Next up was getting water lines installed for the house and gardens. We laid out about 800 feet of new trenches that wrapped around all the build sites to keep from crossing over lines later while building the house.
This was the first time I tied into the original water lines. The idea of extending past the hydrants made the connection a breeze. Going forward I am using more sand around anything I am likely to dig up and tie into as a lot of the work is done by hand.
We went 36″ to 40″ on the water lines again. That’s well below our frost line and we won’t have to worry about hitting water lines on shallow digs for electric or propane.
We finally started getting into good dirt about 600 feet into the trench, hopefully you can see the difference in the spoils pile in this picture. Much of our final orchard design is based on this little goldmine of great soil that has collected close to the bluff for hundreds or thousands of years.
Amy follows close behind in the trench cutting roots to make running water lines easier. The backhoe leaves grease on everything in the trench and Amy does a great job of smiling while reapplying it to her clothes and body.
There is a lot going on in these trenches. There is a 2″ main line that extends all the way to the orchard that we tap into as needed. There is also conduit so we can have multiple options for irrigation valves and timers. The more of this we can automate the better so spending the time and money up front was an easy decision. There are several frost-free valves because over time we have realized, you can’t have too many places with available water.
We also installed a 1.5″ fire hydrant at the back of the house to easily reach all living areas if ever needed.
There is an extra water line in the trench that runs to the house. We will install rain gutters and collect 2500 gallons of rainwater to use in the garden. Any frost-free valve that is set low will be tied only to rainwater.
We hauled sand from the wash below and screened it clean to back fill the finished lines.
Here’s a couple of shots of the finish grade along with the outline of the first garden fence.