The work on the Lodja water project is beginning to gain a head of steam, so to speak. The pictures will show that we have moved a significant amount of good clay dirt to the dam site and are in the process of building the dam in the original position.
A good amount of work has gone into dredging the stream bed and getting the water back down to the original level. The original base upon which the Hydram was set has been dug out and exposed. It will take some additional work to replace the anchor bolts that have been severely damaged, but we are hopeful that we can use the base in order to gain the maximum head of water from the dam without raising the dam higher than it was originally.
A core has been dug out of the center of the dam to try to establish the best possible foundation for the dam. The decision was made to try to haul in better quality dirt than what is available on site. The dirt in the hills to the valley is very sandy. That is what makes the water so plentiful and pure. That soil does not make, however, a good water-proof dam.
At the other end of the station there is clay dirt that was used to make the bricks that many of the mission buildings were built out of. Having access to a good dump truck has allowed us with a minimum of expense to haul clay dirt to the dam site to put in the core. We will use some of the local soil for the back of the dam since we want that part to drain easily. We want to let any water that gets through the dam out without water-logging and weakening the structure.
To further enhance the drainage we have placed a drain pipe beneath the back part of the dam away from the pond. This pipe has been encased in gravel and a plastic shield has been placed above it to prevent soil from being carried into the pipe and stopping it up. The drain is in place and there is already water flowing from it which indicates that it is important and working.
An 8 inch pipe has been used as a temporary diversion of the stream to get the water flowing past the construction site. We are now preparing to raise the by-pass pipe to allow us to fill the part of the dam where it is located. As the dam is raised the bypass will also be moved up until the water in the pond created by the dam reaches the primary overflow level.
The original over-flow is nearly intact. The very end of the canal washed out and was undercut by the flow. Portions of it broke off and we do not want to allow the overflow water to continue damaging this section. Our plan is to install additional 8 inch pipe to carry the overflow water from the existing overflow canal back to the stream level well beyond the entire installation.
Our District Council has asked us if we can have the water system working by the end of August 2011 when they plan to host our Annual Conference. We hesitate to promise that we can get it operational by that time, but we are now planning to increase the workforce and accelerate the work in that hope.