Imágenes de páginas


Increased crops required to pay cost of draining.—(Corn, Wheat, Rye,
Oats, Potatoes, Barley, Hay, Cotton, Tobacco).—Instances of profit.—
Effect of draining in facilitating farm work.

CHAPTER VHI.—How To Make Draining Tiles.

Materials.—Preparation of earths.—Moulding tiles.—Machines.—Dry-
ing and rolling.—Burning.—Kilns.—General arrangement of a tilery.


Extent of marshes on the Atlantic Coast.—The English Fens.—Har-
laem Lake.—The exclusion of sea water.—Removal of the causes of in-
undation from the upland.—Removal of rain-fall and water of nitration.
—Embankments.—Muskrats.—Rivers and Creeks.—Outlet of drainage.


Fever-and-Ague.—Neuralgia.—Vicinity of New York.—Dr. Bartlett on
Periodical Fever.—Dr. Metcalf's Report to U. S. Sanitary Commission.
—La Roche on the effect of Malarial Fever.—Dr. Salisbury on the
"Cause of Malarious Fevers."—English experience.—Reports to the
. British Parliament.—The cause of Malaria removed by draining.


Sewerage.—The use of pipes.—The new outfall sewers in London.—
The use of steam-pumps to secure outlets.—Utilization of sewage
matters in agriculture.—Effects of imperfect house drainage on health.—
Typhoid fever.—The Westminster fever in London.—Epidemic at the
Maplewood Young Ladies Institute, in Pitt6field, Mass. — Lambeth
Square, London.—Back drainage.—Water supply.—General Board of
Health, (England).

Note to Chapter XI, Second Edition.—Obstacles to back drainage.—Small
pipes.—Flush tanks.—Drainage of country and village houses, etc.


The Boynton tiles.—Curved tiles.—Junction pieces.—Connection of
Lateral with Main.—Covering for outlets.


Beginning at the wrong end.—Methods of English drainers.—Com-
mencing the work.—Draining tools.—Digging the ditch and laying the



Land which requires draining hangs out a sign of its condition, more or less clear, according to its circumstances, but always unmistakable to the practiced eye. Sometimes it is the broad banner of standing water, or dark, wet streaks in plowed land, when all should be dry and of even color; sometimes only a fluttering rag of distress in curling corn, or wide-cracking clay, or feeble, spindling, shivering grain, which has survived a precarious winter, on the ice-stilts that have stretched its crown above a wet soil; sometimes the quarantine flag of rank growth and dank miasmatic fogs.

To recognize these indications is the first office of the drainer; the second, to remove the causes from which they arise.

If a rule could be adopted which would cover the varied circumstances of different soils, it would be somewhat as follows: All lands, of whatever texture or kind, in which the spaces between the particles of soil are filled with water, (whether from rain .or from springs,) within less than four feet of the surface of the ground, except during and immediately after heavy rains, require draining.

Of course, the particles of the soil cannot be made drv nor should they be; but, although they should be moist themselves, they should be surrounded with air, not with water. To illustrate this: suppose that water be poured into a barrel filled with chips of wood until it runs over at the top. The spaces between the chips will be filled with water, and the chips themselves will absorb enough to be* come thoroughly wet;—this represents the worst condition of a wet soil. If an opening be made at the bottom of the barrel, the water which fills the spaces between the -chips will be drawn off, and its place will be taken by air, while the chips themselves will remain wet from the water which they hold by absorption. A drain at the bottom of a wet field draws away the water from the free spaces between its particles, and its place is taken by air, while the particles hold, by attraction, the moisture necessary to a healthy condition of the soil

There are vast areas of land in this country which do not need draining. The whole range of sands, gravels, light loams and moulds allow water to pass freely through them, and are sufficiently drained by nature, provided, they are as open at the bottom as throughout the mass. A sieve filled with gravel will drain perfectly; a basin filled with the same gravel will not dram at all. More than this, a sieve filled with the stiffest clay, if not "puddled,"* will drain completely, and so will heavy clay soils on porous and well drained subsoils. Money expended in drain ing such lands as do not require the operation is, of course wasted; and when there is doubt as to the requirement,

* Puddling is the kneading or rubbing of clay with water, a process by which it becomes almost impervious, retaining this property until thoroughly dried, when Its close union is broken by the shrinking of its parts. Puddled clay remains practically impervious as long as it is saturated with water, and it does not entirely lose this quality until it lias been pulverized in a dry state.

