building a dam

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building a dam

Postby addicted2ducks » Mon Feb 04, 2013 2:03 pm

O.k guys, I know in a lot of states this is illegal. However, I just received permission to build a wood board/plank dam on a small creek that runs through my property. All I need to finalize everything is some pics of dams like this to gain a permit. What I was thinking was to put some 4x4s on each side of the creek and run 2x6's across the creek to back the water up, in this already damp "swampy" area. If anyone has any pictures of this kind of dam please send them to. I would love to be able to have my own private duck swamp.
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Re: building a dam

Postby tenfingergrip » Mon Feb 04, 2013 5:46 pm

If you have access to allow a concrete truck or have a way to mix your concrete on site, then you may want to consider using a flashboard riser concrete device to accept the wooden boards so as to adjust the height of the water you back up. Don't know how wide the creek is, but if you built a wooden form to pour the concrete into, you would have a substantial "dam" to drop the
riser boards into. I sketched out what I have used in the past. Just dig into the bank on each side and construct the form that would create the riser device. The sketch is not to scale but you would need to make sure the slots are a little wider than a 2" board so when it swells, you can still remove them. The concrete on either side of the slots should be around 4-6" thick. I advise getting the boards cut "tounge & groove" as "v" shaped to allow them to seal out the water better.
Flashboard riser form-page-0.jpg
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Re: building a dam

Postby apexhunter » Wed Feb 06, 2013 10:52 am

Not knowing the exact lay of the land (width of the creek, slope of the bank, etc) I would dare say that setting 4x4 on either side with 2x6 spanning would not hold much water before it collapses...especially in a "damp swampy" area where the posts will have little ground support after being set. You would need to almost survey the area to get an idea of how much water will be held back at X height of the dam and realize that water exerts tremendous pressure on a dam even with a shallow area being flooded. You have to consider the volume of the entire area being dammed up and it doesn't take too large of an area to hold thousands upon thousands of gallons tht exert tons of pressure.

To do even a small dam of this type you would need fairly large timbers set very deep into the ground (if not driven to total resistance) and something more substantial than 2x6 as the face of the dam. Just look at a beaver dam ato see the amount of hard packed mud along with large logs as a base and you'll realize just how substantial of a structure is required to hold water back.
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Re: building a dam

Postby Dmak41 » Tue Mar 08, 2016 9:51 pm

It's been three years and I'm thinking of trying this dam type myself. I found the picture I'll either link or attach here but I'm thinking the backside would have to be back-filled for support. Sort of a half dam. But this would allow for hand construction and packing of fill.

I was wondering what you did and how it worked out. Pictures?

I found this info.: (scroll to bottom of page for two good 'ol fashion ideas)
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Re: building a dam

Postby dakotashooter2 » Thu Mar 10, 2016 11:00 am

Import 2 beavers and a section of culvert........
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Re: building a dam

Postby QuackerSmacker498 » Tue Mar 15, 2016 10:41 pm

Just a thought before you try to build Hoover number 2. Why not move dirt and divert the creek where you want it to go, say a large open field or flood plain. I remember as a kid rebuilding dozens of levee boxes on rice fields, especially when the rains increased or musk rats, beavers, etc made holes in the levees or around the boxes. Not trying to shoot down your ship but it might be much easier and way more cost effective to move dirt with a tractor than to try engineer something that will hold thousands of pounds of weight. I'm sure you could get more info on the most feasible plan from your local college of engineering/agriculture. That would be a great engineering project for a student and they could probably get the equipment for really cheap. Just a thought. They could also help you engineer you dam project as well. Just throwing it out there. Post some pics of your property and the creek. The original post leaves much to be imagined and not much fact for debate.
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