Spring Box @ Railroad




There are several different ways to install a spring box depending on the water source and materials at hand. With backhoe and shovel work, David and I uncovered about two square feet of a hard flat rock with a horizontal crack that was leaking the water. We scrubbed the rock with a brush to remove all the mud so the mortar mix would stick, then built a small dam of smaller rock around our 1½” PVC pipe until the water pooled behind it to rise and exit the pipe. We leveled the dam and sides until the discharge pipe was secure, the ran about 80 feet of pipe down the trench to the troughs and backfilled it before placing larger rocks around our spring box to keep the loose dirt and debris out.

Our placement was about three feet deeper and five feet away from the original spring box, also constructed of rock, which enclosed a seep in native soil that had to be dug out regularly to free the water to rise into a pipe. I’m guessing the original spring box was installed in the 20s or 30s with only a shovel.

The inside dimensions of our box at the top are approximately 7” x 14” and about 18” to the hard rock bottom, making it fairly easy to clean for any silt or sediment that might accumulate over time. I’ll be back Monday with some short 2 x 6s and screws to fashion a lid to keep leaves and small critters out, but for now, the disc blade covers that space.

While I went to Ragle Springs to install a new overflow pipe to utilize a 6’ x 6’ concrete trough built by Earl McKee, Sr. and Lee Maloy in the 30s, having packed the sand and cement on mules from the Kaweah River some four miles and 2,000 feet below, David continued to clean out the pond at Grapevine Spring that had accumulated a substantial amount of water overnight and several thousand gallons by the time we came off the hill late afternoon. Wahoo!

We will return Monday morning to finish up at Grapevine and cover my overflow pipe at Ragle Springs with a dirt pad for a new trough, should the old concrete trough leak.


5 responses to “Spring Box @ Railroad

  1. Sounds like a lot of work, but very satisfying when finished. Of course, there’s always the water, too. 🙂


    Liked by 1 person

    • It was 104 degrees yesterday, I was dehydrated and my hands were cramping up when we came off the hill, despite all the water I drank. I feel good this morning, really good about all we accomplished–a big load off my mind.


      • Working in that sort of heat is NOT fun, no matter the job, and this one obviously required lots and lots of physical exertion. But you really did accomplish something. Relax and enjoy today. 🙂


  2. Peter Notehelfer

    Most fascinating! Modern folks would not have the faintest idea of how to survive in the wilderness, much less how to care for their livestock. Our steaks come vacuum sealed from Safeway’s meat department . . .

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I know what it’s like here in the heat (FL), so believe me when I say I respect your stamina!!

    Liked by 1 person

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