n IMIESA - Resealing Von Bach Dam - dams & water storage

Volume 44 Number 5
  • ISSN : 0257-1978
  • Author
  • Source : IMIESA, Volume 44 Number 5, May 2019, p. 38 - 40
  • Accreditation : Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET)


Von Bach Dam is a concretefaced rockfill dam (CFRD) with a specially designed hydraulic asphaltic seal. Asphaltic-faced rockfill dams are uncommon across Africa, which only houses approximately five similar dams, two of which are in Namibia. Tests on the dam’s old asphaltic seal indicated that the brittle asphalt had to be replaced as soon as possible, and to an elevation as low as possible to optimise the repair effor t. After a three-year drought the dam’s water reached approximately 10% – its lowest level in 20 years. This provided an ideal window of opportunity to rehabilitate the deteriorated asphaltic seal, which forms the watertight membrane of the dam.

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