Leaking dams are a common source of frustration for those who make their living on the land.
Whether for irrigation, stock watering or emergency uses, a reliable water supply is at the heart of any successful agricultural enterprise.
Despite the earthmover’s best efforts, new dams often seal imperfectly, while older dams may deteriorate over time.
Dam repair has traditionally involved draining away the remainder of the precious water and bringing in heavy equipment to carry out repairs.
This approach can cost thousands of dollars, takes significant expertise and wastes valuable time.
There is, however, a much simpler and cheaper alternative.
A specialised range of super-absorbent polymers (SAP’s), manufactured by Polymer Innovations, provides a fool-proof DIY solution.
A polymer solution typically costs several hundreds of dollars, not thousands.
The WaterSave range was developed by the company’s managing director, Andrew Evans.
After developing slurry management solutions for some of Australia’s largest underground miners, Andrew recognising the potential for SAPs to seal problem dams.
After extensive field and laboratory testing, WaterSave Plug was released in 2000.
Further refinements saw WaterSave Seep introduced to seal leaks in finer, more porous soils.
Mr Evans said Plug and Seep have the same application method.
In both instances the polymer, in the form of a white powder, is applied to the water surface so there is no need to drain the dam.
“The products are very easy to apply,” Mr Evans said.
“They are safe, non-toxic, and are able to target specific areas rather than treating the entire water surface.
“It’s really quite simple to work out how much polymer you need.
“For a typical repair the polymers are applied at a rate of 100gm per square meter.
“Once the treatment area is identified, the polymer is applied by hand to the water surface.
“Best results are seen when the dam is clear of leaf litter and other foliage that prevents the polymers from reaching the dam floor.
“Results can often be seen in two to three days, while with particularly aggressive leaks, a second application may be required.
“It’s important to have about one metre of water in the dam and for the dam to be leaking at the time of application.
“This gives the product the best chance of being pulled into the cracks.”
- Visit: www.polymerinnovations.com.au.