Dam Construction

Waterberg Earthworks specializes in the construction, repair and maintenance of earth dams on game and irrigation farms. The design of earth dams vary quite significantly according to the application and the characteristics of the area.

We do a detailed survey of the proposed site and design the most cost effective wall position, spillway and features like islands according to your water volume needs. We analyze the soil before we start on a project to ensure that the quality of the material is suitable for dam building. For both ecological and economical reasons, materials naturally available on site are utilized as far as possible for the construction of earth dams. With our innovative designs, expertise and efficient equipment  we are able to build a watertight and proper dam. When planning a new earth dam you have to keep in mind to get approval from government.

We will assist in any Water and Environmental Affairs applications and permits. For more info visit

Dam Sealing

Failure to hold water is the most common problem with earth dams. The earth dams that do leak were not planned and build properly and sometimes it is hard to pinpoint the exact cause of the problem.

Common causes of dam leakage are the work of a contractor unfamiliar with earth dam construction, failure to remove topsoil and vegetation at the embankment site, use of an unsuitable soil type in the dam wall, failure to construct a cutoff trench, poor soil compaction, failure to back fill exposed rock, gravel or sand in the storage basin and poor maintenance of the dam.

The method used to repair the dam is often determined by the cost of the repairs in relation to the short or long term benefits.

The methods that we use to seal earth dams include:

Clay lining with available local material.

If suitable clay can be found on or near your property then clay lining may be a cost-effective way of sealing your dam. There are several ways to use clay lining to seal a dam depending on the nature of the seepage problem. The cost of clay lining depends on many factors including the transport cost of the clay, the amount of clay to be moved, the cost of emptying the dam and access to the site.


Bentonite is a naturally occurring clay which is commercially mined. In dam building it is useful because, when it is wet, it swells to many times its dry volume. We use bentonite in several ways depending on the soil type on site and whether it is practical to empty the dam. The area to be treated is first cleared of loose rocks and vegetation, and then it is rotavated. After the bentonite is spread over the area it is mixed with the existing soil by rotavating and then compacting with a roller. The bentonite is then covered by a layer of site soil to prevent cracks developing in the bentonite blanked as it dries out. The product that we use is locally manufactured and is environmental friendly. After a dam is treated with bentonite the water is save for animals to drink.

Commercial liners

There are a few types of commercial liners available to seal leaking dams. They are all flexible membranes but offer different levels of strength, durability and resistance to UV breakdown. The soil on which the liner rests must be well compacted, offer an even grade, have no vegetation and be free from protrusions like stone and branches which would damage the liner.

Building of Airstrips

Waterberg Eartworks has considerable experience in construction and maintenance of airstrips on game farms.  When planning a landing strip there are some factors to keep in mind.

1. Site selection

The first step in constructing an airstrip is to determine where to locate it. Chances are that your choice of a site for the airstrip is limited to one or two of the more suitable areas on your property. Undoubtedly, the thought has occurred to you how convenient, useful and practical it would be if you could fly to and from your property, land there, or even operate from your residence on the property.

Although convenience is an important factor, it should not dictate that the landing strip chosen be located close to the dwelling area.

It may often be possible to select a suitable ridge or plateau which although more removed from such buildings, would still provide the desired convenience, especially if it where possible to taxi the airplane up to the dwellings. Certainly, access to a road or highway would increase the usefulness and convenience of the airstrip.

The terrain in the selected area obviously must be sufficiently flat and large enough to accommodate the physical layout of the landing strip and perhaps a small building area without too much  grading and other constructions.  The land selected should have natural drainage to ensure freedom from standing water or muddy soft spots.

Gentle slopes are permissible.

The more level the ground, except in areas having insufficient drainage, the less will be the cost of the construction. Where a less favourable close-in area is being considered,  the additional cost of construction must be weighed against the convenience of access to the buildings.

2. Soil characteristics

Stability of the soil is important, especially during inclement weather.

