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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone tried this. The property that I am looking at has a spring fed stream, that I thought about building a little dam on to fill a stocked pond. Then I got to thinking about maybe adding a little generator to the dam, doesn't have to generate a butt load, just a steady current to charge the batteries. Sounds like a good plan to me, what are your thoughts? I am thinking of the dam to fill up the pond, then an over flow area that would turn the generators. Basically putting a huge U in the flow of the stream that will eventually go over a small waterfall turning a generator.
 

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i know very little about this but i did see one in action,

the water feed was taken from low down in the dam it was then increased in preasure by reducing and reducing the feed pipe diametre and also letting gravity help by having the generator lower down hill, it seemd very simple and very effective,

i know i'm jealous
 

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All kinds of DIY stuff on youtube about how to make homemade hydo electric this and thats. Fun to play with when you get into it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It was my understanding that it may be difficult to get the proper permits for the dam.
we are talking small scale, and I am not planning on asking for permission....In reality, it won't hamper anything accept for a few months of filling the pond, which it isn't hard to get a permit for that.
 

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Just ask Lance Armstrong about building a dam across a creek.

Cycling star gets stuck in muck - Lance Armstrong ruins swimming hole but "Cares about the planet"
Houston Chronicle ^ | October 6, 2006 | LISA FALKENBERG

Posted on Friday, October 06, 2006 3:29:37 AM by Cincinatus' Wife

DEAD MAN'S HOLE — When Lance Armstrong, the famous cancer-slayer and Tour de France champion, bought a 200-acre ranch in the Texas Hill Country several years ago, his neighbors didn't expect any trouble.

Despite his fame, they figured they had something in common with the star cyclist, who was drawn to this countryside about 40 miles west of Austin for the same reasons they all were: the breathtaking landscape, the privacy of the hills and, above all, a shimmering emerald pool hidden deep in the embrace of a fern-draped limestone grotto.

Armstrong was so taken with the pool, called Dead Man's Hole, that he began his 2003 book, Every Second Counts, with descriptions of it. He writes that jumping off the 45-foot waterfall into the pool was his "own personal way of checking for vital signs" after cancer, and that facing the fear of the jump was a cleansing, clarifying experience.

But there's nothing clear about Dead Man's Hole now. Three years later, the water has turned from glassy green to pea soup and Armstrong is in hot water with his neighbors, who blame his dam-building project for causing a mess that he has yet to clean up.

"Lance is a spokesman for Don't Mess With Texas," said 52-year-old landowner John Davis, referring to the state's celebrity-studded anti-litter campaign. "He's lent his name to this great cause and then, when it comes to cleaning up his own mess, he won't do it."

Not so, said Armstrong, who maintained he's doing whatever it takes to restore clarity to the creek that he "loves as much, if not more than, anybody else."

"To say that we're not making progress and that we're just stalling is completely and patently false," he said. "I'm really sorry they're upset, but I've done everything I can do and I'm going to continue to ultimately fix it," said Armstrong, who refers to his neighbors as "busybodies with not a lot to do."

He said his attorney, Jerry Webberman, has been meeting with consultants, trying to determine a cleanup method that's best for the environment, a process that takes time.

"It's just not one of those types of problems that has an easy fix or at least not one that's real quick and obvious," Webberman said.

Problem began with dam

Meanwhile, several of the dozen landowners who have access to the pool have refused to swim there and blame Armstrong for robbing them of two summers in the pristine waters they have jealously guarded for years.

The water has cleared some, but the sediment has begun feeding an algae problem, according to experts, and a slimy muck still lines the bottom of a pool that was once clear enough for snorkeling.

The trouble started about a year and a half ago, when Armstrong hired a contractor to dam a stretch of Dead Man's Creek that runs through his property. He planned a recreational pond and watering hole for animals.

But the construction sent sediment rushing into the pool and sent neighbors over the edge, demanding that Armstrong scrap the project and clean up the mess.

Armstrong said he regrets ever starting the project and has spent half a million dollars attempting to restore the creek bed. He said he was unaware that he needed permits to build the dam and abandoned construction immediately when he found out. Neighbors dispute that, saying construction carried on a bit longer.

"We started the project under bad advice. My bad," Armstrong said. "I've proven that I care about the hole. If it's financial or environmental, I'll do whatever it takes to fix what was unfortunately started."

His attorney worked with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to resolve two violations : failure to obtain a proper permit and unauthorized discharge of sediment into state water.

"The matter is resolved as far as we're concerned," TCEQ spokeswoman Andrea Morrow said this week.

She said Armstrong wasn't fined because he took quick corrective action. And she said TCEQ officials have determined that removing the sediment manually, by flushing it downstream in large quantities, could be more dangerous to the environment than allowing it to flow out naturally in a big rain.

But landowners say no one ever suggested the muck should be flushed downstream. Instead, they say, they've researched the matter and come up with a solution that basically amounts to sending scuba divers with vacuums to the bottom of the hole.

