MUD Maintenance & Repair

Things are rapidly changing in today's world; more is expected for less. This concept holds true to everything, including your district! Being frugal is at the top of everyone's mind. Sometimes we are tempted to forego some expenses because we are trying to save money. However, it is important to realize that a thorough maintenance plan will protect your investment and control erosion. By minimizing expensive repair work, keeping the facility clean, & maintaining compliance with city, state and federal regulations, proper maintenance is far more economical in the long run.

Maintenance is defined as: “the act of keeping up property”. Yet in relevance to utility districts, that means so much more than the average home owner would expect. For the district, it’s more than keeping the grass cut. It’s ensuring the structural stability of a pond or channel to ensure maximum water flow/conservation is achieved. That being said, every district is different. However, there are a few common guidelines when establishing a maintenance plan. Generally speaking, the items listed below are routine things needed; variables can include the frequency of each.

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Scheduled Mowing

Aside from debris removal, mowing is the most basic practice for maintenance of a utility district. Mowing performed at the correct height and frequency is essential to the health and density of the vegetation. Removing leaf tips induces the grass to form new sprouts, increasing coverage density. The denser turf cover also helps prevent soil erosion. Mowing can also affect water quality which is an important pollution problem with TCEQ regulations.

If there are houses nearby the pond or channel, mowing is important for safety. Keeping the areas mowed deters snakes, varmints, & other animals form moving towards peoples home. It is also more visually appealing.

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Overseed & Fertilization

Regular overseeding helps keep your turf green, healthy and vibrant. A healthy, dense lawn will choke out weeds, resist pest attacks, and most importantly to a district, endure drought. Overseeding in the spring helps fill in areas that have died out during the past year moving into the warm growing season. Overseeding in the fall provides turf establishment through the winter when Bermuda & other warm season grasses become dormant. It is recommended that overseeding be done with a core aeration. The seed will germinate in the aeration holes and increase the germination rate.

Proper fertilizing is an important part of maintenance to ensure there is strong vegetative coverage. However, low soil nutrient levels often limit the ability of grass growth. With good soil fertility and fertilizer management, the productivity of vegetation can be greatly improved at a minimal cost, thus giving more stability to your ponds & channels reducing soil erosion & turbidity.

The fact is that all districts have different needs and there is no such thing as a one size fits all when it comes to proper maintenance. We regularly send of soil samples to the lab at Texas A&M University to be tested so we are able to evaluate the current conditions and implement a fertilization program that will best benefit your district. If you’d rather forgo the soil sample a good 13-13-13 Fertilizer (Triple 13) is likely the best bet. 13-13-13 means there are equal amounts of Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Potassium. These three nutrients are the most important in relativity to grass growth.

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Inspections & Reports

Reconnaissance is especially important! As you can see from the photos, what was initially a small amount of buildup grew exponentially during a year’s time. By having a regular reporting schedule on your channels and ponds, you can make sure you find minor problems before they turn into big ones. It gives you the essential information needed to make the decisions for what will be done and how best to accomplish it. Without it, you are essentially in the dark.

SCS begins working with any new utility district by creating an initial report of any areas/facilities we would maintain. After a contract is established, it is important that along with the monthly inspection a report is shared with the board. Reports allow the board and anyone involved to always be aware of the conditions & progress of such facilities. This also helps ensure there is no oversight of issues most people may be unable to recognize due to limited experience.

Initial Report Example
Monthly Report Example

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Herbicide

Herbicides, also commonly known as weed killers, are pesticides used to kill unwanted plants. Selective herbicides kill specific targets, while leaving other vegetation relatively unharmed. Some of these act by interfering with the growth of the weed and are often synthetic mimics of natural plant hormones.

Herbicides are widely used in in the U.S. for crop & turf management. As licensed herbicide applicators, SCS has access to many herbicides & related chemicals. We take special care to ensure the safety of animals & aquatic life when needed.

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Corrective Repairs

When responsible for detention ponds and drainage channels, even the best maintenance program can still have the need for corrective repairs. From small washouts to large sinkholes, we are your turnkey source to repair these common slope failures. We are also capable in diagnosing issues with various structures and other storm water quality features.

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Desilting

The most critical factor related to these issues is the influence of natural processes of erosion and deposition within modified channels. In most cases, the channel created through maintenance is much different than the channel natural processes would produce if allowed to operate without inference. Over time, these processes work to reconfigure the bottom of the channel to generate a self-sustaining form.

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Debris Removal

Debris Removal is relatively simple but still can have a large impact. Apart from being unsightly, by keeping your ponds and channels free of debris you can safeguard the storm water quality features from becoming blocked keeping adequate water flow as designed.

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Facilities & Maintenance

In addition to routine maintenance of a channel or pond, Stuckey’s Contract Services also maintains facilities for many utility districts. These facilities include but are not limited to lift stations, water plants, waste water treatment plants. Whether it’s routine mowing and trimming, or the sites or new landscape is desired to improve the façade from the street, SCS is capable and prepared to take care of your needs.

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Parks & Trails

Stuckey’s Contract Services believes there are many advantages of parks & trails - they make our communities more comfortable; better our home values; protect and/or renovate open spaces; and provide opportunities for physical activity to improve fitness and mental health. Please contact us if you are interested in having us establish or maintain a park/trail & we will send a consultant to visit and look at the specific details & needs.

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