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The craftsman
(September 1915)

Marple, Albert
Beautifying the storm drain ditch,   pp. 611-613


Page 611


BEAUTIFYING THE STORM DRAIN DITCH
BEAUTIFYING THE STORM
DRAIN DITCH: BY ALBERT
MARPLE
OW often we see home places, which
        are otherwise well located and at-
        tractive, practically ruined by the
        presence of an ugly, unbeautiful
storm drain ditch. Instances of this kind
are anything but rare in localities where
hilly ground abounds, and where towns and
cities are built largely upon a hillside. It
is natural that water falling in the form of
rain upon the sides of the hill shall run
down the hillside in an attempt to reach the
lower level. As the water proceeds and the
stream becomes enlarged a ditch or storm
drain is naturally established. As a result
of the constant wear of the water the drain
is enlarged and deepened until after a while
it has become quite a large ditch and if per-
mitted to grow will probably carry away a
large strip of the property. This feature,
aside from the fact that a ditch of this sort
tends to prove extremely unhealthful, is
anything but desirable.
   If caught in time the growth of this ditch
 may be checked. Instead of being per-
 mitted to carry away a great section of the
 property it may be confined to the small
 strip of land where, naturally, the storm
 water should run. That this is true has
 been demonstrated by a resident and prop-
 erty owner of Hollywood, California. The
 piece of property where this improved
 ditch, which now is an ornament rather
A STORM DRAIN DITCH WHICH HAS BEEN OVER-
PLANTED BY A GRAPE ARBOR.
than an eyesore to the home place, was for
months unoccupied. Strenuous efforts were
made to sell it, but upon seeing the ugly
ditch running through the property prospec-
tive buyers would refuse to consider it.
After a long while there came along a buyer
who could see more than the property in its
condition at that time-he could see its im-
proved state, or rather, what it would be if
intelligent improvements were installed-so
he purchased the property. The first thing
he did after securing possession of the
property was to begin improving the ditch.
The initial step was to construct the con-
crete work of the ditch-this virtually con-
sisting of a large concrete flume, with sides
and floor of this material. The ditch at
the bottom is nine feet in width, the walls
five feet in height, while both walls and
floor are six inches in thickness.
   The concrete work done, beautifying was
 started. The arbor was built to about five
 feet above the edge of the concrete flume.
 This framework was made of 2x4 up-
 rights, 2x2 inch slats and 1x3 crosspieces.
 At about the center of this covered flume,
 which is about 200 feet in length, there is
 a footbridge, over which pretty trelliswork
 has been built. The bridge is five feet in
 width and the trelliswork is eight feet in
 height, and is supported by 2x6 timbers.
   At the extreme rear end of the improved
 section of this ditch is the automobile
 bridge, which connects the driveway on the


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