New Water Development at OMYA Mine, Part 2
On December 6, 2012 SCBS volunteers graded dirt and installed the first segment of a Hypalon rainmat. The tanks had been installed and partially buried in September. This is the first field installation of the new custom designed SCBS Rain Catcher tanks. Jeff Crouse and Jenny Hinojosa had been hauling water during the summer months as the nearby Brown Tank development had only one tank and runs dry frequently. This system gets considerable use by bighorn as it is one of only two reliable water sources in the South Bristol Mountains. On Friday, we finished burying the tanks and graded for the rainmat. Very coarse grading had already been done by the mine operators but with their giant skip loader they did not have the necessary finesse and left a big task for SCBS volunteers. Due to the elevation of the tanks and the surrounding area, much fill was required to bring the rainmat surface to the proper grade. Neil Ringlee generously donated the use of his Yanmar tractor and the several others of the crew were busy with hand tools.
The remaining half dozen volunteers were occupied with filling the DFG 1-ton stakebed truck with calcium carbonate fines from the lower elevation of the mine and hauling it up to the work site. Each trip the truck bed was ringed with filled sandbags. Much shoveling and raking ensued.
We finished for the day and Bob Burke cooked his specialty, “Low Country Boil.” If you haven’t had this you are really missing out. Bob spent many years in Georgia perfecting his recipe and it’s actually quite interesting to see him throw everything into the pot in order so that everything is done at the same time. Potatoes, carrots, corn on the cob, sausage, shrimp, special spices, beer broth and probably some other items that I missed were included. When it’s ready he pours it out on a table lined with butcher paper and everybody digs in.
Breakfast was no frills stick-to-your-ribs biscuits and gravy by Gary Thomas and was gobbled up quickly. We quickly moved back up the hill to the work site and resumed with the grading, raking and sandbag filling. Approximately 8 truckloads of fine material were used, all loaded by hand. At the end of the second day, the rainmat surface had been completely graded, lined with sandbags (nearly 250!) and the first segment (30x50 feet) of the rainmat was installed and weighted down with rocks. I think it is safe to say that everyone was used up by the end of the day. We will return again in the future with more Hypalon to finish the project. We will need your strong backs to move rocks when the time comes so be looking out for the work project annoucement.