Cement dams for residential and domestic water storage

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Although the seamless concrete reservoir or cement dam as we all know it, is widely used by farmers for agriculture, irrigation, drinking water for livestock and slurry tanks – one tends to oversee the cement dam’s domestic and residential applications for everyday household activities.

Why would you in the first place consider a cement dam for your house, plot or farm to use as a water supply for your household activities?

For many South Africans today sufficient quantities of water are difficult to obtain. We are all well aware of the water shortage crisis we are experiencing due to drought from current affairs and news coverage. The most common way of dealing with this problem is to install a water storage tank or cement dam to collect water. Constant water disruptions, waking up in the morning to get ready for school and work and there’s no water to bath or cook dinner at night, is a big frustration. Water supply is not guaranteed. Municipalities are constantly trying to upgrade water infastructure, new complexes are rising and water pressure in your house keeps on dropping. The cost of water is rising yet there is less for all the masses of people that need it.

Installing an emergency water back-up supply will assist when there is a water disruption in your neighbourhood. Most commonly and the easiest way to do this is to catch rain water.

The cement dam as a rainwater harvesting tank.
Rainwater tanks are installed to make use of rainwater for later and to reduce ones reliance on municipal supply. Without these tanks, water is lost and goes down drainage systems or is soaked up into the ground and wasted in the end.

The water in a raindrop is one of the cleanest sources of water available. Although rainwater can absorb gases and other microscopic particulates as it falls through the sky, rainwater is almost 100% pure before it reaches the ground. Stored rainwater may be used for watering flower and vegetable gardens, flushing toilets, for washing machines, both laundry and dishwashing, washing cars, and also for drinking.

When other water supplies are unavailable, expensive, or of poor quality, adequate care can be taken that the rainwater is not contaminated and adequately filtered to drink.

Save Time and Money
The cement dam is a great way to utilize water around the house but also to save time when going about various chores. It is efficient but also robust and can withstand various weather elements at play in South Africa. These systems are low maintenance and will most propably still be sturdy after you have ‘overstayed your welcome’. It is definitely a money saver and investment if you compare it to the price of buying water.

The construction process of a cement dam
To ensure that your cement dam will provide you with safe drinking water, Aquadam complies with various standards that are used in the construction of their cement dam for rainwater harvesting and potable water. Aquadam’s cement dam is branded under the ‘Gunite Dam’ and has been a true cultivator in the development of the construction process for the most durable product on the market.

When building a cement dam, the correct mixture of stone, sand and cement must be used for the dam to last a lifetime. Aquadam’s Gunite Dam is designed according to stringent British Standards, engineer specifications and South Africa’s extreme weather conditions.

The dam’s floor should be a thick foundation reinforced with steel and built with high strength cement. In a circular dam the water causes horizontal pressure on the walls, therefore the walls should also be reinforced with L-bars, splice-bars and high-tensile hoop bars to counter excessive movement and to strengthen the structure even further. Cement or concrete is shot through a hose and pneumatically projected at high velocity onto the surface to create a concrete layer of between 100mm and 150mm in thickness. The cement must be allowed sufficient time to harden before filling it with water. This process results in good waterproofing qualities due to high cement contents and compaction.

If you would like more information on the building of a cement dam for domestic use for your home, contact our sales agent at 086 100 1010.

Or visit the Aquadam website for more information at www.aquadam.co.za.

Written by: Marné Visagie
Aquadam Pty. Ltd.

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