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Farm reservoirs offer the only means of water supply in many areas where groundwater is either unsuitable or unavailable. In some instances, particularly in areas where the soil tends to be calcareous, there is excessive seepage from these earthen impoundments. Many methods of seepage control have been suggested. They include the use of lining materials such as concrete, polymer films and butyl rubber. Apart from certain problems associated with each of the seepage control materials, they are generally considered to be too expensive. Other methods that may be advantageous economically, but are not as well publicized, include the use of chemical reagents and organic matter liners. The chemical characteristics of the soil often influence its permeability. High concentrations of calcium cause clay particles to aggregate and to form a porous water-stable structure with high permeability. This undesirable property can be rectified by replacing the calcium with low concentrations of sodium. Sodium ions will disperse aggregates and thereby reduce the soil permeability. Reginato et al. (1968) described a method of using Na2C03 to reduce seepage loss and gave the following equation for determining the amount of chemical required based on the cation exchange capacity (CEC) of the soil:
seepage control in excavated earthen reservoirs
Nicholaichuk, W. 1978. SEEPAGE CONTROL IN EXCAVATED EARTHEN RESERVOIRS. Canadian Agricultural Engineering 20(2):97-102.
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