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Addo: Darlington Dam

Addo, Camdeboo, Karoo, Mountain Zebra
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun May 08, 2011 6:32 am

Re: Darlington Dam

Unread post by ibhayirob » Wed May 18, 2011 10:45 am


thanx for the info

sounds like miles of country roads to explore

although my map shows the waterford turn off on the r 400 being about thirty km from the dam while the other side to the n 10 being about 80

isnt the r 75 then the shortest route from pe

and does anyone know the story behind waterford

was it ever a real village with people

when did everyone leave

my map shows it being pretty close to that end of the dam

maybe they saw what happenned to darlington

what does happen as the dam fills up

does the water then flood waterford

a facinating spot

i wonder what happened in the 1960 and 1980 floods

must have been interesting



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Addo Elephant
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Joined: Wed Nov 24, 2004 4:15 pm

Re: Darlington Dam

Unread post by Addo Elephant » Fri May 27, 2011 9:39 am

hi rob,
There are definitely still people living in the town of Waterford.
The dam never gets to 100% full or to overflowing stage because the flood sluices are open permanently so water starts flowing out into the Sundays River before the dam even gets to 50% full.
Water levels are monitored by the Sundays River Irrigation Board and fed through to the Department of Water Affairs, who regulates the water level in the dam.

This is the little bit of history about Darlington Dam that I know of:
1917 – decision made by Parliament to build a storage dam to irrigate the Sundays River Valley mainly to support the citrus farmers. This decision was mainly due to the efforts of Sir Percy Fitzpatrick and the Cape Sundays River Settlements Company (formed 1914).

The dam was named Lake Mentz in honour of Colonel Mentz, the Minister of Lands.
Construction started in 1918. Dwyka conglomerate was used for the interior of the structure and concrete made from quartzitic stone for the outside. This was sourced from a number of quarries served by a narrow gauge railway operated by a steam locomotive. This Wren locomotive named “Little Bess” was abandoned on site after construction finished and later restored by the Railway Enthusiasts’ Society.

The labour force at the peak of construction was about 480 people. In October 1918, an influenza epidemic killed more than 20 of the labourers.
The dam wall was completed in 1921 and the dam was officially opened in 1923. It was only filled to capacity for the first time in 1928 as a result of the drought.
Megan Taplin
Communications Manager: Frontier Region

Posts: 3
Joined: Sun May 08, 2011 6:32 am

Re: Darlington Dam

Unread post by ibhayirob » Mon May 30, 2011 9:21 am

Thanks megan

i made it to the water yesterday

adding three hundred km to my trusty half mil on rhe clock golf three

with only one close call due to minimal signage at a very remote dam wall

but it is an inspirimg bit of east cape landscape

hope you got time for my pm megan


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