Check Dams 

Check Dams 

Check Dams

Check dams are helpful for the following reasons:

  1. They help arrest degradation of stream bed thereby arresting the slope failure;

  2. They reduce the veIocity of stream flow, thereby causing the deposition of the sediment load.

  • Check dams become necessary, where the channel gradients are steep and there is a heavy inflow of sediment from the watershed. They are constructed of local material like earth, rock, timber, etc. These are suitable for small catchment varying in size from 40  to 400 hectares. It is necessary to provide small check dams on the subsidary streams flowing into the main streams besides the check dams in the main stream.

  • Proper consideration should be given to the number and location of check dams required. It is preferable to minimize the height of the check dams. If the stream ha, a very-steep slope, it is desirable to start with a smaller height for the check dams than  may ultimately be necessary.

  • Check dams may generally cost more per unit of storage than the reservoirs they protect. Therefore, it may not always be possible to adopt them as a primary method of sediment control in new reservoirs. However, feasibility of providing check dams at a later date should not be overlooked while planning the protection of-a new reservoir.

Contour Bunding and Trenching

  • These are important methods of controlling soil erosion on the hills and sloping lands, where gradients of cultivated fields or terraces are flatter, say up to 10 percent. By these methods the hill side is split up into small compartments on which the rain is retained and surface run-off is modified with prevention of soil erosion. In addition to contour bunding, side trenching is also provided sometimes.

Gully Plugging

  • This is done by small rock fill dams. These dams will be effective in filling up the gullies with sediment coming from the upstream of the catchment and also prevent further widening of the gully.

Control of sediment deposition

  • The deposition of sediment in a reservoir may be controlled to a certain extent by designing and operating gates or other outlets in the dam in such a manner as to permit selective withdrawals of water having a higher than average sediment content. The suspended sediment content of the water in reservoirs is higher during and just after flood flow. Thus, more the water wasted at such times, the smaller will be the percentage of the total sediment load to settle into permanent deposits. There are generally two methods:

  1. Density currents, and

  2. Waste-water release,
    for controlling the deposition and both will necessarily result in loss of water.