Building a levee

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Building a levee

Postby duxrok » Thu Mar 20, 2014 8:42 am

My buddies and I got access to an Ag field in the heart of Southern Illinois between the Ohio River and the Cache River that would be great for flooding/duck hunting. The farmer has green lighted us flooding it. To do this, we need to build a levee around 2 sides of the field that would give us about 12 acres of water. Asking around, some say the best way to do what I want is with a levee plow or terrace plow like what is used to build rice field levees. This land is located in So. Illinois, and finding a plow like that down there seems on the edge of impossible.

My question to anyone that can help is if I want to build a levee approximately 600 yards long and 18-24" high...what is the best way to do this if I can't find a levee plow? I talked to a guy at a Bobcat rental place that told me that a Bobcat would mound up dirt, but wouldn't compact it enough to keep water back. He suggested a Dozer because it would pack in the dirt to make the levee sound. It makes sense.

I was wondering if anyone had experience building a levee that could give me some tips, pointers, or could tell me how they have done this?

Thanks in advance for any advice anyone is willing to share.
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Re: Building a levee

Postby MarkM » Thu Mar 20, 2014 10:41 am

Ask this in the Honey Hole as there are a few rice farmers in there that may be willing to divulge a little information for you.
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Re: Building a levee

Postby Shurshot » Sat Mar 29, 2014 9:35 am

I don't really know of a cheap way to construct what you want. If you just end up pushing up a dirt mound and running over it with some equipment, that might temporarily suffice but eventually you'll end up eroding out the levee.

The proper way to construct your levee (assuming the soil is not too permeable) is to get an excavator and have them dig you a borrow ditch and place the fill dirt/clay appropriately. Most levees will have a "core" running through them that usually consists of clay which will be the basis for holding back the water. The rest of the levee can be the remaining dirt, etc. but must me stabile enough to support quick ground cover growth so it won't erode. You'll also want this levee to have at least a 3 to 1 slope (shoulder) which will help with erosion control. A small dozer will probably be needed to shape the top and groom the shoulders, in addition to help pack it. Expect to drop a sizable dollar for all this unless you have someone within your circle that knows how to operate heavy equipment and can get a hold of it reasonably.

If you decide to proceed with this project, you'll want to let the farmer know exactly what you'll be doing to his property. I would also try to wrap up some type of long term lease because the last thing you'd want to happen is to spend all that money only to have him say "thanks" a few years later. CYA.
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