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If you're considering having a dam on your farm or property, it’s important all the necessary precautionary measures are taken. Dam Construction is not as simple as digging a hole in the ground and waiting for it to fill with water. Every aspect of the project must be planned carefully. Otherwise, the dam might fail, causing damage to your property and placing the safety of your livestock at risk.

When building a dam, here are few things you must consider:

1. Topsoil and Vegetation

Because topsoil is porous, water can easily go through it. As such, before building a dam, be sure to remove all the topsoil in the areas that will be covered by the embankment, spillway, and excavation. These areas should also be free from roots and vegetation.

2. Soil Type

To ensure that the embankment is able to hold water, see to it that the soil is impermeable. For this reason, clay soil is highly recommended. If the soil in your property contains enough clay to be impermeable, it should stick to your finger when wet. Take note, however, that not all clay soils are recommended for dam embankments as there are certain types of clay soils that can break down easily when exposed to water. To avoid any potential problems later on, have your soil tested by experts.

3. The Cut-Off Trench

Using the right land clearing and construction methods can go a long way towards preventing leaking dams. One example of this is building a cut-off trench along the entire length of the embankment. This will help prevent leaks caused by water escaping from beneath the embankment. When building a cut-off trench, ensure that it is at least 600mm deep, with a minimum of 300mm extending into impervious soil.

4. The Contractor

Unless you're a contractor experienced at building dams, you shouldn't build the dam on your own. Instead, you should enlist the services of an earthmoving contractor who is adept at doing dam construction.

Before you settle on a specific construction company, see to it that you've done your homework. Do a bit of research about the contractor's track record and make sure to ask for references, as well. By hiring the right contractor, you can avoid dam construction failure that can cost you a lot of money. Joshua Mennie Civil is your local excavation and construction specialist - contact us today!




Joshua Mennie Civil is a construction and excavation specialist based in Nowra. We have over 10 years of experience in the industry and take on all types of civil excavation work.

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