As of 7/12:
Water clarity -good
The lake is almost full. Many dead trees from previous year's drought are seen in the photo. Establishing grass slowly due to the lack of rain.
Brush is never burned during unfavorable conditions or without client approval.
The existing driveway is completely redone because it was incorrectly done to begin with and has been a source of constant frustration for the land owner.
Driveway is widened and power line right of way cleared.
Electric service is established in preparation for the new home construction.
Aerial showing results of ample rainfall. June 2015
Purple Martin houses along the shoreline. The owner wondered why he had no Purple Martins. Think this Bald Eagle has something to do with that??
Red arrows point to the 650 acre tract.
The clearing process is always minimally invasive and as much of the natural habitat is left as possible.
An excavator speeds the process of clearing the larger trees. A good contractor has the right equipment for the job.
Correct equipment saves time and construction costs for the landowner.
The excavator covers a large area knocking down the trees and the bulldozer comes behind to clean them up.
Additional test holes are dug in the proposed lake area to make sure heavy clay soil is present before actual lake excavation begins.
Digging the core trench for a large dam is part of the sound engineering process. The trench will be filled with heavy clay to firmly anchor the very large dam.
The large East Texas recreational lake begins to take shape.
The RV Basecamp aerial view. The property owner has moved his travel trailer in to this location and spends many weekends here with his family as the lake construction progresses.
An aerial view of the future recreational lake site with about 3 acres cleared.
The excavator covers a borrow pit that has been filled with brush.
650 acre tract outlined in red.
The arrow points to the RV parking base camp area. The lake will be placed in one of the hardwood erosion management areas which appear as taller trees. A hardwood management area is a watershed management area that was left when the tract was logged by a timber company and replanted in pine trees.
Many cubic yards of dirt must be removed to get to the proper depth.
Aerial view as the large recreational lake nears completion. Lake surface area is around 7 acres.
Aerial with earthen dam in foreground. Total cleared area is approximately 28 acres.
Narrow interior trails are widened into ranch roads which will be properly filled and graded for drainage. They are then rocked for all weather access.
What was once a narrow trail is transformed into a 60' wide ranch road as the lake construction project nears completion.
The final grading of the road. Shoulders are shaped after topsoil is added.
The road shoulders and drainage are seeded to prevent erosion.
The large lake begins to fill from the winter rains. February 2010
Final grading is done and the area is ready to be seeded. February 2010
Access road cut into the piney woods from the county road. All weather access to a small portion of the property for people and equipment is a priority. The power right of way for underground utilities was also cleared at the same time.
Looking across the partially filled lake to the future home site. February 2010
Aerial View January 2011
The cleared area in the upper left is the future home site. The road to the future residence runs the length of the dam and gives a great view of the large lake.
Aerial View January 2011
Trails are cut through the thick brush to allow for exploration and future access. The existing brush was impenetrable and the land owner had no idea what the property really looked like.
The trails allow us to narrow down the most suitable area for lake construction.
With over 4 miles of trails cut through the property, the owner can evaluate and explore in areas previously inaccessible. The brush was so dense in some areas a GPS was used to guide the bulldozers in order to connect the trails.
Test holes are then dug in desirable areas to determine soil suitability.
Land clearing begins once the site for the recreational lake is determined.
The brush is burned or buried and that decision is determined by expediency and land owner preferences.
Building the large dam.
Looking east at the project area -- We are told this is as much water as the lake ever holds. The driveway goes by this lake and the owner has to look at this unsightly feature each time he accesses the property.
We discovered the problem with this lake when excavating this area of the lake. At some prior time, a rock/clay layer was pierced by an inattentive equipment operator. Most likely it was done during the original excavation and 'covered up'.
The layer below the rock and clay was very porous sand. It allowed the water to flow out just like a drain in a bathtub.
All of the mud and useless bentonite clay must be removed for proper installation of the liner.
Reshaped for a more pleasing appearance and slightly enlarged, ready for the plastic lake liner.
Average rainfall here is 26". The watershed area which supports this lake should keep it full all year.
The view from the owners residence above the lake. The dirt piled on the banks will be used to cover the plastic liner.
Another view from the ridge. The entrance driveway can be seen running along the edge of the new lake in the top center.
Plastic liner in place. The sandbags hold the liner until the cover dirt is placed on top of the liner.
The cover dirt provides protection from UV radiation and punctures to the plastic liner.