The paddock wrapped around the dam has suffered from months of saturation – to the point where about half a hectare has been unusable. It sits in the path of the dam spillway and the record wet of 2011 left the dam overflowing all year.
Now, there’s a way to avoid this. A small manual diaphragm pump sits on the dam wall and allows us to siphon water over the edge through the natural waterway that runs through the heart of the farm.
It hasn’t been used for years but I have memories of my thin elderly father getting it going very easily. When Wayne and I had a go last autumn though, the thing just flipped up and down so ridiculously easily we knew it wasn’t sucking properly. A quick investigation revealed a perished rubber diaphragm, which we had replaced. Then the PVC pipe through the dam wall turned out to be broken. Fixed that. Ready, set, still no go. It was so hard to pump that Wayne turned beetroot red with the effort and finally, the cast lever arm snapped in the willing arms of Rob the plumber.
Turns out the diaphragm was upside down and now even Zoe can work it.
And the stupidity? If this whole litany of mini-disasters wasn’t enough, I was soooo excited to get it going today that I forgot I was flooding tonight’s paddock and had to stop it again a mere 45 minutes after doing a victory dance. Ah well. As @Sam_Grains would say, “Keep calm, farm on”.