Replacing the Creek Bed @ the Mill

The past couple of years, Tom noticed some water was leaking underneath the display at the top part of the water falls on the creek that wraps around the mill and in front of the Boy Scout camp. Tom put a 5-gallon bucket under the leak and whenever he filled the water tanks under the display, he would check the bucket and empty it if needed. It wasn't a major leak, only about 20 gallons during a season, so it wasn't an emergency repair like has happened with the creek beds in the past. Well, this was the year to see what was going on. Using a drywall saw, Tom cut a hole in the top of the mountain where the water comes out.

Tom said he remembers when his dad had a leak at the same place many, many years ago. The original trough that his dad built to hold the water before it overflows to the creek was made out of galvanized steel and then covered with fiberglass mat and resin. Fiberglass has a habit of getting pin holes in it and that's what happened in this case.

Tom's dad, being almost as resourceful as Tom, used a small, pink, Rubbermaid trash can as the trough. It fit perfectly in the area that was originally made and it was waterproof and would probably last forever. You can see in the pictures from underneath the display how the galvanized steel trough rusted out and where the pink trash can took its place.

Anyway, when Tom cut the piece of landscaping out, he found the reason for the leak. It looks to him like the water supply hose pulled out of the reservoir and water splashes out around the top and spills out into Tom’s emergency bucket underneath. Tom is going to replace the black hose with PVC pipe and fasten it so this will never happen again. He’s also going to coat the bottom of the reservoir with PC-7, his 2-part Epoxy of choice for making and repairing the creek beds. But first he had to clean up his work space with his shop vac, which always looks completely out of place atop the layout!

Of course, what is there has lasted 51 years, so Tom doesn’t think he’ll have to worry about it ever again. Picture of the finished job will follow before everything is put back to normal. Unfortunately, this is a time consuming procedure that no one sees or actually cares about, it’s just part of the normal, yearly maintenance on the display.

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If you have any questions or comments about the Choo Choo Barn, please contact me at kristi@choochoobarn.com!