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September 11, 2013

100,000 gallons

For the first time ever, our pond is full, giving us an extra 100,000 gallons (low end estimate).

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This rain season has really fit the adage “when it rains it pours”. On several occasions it’s rained solidly for 2 or 3 days, and then nothing at all for weeks. The total annual rainfall is up to 27″ so far, which is about normal, but it has reached the land in very violent spurts.

We had a similar year in 2010, and it was then that we discovered that the spillway of our big pond was not low enough and the pond broke. We had a machine come and raise up the dam a ways, but in the past couple of years, that wall has sunk a little.

100kgallon

So, after more than 6″ of rain in three days, we woke up this morning to a full pond. Very exciting. The water is just into the spillway, but not yet overflowing, so we figured it would be a good idea to go check on it all. We used a water level to measure low spots in the dam wall across to the overflow. It’s all safe and within acceptable limits, but the thought of it breaking again is heart-breaking. So, we’ve been out all day digging a trench across the spillway to give it an extra foot of security.

100kgallons

It was hot and tiring work, and just before taking a break for lunch, I stripped down and dove in. The cold took my breath away and washed every ounce of fatigue away. It was wonderful. Only on the very edge of part of it could I touch the bottom. At the center, we reckon it’s at least 20 feet. More than 50 feet across. A lot of water.

And did I mention that the pig pond – another 20,000 gallons or so – is also overflowing. We are water rich.

Small update: I wrote this blog on our lunch break. We then went back out and finished off the job (making sure of the slope with the water level, taking out humps, etc.). We then fed and hung out with the animals for a while. We have just got back into the house and I can see rain on the mountain next door…

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