Updated on 20th Dec 2017 If you've ever had a leaking dam or pond on your property, like me, you would know how frustrating and costly it can be to fix. Thankfully, there's an easy, cost effective solution to fix a leaking dam, pond, or even a lake, and it doesn't require heavy machinery, equipment, or loads of materials – it's called Water$ave (Watersave).
Watersave is a product by Polymere Innovations and it's sold in various size containers depending on how much you need. It comes in a granulated form and looks a little like sugar but obviously performs a very different role, although one could say it is "sweet" when it can potentially save thousands of dollars.
Spreading Water$ave over my duck dam (image above)
There are two main types of Watersave products, one is more for "seepage" problems like through a dam wall (this was my issue) and the other is a "plug" which is designed to fill larger cracks and holes. However, both products can be used together to acheive a permanant water seal on a body of water such as a dam or lake.
Applying the product is extremely easy and essentially is just a matter of throwing the granulated substance over the surface of the water at an approximate rate of 100 grams per square metre. If there is an obvious leak (like through a dam wall) then it's a good idea to apply a little extra to the known trouble spots.
Once the granules hit the water they start to absorb water and turn into a slimy gel. This gel eventually sinks, gets sucked into holes, and settles on the dam floor and walls eventually combining with the soil to make a permanent water seal.
Watersave is primarily targeted at farm dams and commercial water courses like public lakes, in fact, it has been used in my home town (Toowoomba) by the local city council in one of the local scenic lakes. I can also see this product being used in many different types of domestic situations such as smaller ponds and backyard water features possibly instead of laying down pond liners.
The image above shows a 10 kg bucket of Water$ave (seep)
The company assures their product is biodegradable and non-toxic to the environment and animals including fish and crustaceans such as crayfish (yabbies). I can say that I've seen no signs of any negative effects on my local environment or just as importantly my ducks and chickens.
However, it is prudent and recommended to keep the water free from livestock and other animals where possible for several days after application to give the gel time to do its job without being disturbed. Also, it's recommended to wait for a calm and fine day to apply otherwise the granulated powder could blow everywhere and be washed away in rain thus retarding its effectiveness.
In my own experience, my duck dam had a continuous leak mainly through the rear dam wall but possibly also through the dam base. My dam would go from full to almost empty within weeks… The leak through the wall was so bad it was accumulating on the outside base of the dam wall and running like a hose down the back of my property!
Within 24 hours of applying Watersave (Seepage) the leak had completely stopped! After two weeks, there was no more sign of any gel or residue, and for the past 2 months my dam has not dropped an inch from full – I'm NOT kidding!
These results are outstanding and I have to say also a little surprising since I initially viewed this simple powder "stuff" with some scepticism. Nevertheless, I decided to buy a bucket and give it a try because the alternative of hiring heavy machinery and buying specific clay soil to rebuild my dam was just way too expensive to contemplate.
Thankfully, the product Watersave works exactly as it claims and I personally couldn't be happier with the results. Watersave costs around $270 AU for a 10 kg bucket which can cover a 100-metre square body of water and can be purchased online from Polymere Innovations on eBay here.
Update: To be transparent as possible I should now add that a few years later and my dam started leaking again. I'm pretty sure the reason for the leakage was due to our ducks eating away at the dam wall including the seal created by the Polymere product. I ended up lining the inside of the dam with pond liner. Our dam isn't that big so it wasn't too costly but nevertheless, it still was another disappointing outlay of money.
The liner prevents the ducks from chipping away at the wall but it's not perfect and over time several holes have occurred, however, so far it is holding water well. It's important to note that our dam is mostly above ground with the dugout dirt used to create the walls and the soil is light rather than good heavy clay so perhaps our type of water structure was never going to hold water well without extra earthworks eg making the walls from imported clay.
Anyway, that's how it is at this moment.
Below is a short video I made about WaterSave
Feel free to leave a comment below but for a more in-depth chat about Watersave please join our forum – Self Sufficient Culture and I'll be happy to answer any questions or concerns you might have about the product.
Mark Valencia – Editor SSM
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