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    The publication date for issue 289 is the 10th of December, meaning subscribers should receive their copies during the week leading up to that date. It is also available from caving suppliers such as Inglesport and Starless River, or from our new website

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Dams in Waterwheel

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Dave H

Guest
Had a nice easy trip in Waterwheel on Saturday, but the lowest dam was leaking. Instead of the 5-6' of lake at the bottom of the ladder there was only a few inches. After visiting the 'end' of the cave we returned to fix the problem.
The leak appeared to be directly under the concreted flower pot at the bottom of the dam. The water was gushing from underneath the dam via a hole with stacked pieces of concrete next to it, suggesting that someone had already investigated the leak from the downstream side. We jambed enough small pieces of rock under the flower pot to stop the flow and then covered the area with a thick layer of mud.
If our fix turns out to not be very good, then at least you will know where to look!
 

cap n chris

Well-known member
Yep, it's been a problem for a long while and many attempts to seal the holes have failed. The 6' deep lake has never been witnessed by me and I have spoken with the original diggers who built the dam to create a flood pulse to clear mud from the crawl downstream (with no major success, alas). There is an outside likelihood that in order to restore the glorious dam to its previous functioning status may require demolishing the present one and rebuilding it (not something which is likely to happen!!!). However, your remedial actions MAY help but this has been tried before and when the water gets to a healthy depth, the pressure build up breaches the mud/stone put in place.

How was the longest tube/duck? - was it brim-full?
 
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Dave H

Guest
Everywhere else was brimming!

The airspace in the ever tightening rift at the bottom was too small to get through, and the mud was about knee deep making the squeeze too tight for me anyway. If I could have laid on my side and got my shoulders through the squeeze, I wouldn't have been able to get my mouth to the 2"x2" airspace! :nopity:

Don't hold out too much hope for our efforts on the dam! I'm usually less successful than King Canute :roll:
 

Stupot

Active member
Went down Sunday, and the lake was filling up nicely, probably about 3.5 feet deep.

Stu.
 

cap n chris

Well-known member
The long tube (swim/duck) dam has had a new mechanical bung installed so it will NEVER LEAK AGAIN and always be brim-full. Mwha-ha-ha-haaah! Installed 1st June. Have put the museum piece old wooden bung on a rock shelf nearby for keep's sake.

Unfortunately the final dam is again at its low level.

Had a volunteer offer to assist sometime in the future on this project but fear it's the "knock it down and start again" solution which is a big project indeed so no plans to do it for a while yet.
 
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