Warning about not having proper drainage in outdoor enclourses

Sleppo

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Hi all,

I just wanted to share a scary situation I had earlier in the week in hopes it saves someone else from having the same problem. This is the 2nd spring/summer where I have had my 2 adult Russians outdoors, you probably cannot tell in the pictures but the ground is sloped with the houses being on the highest point. They have been through many rain storms without any issue however earlier this week Philadelphia got nailed with a dangerous flooding rainstorm (I think it made national news). It came out of no where and poured rain, Prior we had been going through a long dry spell so the rain was not being absorbed as the ground was super dry and couldn't keep up. I kept telling myself they were fine but my gut was telling me to go check. By the time I checked on them ( mid storm) water was mid shin deep. My girls were in their houses which I lifted to found both submerged with only their heads poking out of the water. No doubt had I not gone out when I did they would have drowned. I immediately rushed them inside and put them in their indoor set up with the lamps on to warm them up. While I know this occurrence was a freak thing I will be taking additional measures to increase drainage, if anyone has any suggestions I am all ears. Had I not been working from home due to the pandemic they would have most certainly perished. Moral of the story make sure your enclosures are properly set up, the weather has notably been getting more and more severe as the years have gone on. Thanks for reading!
 

Tom

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Rain? In July? That's a novel idea...

Seriously though, this is a great post and definitely something for us all to keep in mind. I had this happen in winter once. Tort loved it. Couldn't keep him out of the flooded area. Flooded Pen.JPG
 

Maro2Bear

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That is scary. We had a TON of rain here in Maryland from those thunderstorms. Looks like that area is lower already. Hmmm, maybe you need to think about a “sump pump” type arrangement where you can dig an even deeper hole (sump hole) and hook up a sump pump. These are pretty cheap, easy to install. Once water reaches a certain level it turns the pump on & out goes the water. We have one in our basement.....in jr case, I’m guessing a ton of water all came in at once....

glad all turned out ok!
 

Sleppo

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Rain? In July? That's a novel idea...

Seriously though, this is a great post and definitely something for us all to keep in mind. I had this happen in winter once. Tort loved it. Couldn't keep him out of the flooded area. View attachment 299560
get that guy a snorkel!
 

Sleppo

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That is scary. We had a TON of rain here in Maryland from those thunderstorms. Looks like that area is lower already. Hmmm, maybe you need to think about a “sump pump” type arrangement where you can dig an even deeper hole (sump hole) and hook up a sump pump. These are pretty cheap, easy to install. Once water reaches a certain level it turns the pump on & out goes the water. We have one in our basement.....in jr case, I’m guessing a ton of water all came in at once....

glad all turned out ok!
Interesting idea, I'll look into it. Those storms were crazy, we had a good bit of small hail too.
 

Tom

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It'd be great if you could direct some of that rain over here!
I keep saying that too! I work in the SouthEast every year, and I can't believe the amount of water that falls from the sky. We need a pipe line!

I don't know who to attribute it to, but "some hippy" in the 70s was saying we should put a 3 foot pipe in the mouth of one of the giant rivers flowing into the sea in Washington, and just run that pipe down the coast underwater to solve all of California water problems. There would be no environmental impact if that relatively minuscule amount of fresh water was diverted, being underwater would protect the pipe, and even if the pipe ever broke or started leaking, so what? Its just water and its water that was already going into the Pacific Ocean any way!
 

Moozillion

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We live here in south Louisiana where it rains A LOT. Sudden torrential downpours are the norm for us, especially in summertime. We had problems with adequate drainage in my torts outdoor enclosure despite what I thought was a good slope to the ground. We solved it by having French drains installed around the inside of her enclosure as part of an overall backyard upgrade complete with sump pump to pump the water out to a drainage ditch. Not cheap, but works well.
Oh, and just by the way, if you build one of the first houses in a neighborhood where it rains a lot, expect that any subsequent houses being built will GRADE THEIR PROPERTY HIGHER THAN YOURS so that you end up with 5 adjacent properties draining into your yard.
Ask me how I know!!!! 😩😩😩🤷🏻‍♀️
 
