Improving the breakwater: Gabion basket installation

After our beach project was completed, we observed that water flow in the Potomac was washing sand into and out of the beach area.  After studying the matter, we decided to close up the gap on the west end of the beach area by installing a “gabion basket” filled with rocks in the gap between the western spur and the old breakwater.

A gabion basket is a basket made of steel wire — here’s a photo of a wall made of gabion baskets.

We had a gabion basket approximately 16 feet long X 4 feet wide X 5 feet deep.  On June a5 and 18 we installed the basket into the gap and filled it with boulders.

First, we had to pick up the boulders, supplied by Vance Headley in Heathsville.

Frank Goyette and his truck ( the little blue one) loading rocks. Joe Schlatter used his truck and took the photo. Frank and Joe hauled one truckload each on June 15;  on June 18, Frank made one load and Joe made 2 loads for a total of five truckloads of stones between the two days.
Load of boulders ready to be moved out to the gabion basket.

We used two methods to get the stones from the trucks out to the basket, a distance of about 150 feet into the river. All work was manual labor using hand tools, no power equipment was used.

One method of transporting the stones from the shore out to the gabion basket was to slide the stones down planks into a garden cart, submerged in the river.  When the cart was filled with stones, pull the cart out to the basket and move the stones into the basket.

Frank (brown shirt) and Dave Williams (white shirt) in the river with the cart. Joe was on the bulkhead, lifting rocks from the trucks and sliding them down the planks into the cart.
After the cart was filled with stones, Frank and Dave would roll the cart out to the gabion basket. This photo was made near high tide when the basket was completely submerged.

The other method was to use a pulley system.  We embedded a post into the river bank beside the gabion basket.  From that post we ran a steel cable to the bank where we tied it onto Frank’s truck.  We then suspended a 5-gallon bucket from a pulley on the steel cable.  We used ropes tied to the bucket to pull it back and forth.  Joe would lift rocks into the bucket, Frank would pull the bucket out to the basket and dump the rocks, then Joe would pull the empty bucket back to the shore and repeat.

Here’s the pulley system. Frank and Dave are working on the gabion basket while Joe made this photo. Joe would place rocks into the bucket, Frank would pull the bucket out to the basket, empty it, Joe would pull the empty bucket back, fill it with rocks, and repeat.

Here’s the finished product.  The gabion basket, filled with stones, can be seen just protruding above the surface of the water at the left of the old breakwater.

Another photo of the finished work. At the left of the photo is the western spur that extends from the shore into the river. At the right center is the old breakwater. The gabion basket filled with stones is slightly above the water on the left end of the old breakwater. We probably will install a second gabion basket in the gap between this basket and the western spur.

Annual meeting; MOSQUITOES

Thanks to everyone who attended the annual meeting last Saturday, June 2.  Twenty-nine of us were present; twenty-two lots were represented in person (19) or by proxy (3).  We are preparing the final minutes and will post the minutes and supporting documents soon.

Meanwhile:  It’s mosquito season!!

The heavy rain last week left our soil waterlogged with standing water in a few places until things dry out.

Some property owners have discovered puddles on their property filled with mosquito larvae.  The larvae look like tiny ants swarming around in the puddles.  In most cases, there will be so many larvae the water will seem to be moving.

One of our neighbors sprayed a heavy coat of roach and ant spray on his puddles and after 2-3 minutes all the larvae were dead, floating on the surface.

You may want to check your property for standing water.  Mosquitoes don’t need a lake on which to breed —  they will breed in very small collections of standing water; they’ll even breed in the water in a bucket.

Farmer’s Service in Burgess has insecticide made specifically for mosquito larvae called “Mosquito Dunks;”  these are small disks that float on top of the water and dispense insecticide.   Ace Hardware in Lottsburg probably has the same or similar product.  Most any insecticide sprayed into the water should kill the larvae if you can’t find an insecticide made especially for mosquitoes.

Here’s a photo of mosquito larvae in a bucket.

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Annual meeting agenda and proxy form

Reminder:  PBE POA Annual Meeting

  • Saturday, June 2
  • 1:00 PM
  • Potluck lunch at 12 noon; bring a side dish and/or dessert to share
  • 4142 Newman’s Neck Road (Willams’ home)
  • The Association will furnish hot dogs, hamburgers, buns, condiments, sodas, water, tea.  BYOB wine, beer.

Here is the agenda for the annual meeting (PDF):   Agenda PBE POA-Annual 0602_2018_0518_v3_

If you are not able to attend, please download this proxy form, complete and return it per the instructions on the form.  2018 ann meeting proxy form

Revised grass cutting map

Beginning Spring 2018, our neighborhood grass cutting is being done by two local lawn services:  Thomas Brothers, and, James Robinson.

The Thomases cut the ditches, the well house lot, the picnic area and an area around the neighborhood entrance.  They cut these areas every other week during the spring, summer and fall grass-growing season.

Jim Robinson cuts the big common area — the 13-acre area that contains our septic drain fields.  He cuts this area four times a year:  Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day and a final cut before winter.  Grass in this area has a growth spurt in late September-October.  We evaluate the grass height in this area in October and decide when to do the fourth cut in the late fall-early winter.

Here is a map showing the grass-cutting schedule as of June 2018.  PBE_Grass Graphic-text_June 2 2018

Annual Meeting Announcement: Saturday, June 2

The Potomac Bay Estates Property Owner’s Association 2018 annual meeting will be held:

  • Saturday, June 2
  • 1:00 PM
  • Williams home, 4142 Newman’s Neck Road

Potluck lunch at 12:00 noon.  The Association provides hot dogs, hamburgers, buns, condiments, tea, water, soda.  Please bring a side dish and/or dessert to share.  BYOB wine and beer.

If you cannot attend, please download the proxy form, fill it out and mail to the POA Secretary at 196 Potomac Drive, Heathsville VA 22473.  The proxy form is at this link:  2018 ann meeting proxy form