Monday, March 1, 2010

Gamone spring

[This article, intended for a small subset of my readers, concerns a technical problem at Gamone.]

In my article of 23 October 2009 entitled Waiting for water [display], I described the overflow pipe I had attached to my spring, up above the house at Gamone. As I said, I would have to wait until there was a sufficient quantity of water in the pool before knowing whether or not the installation was totally successful.

Well, a week or so ago, after all the snow on the slopes above Gamone had finally melted, I was able to get a clear picture of the situation. Water has continued to flow nonstop through the overflow hole:

And it emerges from the red tube as a strong and steady stream:

However, an equally strong and steady stream flows along the U-shaped steel gutter that crosses the road:

Clearly, the diameter of the overflow hole is not nearly large enough to empty out all the water that is backed up in the pool, seen here:

The following photo shows both the surface of the pool and the start of the red tube that takes water away from the overflow hole:

The pool and the red tube are separated by a dam wall, a meter high, made out of thick limestone blocks. The rectangular steel lid can be lifted to provide access to the overflow pipe. As you can gather from these two views of the pool, a huge mass of water needs to be evacuated. And some of this water is seeping out over the upper edges of the pool and giving rise to the stream that crosses the road.

Solution? Next summer, when the pool is once again almost dry, I'll have to widen considerably the diameter of the overflow hole in the limestone wall, so that a greater volume of water flows into the red tube. To do this, I'll need to rent a powerful electric jackhammer of the following kind:

Since the drilling will be horizontal, I'll need to rig up some kind of overhead support with a chain capable of bearing the weight of the jackhammer. I can sense already that this is going to be a heavyweight task, but it's the only way of solving the problem.

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