Fence across creek

We have a creek that runs across our property near the road. Normally it is a little thing about six inches deep and maybe three feet wide. But when it rains hard it swells. Yesterday it was as big as I have ever seen it. Maybe four feet deep and out of the banks.

My neighbors have fenced their yard to keep in their three dogs. All large dogs that were rescued from abusive owners. One of them can climb the fence and comes to visit occasionally. She would like to come close and be petted, but just can't quite trust me enough to get closer than about five feet away.

Anyway where the fence crosses the creek, debris catches in the fence. Makes a mat that blocks the water, causes water to overflow the bank, and often the fence get bent over.

So I told my neighbor that I would fix the problem. And started to build a section out of rebar that would be hinged at the top and so would swing to let the debris pass under it.

Last night I came up with a simpler approach. I am going to make a section about five feet wide and 30 inches high ( same size I was originally going to have swing ). But instead of covering it with wire fencing, I am going to make it with one bar vertical in the center and three horizontal bars. So the opening will be 7.5 inches high and thirty inches wide. That should let the debris, mostly small sticks and leaves float through. The section of fence will be held by wire at the top and some plastic cable ties at the bottem. The idea being that if there is enough force on this, the ties at the bottom will break and the water can swing the section horizontal. But the section will normally be held securely in place so the dogs can not get out.

So there will be some welding of the rebar. I have not welded a lot of rebar, but so far have never had any problems with the welds breaking.

Will let you know if Mark one mod zero does not work , and there has to be a Mark one mod one.


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Why weld at all? Hit the local farm store and grab one of the 6' sections of tubular fencing, Hang it upside down on a set of hinges to a

4X4 over the creek. Support the 4X4 with two posts driven in the ground and a couple guy wires. Same system used on the creeks/ditches around here. To secure it you use a gate latch on one side with a simple float attached. Water level rise the float trips the latch and the gate can open and let the crud pass.
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Steve W.

That is more or less what my original plan was. Had not figured out a neat latch like that. The closest Tractor Supply store is over 20 miles away. There must be other farm stores closer, but I have not found them.

But making it with rebar will work and is not much effort.

=20 Dan

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So what's 20 miles? Are you walking? ;)

-- As Iron Sharpens Iron, So One Man Sharpens Another. Proverbs 27:17

Reply to
Rick Barter (rvb)

Awesome latch idea- I'll save that one...

But no welding?? No arcy-sparky? Come on!! Please??? (Gotta come up with something to weld in this....)

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-That is more or less what my original plan was. Had not figured out a

-neat latch like that. The closest Tractor Supply store is over 20

-miles away. There must be other farm stores closer, but I have not

-found them.

-But making it with rebar will work and is not much effort.

You might not need a latch. It sounds to me like the gate will be heavy enough to stop the dogs. If so, you might just put a large thin wall tube on the very bottom, that will float as the water level rises. Perhaps some thin wall 4 or 6" pvc.

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I must have missed something. Is this debris catcher going upstream, downstream or instead of the fence mesh?

In my cloudy mind I would build a grate with large horizontal openings (but not large enough to let the smallest dog pass through) that would replace the mesh fencing in the ditch. Perhaps another 5 or 6 inches above the surrounding terrain even. The fence then can stay at it's full hieght and not follow the contour of the ditch so the dogs are still contained. This I have seen many times covering large culverts to keep animals/kids out yet let the water and smaller debris pass. In this case perhaps a "V" shaped grate with few if any vertical rails to catch the debris on. The float idea is really neat too but would not work with a "V" shaped grate at all. It would lend itself nicely to a rebar gate though that is allowed to pivot on the top horizontal bar. And as someone else suggested that is easy to do with a 4X4 post on each side of the ditch. Simply drill a hole through the

4X4s a bit larger than the rebar and let that act as your hinge. Of course you have to make the gate conform to the ditch contour..or get a shovel out for some manual labor.

Thanks for the brain teaser and I hope my ramblings helped a bit.



Reply to
Kerry Kingsbury

I need to clarify my thoughts more..the "V" shaped gate I mentioned above would have the small part of the V pointed upstream. This would make the openings longer on the gate allowing larger debris to pass easier.

Reply to
Kerry Kingsbury

A lot of good ideas.

Many years ago I worked with a tech that would breadboard circuits for me. He always made the breadboard as small as possible, and if anything had to be added , well a new breadboard was needed. So I changed my tactics, and would design circuits with every possible thing included. Say if I thought I needed a two stage amplifier, I would design it with three stages. Then when I got the breadboard I would test it and then take out what was not needed.

But in this case I am going the other way round. Putting in as little work as I think possible, and will add things if I have to. I sure hope I do not have to put in 4 by 4 posts. The creek bed is sandy gravel that fills in any holes. Going to try metal fence posts that can be driven in. They did not work on the old fence, but there should be a lot less force on them with the new design.


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Could one use some of the navigational ones that are used as boat bumpers? They would have to be tough, and fastened securely. Some have grommets, and some have a hole through the center. Lightweight, and would allow the gate to fall back when the water is over. Not sure how they'd last being chafed by logs and other tough debris.

I think any way you to, you are going to have to go out there and clear it after every storm. Last sentence aimed at OP, now lost in thread progression.

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I'm a woman trying to keep her dogs contained by putting a fence (that let's debris pass through) over a creek and county drain. Could you send pictures please. Also, explain how to make the latch trip in more detail. Thanks for any advice that you can provide.

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I have developed a system, it is a gate/fence that goes across a wash/creek/river. It allows water, debris, soil to go through it, but keeps livestock/pets in. We are on the patent stage and then marketing. It may sound to good to be true. Both small and large debris travels though this system without damaging the fence or the foundation. No branch or tree is too large. Can be for small or large wash, creek or river.

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Somebody posted a picture awhile ago of a swinging fence on hinges that allowed water/debris to flow through but also allowed the person to lock the fence in concrete when water isn't flowing to give them more security. I cannot find that picture but was hoping somebody reading this had it still and could repost it. I have a fence company coming out tomorrow and would really love to show them this so that we can have something similar. Thank you!

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