Preventing soil run off into dam

Discussion in 'Put Your Questions to the Experts!' started by justintime, Sep 6, 2015.

  1. justintime

    justintime New Member

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    I have a natural dam in Northern Rivers NSW which is fed by a year round creek. The back of the dam is a steep hill (see attached) so when it rains the sediment ends up in the dam.

    I would like to keep the dam clear. What is the best way to do this? Plants? Raised beds?

    I think swales might fill quickly during the wet season on such a steep hill..

    Thank you!
     
  2. Bryant RedHawk

    Bryant RedHawk Junior Member

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    bank side reed beds work quite well at keeping sediments from getting to the stream bed if they are wide enough and the plants are close together. On steep hills it is usually better to use terraces than swales unless you need the resulting water plume. Swales on steep hills can create a "mud slide" scenario that can lead to disaster.
     
  3. Rylan Zimny

    Rylan Zimny New Member

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    I concur that steep slopes have to be handled very carefully.

    In my climate, we use plants with netted roots to hold the soil and resulting eroded particles, as well as planting or building silt traps along the water's natural course. To some degree, a steep slop in an undulating landscape (one rounded and formed by water and weather erosion) is an unnatural thing: the energy of the planet will work to remove that slope and make it more gradual. I might suggest a hot cup of tea while slowly and mindfully walking over the site: the imposed design of the dam might actually be disordered in relation to the energy sectors of your property. Short of using techniques to slow the rate of erosion, it may be time to think of a new and creative solution that lies outside of the already imposed pattern. Perhaps you could ponder one of Geoff's phrases "the map is not the plan"; there may be a way to mitigate the erosion ahead of your plan, or to work in the extra fertility (muddy silt) into your existing plan.

    Rylan
     

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