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One of the challenges we faced was soil deposited into our dams with every flood event. This soil comes from some serious soil erosion upstream of our Village. Some of that upstream soil erosion has been dealt with by our neighbours who have done some river bank maintenance. So it was time to do something about getting rid of the soil already in our dams.
We tackled Dam 1 first. This work was done in the winter of 2016 when the river flow was minimal.
Then it was time to tackle Dam 2 North. This is the dam immediately in front of the Lifestyle Centre deck. Over the years it had become very shallow due to sand deposits. This dam presented a challenge as the mud was very sticky and the Backactor we tried to use, became stuck in the mud. So the next step was to try a giant vacuum cleaner. This was not quite as successful as we would like it to have been due to the extremely sticky nature of the mud. However a significant amount of mud was removed and the dam is now dramatically improved.
Dam 2 South had ceased to exist some years before the Village was developed. This was largely due to the overflow weir having collapsed and the dam no longer able to contain any water. This left a dry bed which became overgrown with grasses as can be seen in the first picture below. The solution was to demolish what was left of the weir and to reconstruct a new one. The new weir was further designed to act as a roadway to the far side of the dam in order to facilitate future maintenance by providing access to any required equipment. Once the weir was complete, a major exercise to remove soil and restore the dam took place. This was done using a long reach tracked excavator. The end result was 2 dams separated by a section of land now known as “The Sanctuary”. Professional assistance was provided by a specialist advisor in terms of grasses and other vegetation that would attract birds and other wildlife. All in all this has been a most worthwhile exercise and has become one of the significant focal points of the Village.