A small proportion of clay is sufficient to injure the porousness of the soil by puddling.—A clay subsoil is puddled by being plowed over when too wet, and the Injury is of considerable duration. Rain water collected in hollows of stiff land, by the simple movement given It by the wiud, so puddles the surface that it holds the water while the adjacent soil Is dry and porous.

The term puddling will often be used in this work, and the reader will understand, from this explanation, the meaning with which It la ear ployed.

sufficient tests should be made before the outlay for so costly work is encountered.

There is, on the other hand, much land which only by thorough-draining can be rendered profitable for cultivation, or healthful for residence, and very much more, described as "ordinarily dry land," which draining would greatly improve in both productive value and salubrity.

The Surface Indications of the necessity for draining are various. Those of actual swamps need no description; those of land in cultivation are more or less evident at different seasons, and require more or less care in their examination, according to the circumstances ander which they are manifested.

If a plowed field show, over a part or the whole of its surface, a constant appearance of dampness, indicating that, as fast as water is dried out from its upper parts, more is forced up from below, so that after a rain it is much longer than other lands in assuming the light color of dry earth, it unmistakably needs draining.

A pit, sunk to the depth of three or four feet in the earth, may collect water at its bottom, shortly after a rain;—this is a sure sign of the need of draining.

All tests of the condition of land as to water,—such as trial pits, etc.,—should be made, when practicable, during the wet spring weather, or at a time when the springs and brooks are running full . If there be much water in the soil, even at such times, it needs draining.

If the water of heavy rains stands for some time on the surface, or if water collects in the furrow while plowing, draining is necessary to bring the land to its full fertility.

Other indications may be observed in dry weather;—wide cracks in the soil are caused by the drying of clays, which, by previous soaking, have been pasted together; the c irling of corn often indicates that in its early growth it has been prevented, by a wet subsoil, from sending down its roots below the reach of the sun's heat, where it would find even in the dryest weather, sufficient moisture for a healththy growth; any severe effect ot drought, except on poor sands and gravels, may be presumed to result from the same cause; and a certain wiryness of grass, together with a mossy or mouldy appearance of the ground, also indicate excessive moisture during some period of growth. The effects of drought are, of course, sometimes manifested on soils which do not require draining,—such as those poor gravels, which, from sheer poverty, do not enable plants to form vigorous and penetrating roots; but any soil of ordinary richness, which contains a fair amount of clay, will withstand even a severe drought, without great injury to its crop, if it is thoroughly drained, and is kept loose at its surface.

Poor crops are, when the cultivation of the soil is reasonably good, caused either by inherent poverty of the land, or by too great moisture during the season of early growth. Which of these causes has operated in a particular case may be easily known. Manure will correct the difficulty in the former case, but in the latter there is no real remedy short of such a system of drainage as will thoroughly relieve the soil of its surplus water.

The Sources of the Water in the soil are various.

It either falls directly upon the land as rain; rises into it from underlying springs; or reaches it through, or over, adjacent land.

The rain water belongs to the field on which it falls, and it would be an advantage if it could all be made to pass down through the first three or four feet of the soil, and be removed from below. That first falling contains the fertilizing matters washed out from the air, and in its descent through the ground, these are given up for the use of plants; and it performs other important work among the vegetable and mineral parts of the soil.

The spring water does not belong to the field,—not •

« AnteriorContinuar »