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Memorial Weekend Water Work

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How many of you have been wandering out in the forest and discovered one of these guzzlers,drinkers, catchments with no water in them?




Often times, it's a result fo a faulty valve. I have seen the valves freeze, be bitten by bears, and tampered with by humans. (unfortunately, human tampering is usually the cause of the issue) To solve this problem, a small group of folks in Payson have been working with the Mogollon Sporting Association (MSA), USFS, and AZGFD to retrofit the system with underground valves. The new valves are buried at the same elevation as the above ground drinker trough.That way the elevation of the water in the valve box underground matches the elevation of the water in the trough. These valves solve the freeze, and tampering problems. This weekend we just fixed a catchment that was dry for several years. Once we got the valve problem solved, we hauled 1400 gallons of water to it with the help of the MSA water hauler trailer. I'm going to try to attach some photos for you to check out. FYI, we have installed this system on several water catchments over the last 10 years and they have worked flawlessly.


Here we're digging down, uphill from the trough, to find the feeder line and set the valve box. You can see that someone or something has removed the float ball. Without a functioning valve, all the rainwater that gets caught will just flow out.




Here we're cleaning out the old watering trough.




Tapping into the feed line for the valve.




Here's the valve that will be buried. The MSA donated all the parts for this. THANK YOU MSA!!!!!




The valve and the watering trough are starting to fill.




Full valve box.




Now time to add another 500 gallons. Thanks to MSA for the water hauler trailer. Thanks to the anonymous entity that supplied the water free of charge! You know who you are. :)




Got the hose on top ready to pump.




Good Job Well Done!!!! The Elk, Deer, Birds, Rodents, etc. all thank you!




If you ever find a pile of rocks above a water trough, you know what's under there. PLEASE DO NOT MESS WITH IT. :)


FYI, we saw tracks of Elk and Deer the following morning. The Elk tracks included a good sized bull track. As dry as it is, they must have smelled it and came running overnight.


We had a little extra time so we went to another catchment that we filled with 500 gallons this weekend. This one had a lot of Elk use. Lots of mommas and babies getting a drink.




If you want to volunteer in the Tonto National Forest around Payson (Unit 22), please send me a message with your contact information. My Dad and I maintain over seven of these and are looking for more people to volunteer. We're not a formal group and we can't handle too many. We usually do these on the weekends as we find problems. I'm employed so I can only squeeze in time on the weekends. If you would like to adopt a catcment, there's many out there. They all need periodic inspections. If you find problems with a catchment in Unit 22 feel free to let me know, (preferrably with pictures and gps coordinates) and I can forward it to the AZGFD and USFS. Perhaps we can get it fixed.


Since the whole HB2072 fiasco, I hope there are more people out there who want to get involved.


Thanks for your time in reading this!

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Outstanding!! Thanks for giving your time and fixing up these old water projects. And thanks to the MSA and the water donor! Glad to see what the MSA is doing up in the Payson area to help wildlife. CouesWhitetail.com donates items for the MSA fundraising banquet every year and although I couldn't attend the banquet this year, it is a great event!

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Thanks Amanda! I'm very proud of the MSA. Thank you for your donations to them. Your donations help us to fund projects like this. It doesn't take much money, but it does take time. I'm just happy to have an excuse to be outside and spend it in God's country helping out our wildlife.


Of course, now that theres viable water at these locations I may put a camera on them to see what's coming in. Perhaps a big buck will come strolling in this summer. :)

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