Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A $200 Hole

Back in September our next door neighbour and our neighbour but one, organised with a local farmer to bring in his dozer and do some work. Were we interested?
You betcha!
We had a spot on the driveway earmarked so we set him to work.
 With much roaring, belching of black smoke and clanking the hole grew deeper and the banks higher. Ended up about 2.5 metres deep in the middle. Lindsay said he thought it should hold water as there was plenty of clay, but our enemy was evaporation and seepage.
In order to compact the base and walls, Jim first tried the old ute, but the long wheelbase meant it kept bottoming out. So the trusty Discovery was pressed into service. Jim drove backwards and forwards up the walls until he felt that it was compacted as well as we could manage.
As will anything involving earthmoving equipment the site was raw and rather an afront to the surrounding bush.
A layer of bark chips over the top of the bank and a few tufts of local grass helped to soften it. 
 Then we waited for rain. Our catchment area is a section of drive about 3 metres wide and 100 metres long. This should give us about 300 litres for every mil of rain that falls. First event yielded us a small puddle in the bottom and we stuck a stick at the water's edge and waited to see if it vanished, but a week later and the water level had not dropped very much.
Next rain event and the level rose higher and stayed constant.
This week we have had good rain from thunderstorms and the dam now look like this. The next lot should reach the spillway.

In my mind I see it as a limpid pool with our local blue waterlillies, rushes grasses and other small sprawling plants on the bank. It will be a work in progress for quite a while, but will be a lovely spot eventually.
Not bad for 200 bucks eh? 

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