So, when things do happen, and the stairs align, you gotta be ready to go. Having 3 kids and other responsibilities, that doesn't just happen for me. So, even though I wanted to be there to see the work get done, I wasn't.
But, I made sure to stay up to date on the work put in so far.
You may recall that over a month ago, dad and I had helped drain the lake down. Now, the intent isn't to drain it all the way, but just to where the valve is. There is no way that you will get ALL the water out, especially with a fresh stream always coming in. But you can open that valve and get it as low as you can. So, that's where we left off. The valve was opened for the first time in 40 something years and out went everything.
Recall, we didn't know where the leak(s) were. We had ideas. When the lake bottom was dry enough, the trackhoe was brought in. We had suspected that a rock ledge that ran parallel from the dock to the corner of the damn had developed a series of leaks. Looks like we were right about that. They did find a fair sized leak on that rock shelf.
Loads of clay were brought in and packed and several layers of plastic were put down for good measure.
As you can see, it doesn't take long for grass to really spring up! I guess all those years of fish poo will do that!
The next challenge has been the valve itself. It was never meant to be reclosed. So, that has taken a bit of ingenuity to figure out. After all, this is all being done on a tight budget and ordering a new valve isn't in the cards. So, as far as I know, the valve is closed and the lake will begin rise....that is...unless the valve doesn't seal. Or we didn't find the leak. Or the other potential problem we KNOW we have to address...the spill way.
At the far end of the dam is the spill way. You may recall that it has been repaired before. When water runs out, it takes with it essential dirt. Sometimes that dirt has concrete on top of it, and concrete doesn't do so well in tension. So, basically, the concrete has been washed out. In the past, it has been backfilled with concrete.
The problem is, no one wanted to spend money on something that wasn't the more immediate fix. What happens if we fixed the spillway and not the leak? Wasted money.
Well, eventually we will have to address it. No way around it. Hopefully soon.
Next thing...fishing habitat. The one thing this lake was lacking was offshore structure. What does that do? Well, it concentrates the fish on the edges of the lake. It makes a low fish density lake. This is something that I want to fix. How, you may ask. Well, that's for a future post!