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Dam Walls

With so much rain falling, all our dams are full. A couple of weeks ago we noticed one dam with water leaking over the wall. This is not good, and can become disastrous very quickly. Farm dams tend to have a spillway about 1 meter below the height of the wall to stop water going over the wall and cutting it away. Over time, the spillway tends to build up with grass and silt and the wall can drop due to wind and animals walking across it. When the spillway gets higher than the wall, water runs over the wall and will cut a hole in the wall surprisingly quickly. So it was gumboots and raincoats on and we headed up the paddock with shovels.

The silted up spill way

The silted up spillway

Water satrting to flow over the dam wall

Water starting to flow over the dam wall

We were able to dig out out a channel in the spillway, deep enough to get the water flowing and protect the dam wall.

Digging a trench in the spillway

Digging a trench in the spillway

Success!

Success!

But we’ll have to go back with the tractor when things are less boggy and cut it a bit deeper and wider. We should then go around to all our dams and do some maintenance. The best time to do this is when the dams are less full, so we have less risk of being bogged, so we may use this time when they are all full to check the levels of the spillways and decide which dams will need work when the water level drops.

The erosive power of water - left un-checked, water flowing over a dam wall can very quickly destroy the dam

The erosive power of water – water flowing over a dam wall can very quickly destroy the dam

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