Ensure that livestock never go thirsty with this dam plan

The provision of sufficient water for livestock is an ongoing headache but this farmer has devised a clever plan to ensure that the level of his dam never falls below one-third.

Imagine the scenario: it’s a boiling hot summer’s day and the dam at one of the cattle’s watering points has run dry because of a leak in the pipeline and now you have to make an urgent plan to move the herd from one camp to another where water is still available.

Pieter Joubert, from the farm Swakara outside Bethulie in the Free State in South Africa has made sure he’s always prepared for this eventuality. On his storage dams, the outlet pipe isn’t at ground level but located one-third up the dam wall.

There is still an outlet at ground level in case the dam needs to be emptied. However, Pieter’s system means that the last one-third of his dam’s capacity is always available.

Pieter Joubert next to one of his farm’s storage dams, showing the different pipes and their attachments .

Should the water supply to the animal’s drinking troughs run “dry” due to a leaking pipe, then the emergency water in the bottom third of the dam is immediately available once the leak has been repaired.

Pieter’s system works like this:

  • He uses 50 mm diameter pipe and connects a vertical pipe with its elbow and T-pieces to the ground-level pipe.
  • He has incorporated a tap between the vertical T-piece and the dam’s lowest outlet pipe at ground level. This tap is usually kept closed.
  • The pipes are buried just below the soil surface to protect them from getting damaged.

ENQUIRIES: Pieter Joubert, email: Pj.swakara@gmail.com.


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