In general, the more sandy the soil, commensurate with it’s ability to produce turf, the more stable will be the landing strip. Clay soils absorb excessive moisture during wet weather and tend to become quagmires of instability. A stable soil may reduce the need for heavy grading.

On sandy soils with good drainage, where there is well established turf, it is possible to operate in all types of weather as the soil, even when containing a high degree of moisture, will support the weight of an aircraft.

With heavy clay soils, on the other hand, it is necessary to provide steeper lateral slopes by grading and other means for more rapid runoff and for diverting off site drainage.

3. Tipe of covering

Seeding and fertilizing

After grading preparations of the new strip have been completed, turfing is advisable to prevent erosion and dust.  Due to the wide variation in soils and climate conditions, it is impossible to list here the type of seed and fertilizer to be used on each site.  The grass selected, however, should be of a type which will produce a deep root system and form a good top mat.


When planning a gravel or soil airstrip it is important to stabilize the material to combat erosion and dust pollution.  There are several products available on the marked to use in the construction process

Paving, concrete or tar

Paving, concrete or tar surfaces is the ultimate covering of a airstrip.  The methods are a bit more expensive but definitely a saving on the long run.

4. Wind indicators and airport identifiers

Airports and airstrips which do not have pavements are extremely difficult to identify from the air,  particularly by anyone who has never seen the airport before.  Boundary markers are important as they serve to identify the landing strip from several miles away.

5. Lighting

The practice of using single engine aircraft at night is becoming widespread, and the installation of lightning fixtures will increase  the usability of the airport.  There is a number of inexpensive low intensity lighting fixtures on the market, any of which would serve very well.

6. Hangar and aircraft parking area

There is often no need to have an area laid out for hangars or for the parking of aircraft’s for the owners use.  In most cases the owner’s aircraft is taxied for hangaring to one of the several buildings used in farming and ranching. Some designation of such areas should be made, however, if guests or visitors may have occasion to use the airport.  The best reason for parking aircraft away from the landing area is that in the event a pilot loses control of his aircraft, no parked aircraft adjacent to the landing area would be in jeopardy.

It is advisable that your aircraft be stored  under a roof to protect it from sun, hail, and severe winds.  Most aircraft users provide such shelter for their valuable equipment.

Waterberg Earthworks can construct any type of structure to your specific needs.

7. Giving notice to the CAA

Any person proposing to establish , alter or deactivate a landing strip is required to give prior notice to the Civil Aviation Authority.

You can obtain all the information by visiting

Road Construction

Waterberg earthworks has extensive experience in all aspects of rural and urban road construction.

This includes access to townships, low cost gravel, game farm, paved and mountain roads.

Bridges and Crossings

Waterberg Earthworks  will be able to construct and design any type of bridge or crossing on farms and estates.

River crossings from any size can be build  according to your specific needs and budget.The rate of the flow of the river  will play a big part in the time, design and cost of construction.

Kloof crossings are normally build where access through mountain areas are required.

Plant Hire

Waterberg Earthworks offers a comprehensive choice of medium to large sized earthmoving equipment for various applications.

Plant is available to mining, civil constructions and various other earth moving operations at an hourly tariff.

All equipment  will be supplied in a perfect working condition to ensure 100% efficiency.  Operators are well trained and familiar with all types of earth moving work.

Waterberg Earthworks is also known for doing preventative maintenance  on all equipment to ensure truly cost effective  machines as well as on-site mechanical support backet by a fully equipped workshop.


Waterberg Earthworks specialize in the transport of earth moving and other heavy equipment.

Our fleet is capable of transporting any load up to 40 tons.

Smaller trucks are also available for the transporting of machines like tlb’s tractors and rollers.

Waterberg Earthworks provides a 24 hours a day, seven days a week transportation service and ensures that it meets all its obligations by collaborating with its clients to provide an uninterrupted transport system.

Landfill and Compaction

Waterberg Earthworks has been involved in several landfill and compaction projects over the past few years like rehabilitation of solid waste dump sites.

We are able to move and compact large amounts of material with our 80 ton articulated compaction dozer.

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