and a metal roof. 🙂

In relative-news updates: The water trough at last year’s new catchment has been turned on, and we’re waiting for the ponies to find it. They haven’t yet, but at least a few bands are in the rough vicinity.


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16 responses

16 06 2022
Puller9

BRAVO!!! I wish more HMAs would put in these water cachements for wildlife and wild equines.

16 06 2022
TJ

We are so thankful for the water catchments we have in Spring Creek Basin – with this one, we’ll have four. 🙂

16 06 2022
Puller9

Meant to add, it looks like the team now has this down to a Science!

16 06 2022
TJ

They sure do. This part of the work has gone really quickly, and it looks absolutely perfect. Our guys are pretty handy – when they visualize it, they can build it!

16 06 2022
Karen Schmiede

Many thanks to these great BLM guys for all the work they do for the horses!

16 06 2022
TJ

They deserve all thanks!

16 06 2022
marytheresea

What a gift of partnership between human and wildlife heart! There is so much good in the world when we take time to acknowlege it. Thanks TJ 🥰

16 06 2022
TJ

Exactly so. I love it when people can work together for a common good goal!

16 06 2022
Martha Kennedy

This is amazing!!!

16 06 2022
TJ

I think so, too. 🙂

16 06 2022
Sue E. Story

My goodness. That’s a LOT of progress for one day! I’m impressed with you guys – thank you Mike, Garth, Daniel and TJ! And thanks for the great pics too, TJ.

16 06 2022
TJ

It sure was! And I sure am. 🙂

16 06 2022
lovewildmustangs

Amazing!!!

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18 06 2022
TJ

Pretty cool. 🙂

22 06 2022
Pat

Such great documentation for this meaningful project.

22 06 2022
TJ

Thanks, Pat! It’s amazing to see it come together and see these guys work together. They really are genuinely excellent. 🙂

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