So, in February we had to get the digger loader in to sort our the building rubble left over from the build. While it was here RMan decided to make our dam deeper. Oh, dear, does that mean another 3 - 5 year wait?
|Building rubble - unsightly and, due to it's chaotic|
pile, a potential snake hiding place
|The digger loader made light work of the pile of|
Then, the digger collected all the dry renoster bush we have so far removed from the land and piled it up next to the "rubble" pile.
|The renosterbush we removed is now all|
in one spot, instead of scattered round
On the mound created by the building rubble we have thrown a slab, and have sited two 5 000lt rainwater tanks on top of it (with space for another two should we decide to add them). This is the highest point of our relatively flat property, and, when our lower rainwater tanks are full, the water will be pumped up to the higher tanks, as it is the ideal spot to gravity feed rainwater down to the lemon trees and veggie patches next summer.
|The digger loader at the start of the dam|
|Dam deepening in progress|
|Can you see the digger loader?|
|Mandy - in doggy heaven|
A few days later, whilst sitting and contemplating the dam from our verandah, RMan had an idea.
Briefly sketching it out to me when I was busy with something else, and wasn't listening properly, he proceeded with his plan...
Rugby posts in a dam. What?!?!? I can't remember the conversation...
|To give you perspective, those gum poles|
are 4.6 mtrs high (less 600 in the ground)
Leaving the cement to dry round the base of the poles, he visited a Bentonite mine in Heidelberg - just down the N2. Bentonite is an eco-friendly natural substance with a multitude of uses.
Having collected a mtr3 of bentonite noodles in our trailer...
|Our trailer can hold 1.5 mtrs3|
...which got distributed via a wheel barrow...
|One gets different grades of Bentonite -|
the finer the more expensive. We opted for the
cheaper Bentonite "noodles" - hopefully it will
perform as we anticipate
... RMan proceeded to "line" the newly deepend dam with the bentonite...
|... more rugby posts...?|
|Bentonite mixed with red clay|
Obviously, some of the principles from the General Science classes I attended as a primary school child stuck. I had to try an experiment.
|Lumps of Bentonite clay|
|Bentonite and water|
|Bentonite and water slurry|
|Settling of the clay / bentonite|
|The Bentonite / clay mix is much lighter|
coloured than plain red clay
|The mix is almost moonscapish in appearance|
|We very happy with this result -|
one can clearly see the adhersion of
the red and white Bentonite clay :)
We both can't wait... :)
Judging from the experiment, when, and if, we have water in the dam, and we need to pump the water out in the future, providing that we "scoop" out the upper layer of water, our pump should suffer no ill effects from the clay content.