Help Needed with Swale and Dam Construction

Discussion in 'Buy, sell, trade, give away & exchange' started by Anduramba, Jan 16, 2009.

  1. Anduramba

    Anduramba Junior Member

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    Hi all

    I have a 2 1/2 acres block north of Crows Nest, Qld and it is a real gem however not much water :( we have the oportunity due to the slope of the block to put in a small dam and some swales . We can't afford a earthmoving company to do it so is their anyone out there near us that would like to help with advise on how to do it without a digger or has some time?

    https://anduramba.blogspot.com/

    Anduramba
     
  2. Hamishmac

    Hamishmac Junior Member

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    Re: Help Needed with Swale and Dam Construction

    G'day,

    We have 2 acres steep SE facing block on sunny coast on a 1 in 4 ish slope, which couldn't hold water, even with mulch, long enough for decent penetration, due to previous compaction, drying SE wind etc. Too steep for machinery to work on the 3/4 acre I wanted for zone 2 & 3 stuff, so I started on 100 metres of swales at 5 levels by hand, mattock & shovel, & A-frame level.

    Mistakes: not hiring a decent laser level for a couple of weekends. taking on too much in one go. not planting out the downhill side ASAP to prevent erosion & wind drying of soil.

    Successes: hiring a hand operated rotary hoe for 2 weekends, which would break the topsoil (albeit into quite fine soil) & allow much easier shovelling. Biggest success tip. phone the local backpackers & hire some casual labour. For a reasonable cash sum, transport, drinks & a decent lunch I got fit guys in their 20's to do the hard yakka. Because I spent the first 30-60 mins on day 1 showing them around the property & explaining exactly why things had to be a certain way, they enjoyed it more, understood the plan, worked harder, and offered to come back!

    No tips on dams though.

    Happy to provide more info +/- pics.

    Best of luck,

    Hamish
     
  3. Anduramba

    Anduramba Junior Member

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    Re: Help Needed with Swale and Dam Construction

    Thanks Hamish :) appreciated
     
  4. bazman

    bazman Junior Member

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    Re: Help Needed with Swale and Dam Construction

    Have you got any gear? Tractor? You going to dig it all by hand? A backhoe would do a pretty good job if you could get your hands on one.

    Here's a break down of my swale costs and how I made it.
    https://www.biochar.net/swale/swale.htm

    Baz
     
  5. Anduramba

    Anduramba Junior Member

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    Re: Help Needed with Swale and Dam Construction

    Unfortunately no tractor although I think it might be too steep.photos attached. I am prepared to do it by hand as in know its a must have.

    thanks.
    Dom ;)
     
  6. springtide

    springtide Junior Member

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    Re: Help Needed with Swale and Dam Construction

    4wd tractor should be fine or 2wd in the dry and use a ripper to make it easy - as for getting a bulldozer in for a day i have seen them working down 45 degree slopes so yours would be fine. Back hoe would be ok too (they can use front and back scoops + hydraulic stands to basically "walk" out of anything - impressive to watch).
     
  7. bazman

    bazman Junior Member

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    Re: Help Needed with Swale and Dam Construction

    Hi Dom

    Sorry I just clicked to who you are, doh! :lol: I thought to myself I know that block, then the name... :lol:

    I should pull my finger out and come up for a weekend, should get Luke to come along too. Have you had any luck getting a contour map from the council? I can't remember if you had one. This is where we need to start, the best way to save money is to not make any big mistakes. I can source a lazer level for a weekend too.

    I can drive a backhoe or tractor if you can source that gear close by, 3 point tractor ripper and grader I own and can bring.

    Maybe do a letterbox drop to see if you can hire some local gear. you would be amazed what local farmers have stored in sheds.

    Baz

    PS Maybe think about getting a quote on a shipping container as a good lockable shed/living area.
     
  8. Anduramba

    Anduramba Junior Member

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    Re: Help Needed with Swale and Dam Construction

    Gday Baz :)

    Yeh I keep bugging Luke to do exactly that but hey, You know Luke :) I will ask him again

    I have only managed to get a contour map(1:25000) But not detailed enough. I am still waiting for someone to get backto me on whether there is a smaller one.

    I am sure I can find someone close by with a tractor.

    I am starting a Horticulture course here in Toowoomba soon and then plan on studying a cert III followed by some permie courses so have admittedly been a bit slack with the block.

    we are here in toowoomba for a 12 month lease so not living on the block yet but there is a small shed and for the same price as a container we can add a bedroom/bathroom to the existing shed :)

    I am just really impatient about the swales as the water is just running straight off at the moment.
     

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