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Camp Road Maintenance: Series

By Claire Pendergast

We all want to be greeted each season with a smooth camp road when we arrive. The key to maintaining a camp road is to prevent standing water that weakens the road. But have you also considered how camp roads affect the water quality of our lake? According to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection Bureaus of Land Resources and Water Quality, “Soil erosion is the single largest pollutant (by volume) to our surface waters, and many of the erosion and sedimentation problems in lake watersheds originate from improper construction and maintenance of camp roads. Proper camp road maintenance helps prevent this form of pollution and preserves our splendid water resources.”

We thought it would be helpful to offer a series providing monthly tips for how to maintain your camp roads – and protect the water quality of Keoka.

Tip Number 1Grading

Grading is the process of smoothing and crowning or super-elevating a gravel road.  Regular grading will allow water to reach buffers (preferably) or ditches efficiently and prevent significant erosion of the road surface and keep the road well maintained. The best time to grade a road is when the road is moist (in the spring, or after a rain). Water helps to loosen the gravel and makes the road easier to reshape. How a road is used, and the amount of determines how often grading should be done.  Typically, grading is done at least once a year on seasonal roads. Year-round roads should be graded 3-4 times per year: in May, to reshape the road after being flattened and bermed by plowing; 1 or 2 times in the summer to remove washboarding; and in the fall, to prepare the road for winter.

More detailed information regarding Camp Road Maintenance can be found here.

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