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jess054u

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Hi all,

I just wanted to share a scary situation I had earlier in the week in hopes it saves someone else from having the same problem. This is the 2nd spring/summer where I have had my 2 adult Russians outdoors, you probably cannot tell in the pictures but the ground is sloped with the houses being on the highest point. They have been through many rain storms without any issue however earlier this week Philadelphia got nailed with a dangerous flooding rainstorm (I think it made national news). It came out of no where and poured rain, Prior we had been going through a long dry spell so the rain was not being absorbed as the ground was super dry and couldn't keep up. I kept telling myself they were fine but my gut was telling me to go check. By the time I checked on them ( mid storm) water was mid shin deep. My girls were in their houses which I lifted to found both submerged with only their heads poking out of the water. No doubt had I not gone out when I did they would have drowned. I immediately rushed them inside and put them in their indoor set up with the lamps on to warm them up. While I know this occurrence was a freak thing I will be taking additional measures to increase drainage, if anyone has any suggestions I am all ears. Had I not been working from home due to the pandemic they would have most certainly perished. Moral of the story make sure your enclosures are properly set up, the weather has notably been getting more and more severe as the years have gone on. Thanks for reading!
Omg I’m so glad your babies are ok. I live in Oregon, and we get a lot of rain from about oct - April. It’s more gradual than what u r talking about though. I built a tray that goes in spikes enclosure. Framed w wood, and covered w 1/4 inch screen. Then I cover that w hay. It keeps him about and inch or so off the ground, he can’t dig, and allows for drainage. Plus I just pull it out of the house when it’s time to clean. They hay keeps him from walking directly on the screen so it doesn’t hurt his feet either. I hope u find a good solution to your problem. 😊
 

Sue Ann

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chapin , South Carolina
View attachment 299552 View attachment 299553

Hi all,

I just wanted to share a scary situation I had earlier in the week in hopes it saves someone else from having the same problem. This is the 2nd spring/summer where I have had my 2 adult Russians outdoors, you probably cannot tell in the pictures but the ground is sloped with the houses being on the highest point. They have been through many rain storms without any issue however earlier this week Philadelphia got nailed with a dangerous flooding rainstorm (I think it made national news). It came out of no where and poured rain, Prior we had been going through a long dry spell so the rain was not being absorbed as the ground was super dry and couldn't keep up. I kept telling myself they were fine but my gut was telling me to go check. By the time I checked on them ( mid storm) water was mid shin deep. My girls were in their houses which I lifted to found both submerged with only their heads poking out of the water. No doubt had I not gone out when I did they would have drowned. I immediately rushed them inside and put them in their indoor set up with the lamps on to warm them up. While I know this occurrence was a freak thing I will be taking additional measures to increase drainage, if anyone has any suggestions I am all ears. Had I not been working from home due to the pandemic they would have most certainly perished. Moral of the story make sure your enclosures are properly set up, the weather has notably been getting more and more severe as the years have gone on. Thanks for reading!
Wow so glad you were alert. I built my enclosure on top of a hill because we get lots of rain in winter
 

Maro2Bear

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Turtulas-Len

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Some pumps get clogged up with debris pretty easy and quick. I bought a dirty water pump and it has never clogged "YET" I'm getting ready to drain the water turtle pond so IT will clog up because I probably just cursed it. Picture 045.jpg Picture 044.jpg Walkers yard holds water because it mostly clay, sea shells and rocks but it only gets to about an inch and half deep before it starts draining off.
 

Sleppo

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nandusnandus

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I second the idea of a French drain. Based upon the pictures of your enclosure, it would appear that you are handy-enough to construct that on your own. Do you know how much of that flooding came from rainwater landing directly into the enclosure versus runoff from the rest of the yard? It may be that building a dirt burm around the enclosure, where you have the large stones, would help greatly. Of course, you'd have to make sure the tortoise hides were elevated above the point of drainage, whether that be a French drain or screened drainage opening (or both) as suggested in the next sentence. If at least some of the enclosure is elevated higher than the adjacent yard, you could also create an opening in the wood at the periphery of the enclosure and screen this opening to allow water (not tortoise) egress.
 

mark1

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one time i threw together a pen to for some baby box turtles i found , put it in a spot i never noticed it flooding . we had a particularly bad winter , the ground froze pretty deep , we got a late winter rainy stretch , melted snow along with lots of rain . the ground thawed on top , but not down deeper , the pen was completely under water , i assumed the frozen ground kept the water on the surface ........... i did find and remove the turtles , they were all fine , the cold temps i'm sure helped .........

taking freshwater from coastal wetlands is pretty ecologically harmful , at least to anything depending on them ....... the columbia 100yrs ago would discharge a million cfs into these wetlands , it now discharges 1/4th of that ..... the colorado i believe doesn't or nearly doesn't even make it to the ocean ..... tough problem , i doubt there is a good solution , certainly not an easy one ....... it does appear people truly are a virus to the planet .....
 

Maro2Bear

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Some pumps get clogged up with debris pretty easy and quick. I bought a dirty water pump and it has never clogged "YET" I'm getting ready to drain the water turtle pond so IT will clog up because I probably just cursed it. View attachment 299651 View attachment 299652 Walkers yard holds water because it mostly clay, sea shells and rocks but it only gets to about an inch and half deep before it starts draining off.
Good tip Len. I have a ramshackle “garden pond fountain” this year, what i did to keep the nasty things from clogging my little pump was to put the pump in the pond, then add a good amount of stone as a filter of sorts. Any thick leaves or sticks or debris get caught up in the stones, but the pump keeps on running. Works well so far!
 
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