Friday, 2 December 2016

More adventures on the Irrigaton Line. !

The water was clean this morning so we opened the sluice gate.

The water was not getting through so Errol took the cork out. !

This is the point for releasing air from a sixty meter long tube.

We have water at the next rodding point.

We have an extension pipe for this pipe, reducing the flow into three small holes. This level of overflow shows a strong flow in the line and a probable blockage in the pipe further down. !

So - to the rods and we checked the next fifty seven meters of pipe and the pipe was clean and clear.

The water is not filling the tank, so, tomorrow we look for the hole in the tank. ! The flow down the line is super strong, so I think we will be able to sort this fairly quickly. YESSO to the rescue. !

Next instalment tomorrow.!

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Maintaining our Internet Node

We needed to change the battery as it has been cloudy for about a week. Thanks Marina and Mirko - good work.
 It's heavy. About 60 kilos. !

Lucas at work clearing infected Agave and a good lunch.

The black beetle plaque killing the Agave is very intense with at least 80% of Agaves in the valley infected. Once infected the beetle lays one egg every day for 60 days as well as excreting a putrefying substance which eats the Agave from the inside. 

 Good work - Good lunch !


We have had 34.2 mm of rain in the last three days, so, this morning I lowered the "sluice gate" to close the Irrigation Line. It works well. ! The water goes round the corner directly to the river.
This is the small waterfall at the top of the river.
The river is flowing and the land is becoming green.

Saturday, 5 November 2016

Flood Defense on the Irrigation Line

Today we finished work on our new flood gate.This will divert the water of the Irrigation Line down to the river in times of flooding. This will protect the majority of the line from flood damage.

I am looking for the best line down.
 OK Looking good.

 Into action

 The placing of the wheels.

 Drilling. Lucas and Errol.

 Flattening and sealing the base of the gate. I am the Yesso man. Errol is making the mix and Victor is taking the photos.
Some fine tuning to get the correct flow into the tunnels. Yesso sets hard underwater. It is an amazing building material.

 Looking good.
So there we are - an installed flood gate - the first on the line for at least four decades. Pray for rain.

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

More adventures on the Irrigation Line

On Monday the water stopped flowing, so, into action. !

This pipe was blocked with roots and maybe a turtle. !
 Here you can see the lack of water. !
 No flow and Blondina is taking a look. !
 Good level, so the block, or leak, is a bit further downstream.
 Ahaa - Errol and Lucas caught some roots and produced more flow.
 More rodding. !
 Barbara and Andreas have found a hole in the wall. This was loosing us a lot of water and the levels came up quickly when it was "plugged".
 Errol and Lucas working on the first pipe.
This is me checking the hole behind the plastic. The plastic is a bit past it's sell by date. Tony is shining the torch to pin point the place.

This is where we have an air valve - a cork in the pipe.
 Here is Rory looking at the magic plug. !
It was a successful mission and by Tuesday night the Ram Pump was working again and we had full flow of water.

We successfully cleared a blockage , filled a hole, and vented an air lock. Good team work, good morale and an excellent result. !

Thursday, 27 October 2016

The Agave Menace - a "wipe out" situation.

Today we started to remove infected and dead agave. The infection is the infection of a small beetle which bores it's way into the Agave roots, lays eggs, and then, boom, masses of hungry larvae.

Lucas and Viktor are starting to fill the "skip". You can see the eaten trunk - no white flesh - all putrid and dead flesh.

In these two pictures you can see how the larvae have eaten from the root base out into the leaves. This results in total destruction and death in 12 months to 18 months.

 Viktor clearing the "debris".
 In the "skip".
The white part is the healthy part of the Agave. The brown part is a soft mushy purification caused by hundreds of these larvae eating and defecating.
It seems as though infection is extremely heavy, This  wipe out is underway, though it is still largely invisible. 

Viktor has created a mixture which is toxic to the larvae - a mixture of garlic, cayenne pepper, tobacco and vinegar. We will protect what we can.

We are taking action before we are faced by masses of cactae in various stages of death and putrification.

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Ram Pump repair

The "seal" is the most important part of the pump - it produces the "ram" part of the Ram Pump, blasting the water into the compression chamber - the longish tube. !

This is a picture of Andreas cutting a seal from old conveyor belt material. Note bleeding fingers. ! This is really solid material.

 The old seal - trashed. !
New seal fitted - it looks "rough" and that's no problem. The material is excellent for the job. Note: more blood. !
 Screwing down.
 And yes, she's fine - pumping at 4 atmospheres, 4 bar.