Avoid dam con­tam­i­na­tion

Warragul & Drouin Gazette - - ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT -

Farm­ers are be­ing en­cour­aged to re­move any de­bris from wa­ter sup­plies as soon as pos­si­ble fol­low­ing re­cent widespread rain­fall across the state.

Af­ter a pro­longed dry pe­riod, wa­ter sup­plies such as farm dams are at risk of de­bris con­tam­i­na­tion fol­low­ing a down­pour.

Dams may be con­tam­i­nated with float­ing or­ganic mat­ter in­clud­ing straw, grass, leaves and ma­nure. This can cause is­sues for the wa­ter sup­ply if it isn’t man­aged quickly.

Within a cou­ple of days, de­bris will sink and be­gin to break down, caus­ing the wa­ter to be­come putrid and po­ten­tially un­us­able for live­stock.

Agri­cul­ture Vic­to­ria’s Clem Sturm­fels said there are many ways to re­move de­bris from dams, in­clud­ing drag­ging the ma­te­rial to the bank us­ing a chain mesh boom.

Mr Sturm­fels sug­gests the use of chain mesh, which is com­monly used to con­struct ten­nis court fences, sus­pended from a se­ries of floats to cre­ate a boom to clear the de­bris.

“The boom can then be dragged across the dam us­ing ropes at­tached to each end,” he said.

“Once the de­bris has been dragged to the side of the dam, it can be re­moved us­ing a small weldmesh cage or with a siev­ing bucket on an ex­ca­va­tor.”

When time per­mits, sed­i­ment traps can be in­stalled to pre­vent de­bris from en­ter­ing dams.

There are a num­ber of ways that farm­ers can es­tab­lish a sed­i­ment trap.

Com­mon ap­proaches in­clude at­tach­ing wire net­ting on the up­stream side of ex­ist­ing fences where they cross the drainage line (to trap the flood de­bris) or es­tab­lish­ing a tem­po­rary net­ting fence across a drainage line if there is no ex­ist­ing fence struc­ture.

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