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Concrete dams – sustaining rural life

Online since 3.11.2015 • Filed under Advertorial • From Issue 16 page(s) 141
Concrete dams – sustaining rural life

The devastating drought in many parts of South Africa has increased awareness about the need for effective water storage, particularly in rural areas. However, according to The Concrete Institute, concrete dams can sustain life in rural areas.

‘It is important that more rural local authorities realise that even relatively small, strategically placed, concrete water reservoirs can play a vital role in sustaining struggling rural communities,’ says Bryan Perrie, managing director of The Concrete Institute. Perrie points out that local authorities should follow the example of hundreds of South African farmers and smallholding owners who, for nearly three decades, have referred to The Concrete Institute’s most popular and durable publication, FARM RESERVOIRS, to build dams on their properties. ‘The Concrete Institute is prepared to provide supplementary advice to any local authority planning to build farm reservoirs to serve people living in isolated areas without, or with limited or drought-disrupted, municipal services,’ he adds. First published in 1984 and revised three years ago, FARM RESERVOIRS is a manual that deals with the use of concrete for water-retaining structures for irrigation, watering stock, farm dams, swimming pools, and household use. ‘There has been tremendously positive feedback regarding this publication since it was launched by The Concrete Institute’s predecessor, The Cement & Concrete Institute, so many years ago. The manual has been widely used as a reference book by farmers and owners of smallholdings in urban areas,’ Perrie states. The 52-page, A4 publication deals with the construction of circular reservoirs with reinforced concrete walls, as well as those with walls of fired clay bricks, concrete masonry, and corrugated galvanised steel. Guidelines for reservoirs built with travelling moulds are included. Rectangular reservoirs and swimming pools, elliptical swimming pools, and drinking troughs are the topics of other chapters, while data for estimating the quantities of materials required is also provided. ‘The manual has enabled owners of farm dams to build a structure that will be serviceable for many years with the ability of retaining considerable water pressures when full. Concrete farm reservoirs are also a familiar sight in most of South Africa’s major national parks, sustaining wild life in these game reserves during the frequent droughts that strike many of these sanctuaries,’ Perrie adds.

About The Concrete Institute

The purpose and objectives of The Concrete Institute are to provide key services and functions to the construction industry and to promote and protect the good name of cement and concrete. The Institute offers free advisory and consulting services for general concrete technology queries. A consultancy service focused on concrete and related issues is offered, including on-site investigation, trouble shooting and reporting. A technical team is available for consultation on construction sites anywhere in southern Africa, and to provide more information about concrete.

The Concrete Institute, Midrand

Bryan Perrie

T +27 11 315 0300


Issue 16

Issue 16

November 2015

This article was featured on page 141 of
To Build Magazine Issue 16.

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