As the dry season approaches in many parts of South Africa, farmers need to ensure that silt is not limiting the volume of water that they can store, says specialist pump rental company Integrated Pump Rental MD Lee Vine.
He notes that the progressive build-up of silt means that dams and ponds in the agriculture sector can steadily lose storage capacity.
“By the time the rainy season comes to an end, it is vital that farms have maximum capacity in their water storage facilities to see them through the dry months. That is why the dams and reservoirs need to be cleaned or de-silted now,” Vine says.
He highlights that cleaning excess silt from dams is sometimes attempted manually, but this solution is not only time consuming, it is very inefficient. Integrated Pump Rental has for many years specialised in removing silt from storage and settlement dams and has developed fit-for-purpose equipment for this task.
This includes the SlurrySucker, which is mounted on a floating barge that is pulled back and forth across a dam. This innovative system has a dewatering pump that feeds surface water down to a dredge-head, agitating the silt using seven bar of pressure through 16 nozzles. A special slurry pump then pumps the agitated material out of the dam.
“Our solution also ensures there is no damage to the clay lining or geomembrane that lines most dams,” Vine says.
To achieve this, Integrated Pump Rental uses hose floats to keep hoses and electrical cables on the water surface, so that they do not drag along the bottom of the dam and onto the lining.
Vine adds that the system is simple enough for customers to use it themselves on a rental basis, while specialised on-site supervision and training can be provided. Integrated Pump Rental can also provide a full turnkey service for optimal efficiency.