Stop Leakage from Dams

Farm dam

Description

Seepage loss from dams can be substantial (10-30% of volume collected) and can undermine the farm’s water risk management. Repair is possible but dams are best made water tight at the time of construction. It is usually less expensive in the long run to build a new / better dam than to repair a leaking one.

Options that can reduce the risk of dam leaks include:

  • membrane liners
  • soil compaction
  • soil blending or adding bentonite (clay)

‘Piping’ or ‘tunnelling failure’ in dam walls can sometimes be repaired using gypsum treatments. 

Tips on Getting the Best Result

Need professional help and specialised equipment to get a good result. 

Pros and Cons

Good to do when water levels are low but structural repairs are usually very expensive and not always successful. 

Issues in Making it Happen

Labour

Heavy earth moving / compaction equipment and contractors are required.

Environment

Check for local restrictions and licensing requirements.

  • Water Saving
  • Moderate
  • Cost
  • High
  • Effort
  • High