The muck would be sucked through a filtering system that would return clean water to the creek, a process that would likely take two weeks and cost $50,000 to $60,000, said Jerry Hill, a 51-year-old woodworker who has lived near the pool for nearly 25 years.

Landowners also point to a study by a city of Austin expert who concluded the best option for combating the algae and restoring clarity is to remove the offending sediment. The report said it could take a 10-year flood to wash it out naturally.

Considering current drought conditions, Hill and other landowners say they don't want to wait that long.

"We've seen half a dozen of those rains in 25 years," said Hill, who stood with his wife, Kathy, examining the milky green water one afternoon this week.

'It's just so aggravating'

Hill said landowners have reached out to Armstrong and tried to solve the problem in a neighborly way, but they have largely been referred to his attorney, who doesn't appear in a hurry to find a solution.

"It's just so aggravating because it's so obvious what's the right thing for a decent person to do," Hill said.

"Well, some people just think they're above it all," his wife said.

Landowners say Armstrong's celebrity status may be contributing to the delay in reaching a solution.

"His lawyer said, 'Oh, everybody just wants to touch Lance,' and it's like, no, we just don't want him to touch us anymore," Kathy Hill said. Webberman denied making the comment.

Landowners said their famous neighbor has stopped returning calls and declined invitations to meet with them, instead sending representatives. And he didn't sign a cleanup agreement proposed in August by 11 landowners.

"If you're going to be downstream from somebody, don't be downstream from somebody famous," Davis said.

Armstrong acknowledges he's busy, especially with his nonprofit foundation that assists cancer patients around the world. He said the ranch is only one of his homes (he also has a house in Austin), and when he's out there he'd rather spend time with his kids than neighbors who are anything but neighborly.

A few landowners have yelled at him, sent him nasty notes, frequently trespassed on his property and one even gave him a bottle of Arrogant Bastard Ale, Armstrong said.

"These people are incredible. I've never seen anything like it. And then they wonder why I don't come and hang out with them," he said.

Still, he has no intentions of selling the ranch. He recently expanded his property to 450 acres and said he plans to do conservation easements on both tracts.

"I'm a guy who drives a hybrid (car)," the cyclist said. "I care about the planet, period."
 

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we are talking small scale, and I am not planning on asking for permission....In reality, it won't hamper anything accept for a few months of filling the pond, which it isn't hard to get a permit for that.
Not to be a stick in the mud, but you might want to be careful with that. If the stream crosses.anyone else's property they may have some water rights to fight you for, or at least be annoyed enough to report you and cause problems. I've dealt with it twice and once it was nothing but a small watershed stream we dammed up to build a pond. That fight was with the army corps of engineers. The other was over a small regulation dam I built on a year round creek that ran through my property. It was only a small dam that was built to make a 3-4' deep hole of water a minimum 6' of water year round. I wanted to have a little deeper hole of water to hold fish and for my boys to swim. Someone down stream complained that it took more rain and waterflow to keep their water running. I tore it out and still haven't rebuilt it. I now have to get a permit and I've been told add a low water flow pipe. That way there is water flow down stream even when there isn't enough water to flow over the little reg dam.

Good luck and be careful.
 

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Yeah that would tick me off if someone screwed up my water.
Yeah, I didn't think it would really have an impact when I did it. There are two little dams above me a few miles up and I never have a shortage of water. So I theorized it would cause no problems down stream.

I have a good relationship with my neighbors and I want to keep it that way.
 

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Without building a dam, you can build a floating platform with an undershot wheel. Imagine a waterwheel on top of a raft where the water turns it as it passes underneath. The raft is cabled to the shore so it raises and lowers with the water level. The generator stays high and dry on top.
 

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Check your local regs, pretty much anything you do that disrupts the flow of that stream can land you in hot water (pun intended) with anyone downstream.

Call your local county extension office & find out what the laws are regarding water rights in your area. But I wouldn't mention the hydroelectric bit ;) just ask them what you need to build a dam.
 

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I have done some research on this topic, as we were looking for land with good yr round creek to run a micro hydro set up.
micro hydro is cheaper than solar, and runs all day and night...even when the sun isnt shining.
you do have to replace the bearings on the generator every year or two though, so more maintenance than solar...

if you have a decent size creek, you can just divert part of it to a concrete or plastic holding tank with a pipe coming out the other side, down low..this pipe carries the water down to your pump house...need some good drop or head to get the water up to speed, then it goes to a generator with peleton wheel...usually goes through two to four venturie nozzles to speed up the water just before it hits the wheel.


then, after generating the power, the water is then rediverted back to the stream somewhere down stream.

this way your neighbors dont see too much of a disruption of flow...it almost seems like nothing has changed to those downstream.

if you have enough flow and head, you can generate a lot of power.

most of the cost is in the pvc, or penstock, generator, and then you have the regular charge controller/electronics you would have with solar or wind, etc..but still cheaper than solar.
 

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I posted about this last month and didn't get much response. I had thought about making one from a video http://www.otherpower.com/scotthydro1.html

I saw and entering it into the SB forums contest. The only problem is I don't think I could do it single handed. I had the water supply, and the motors along with some Neo-D magnets. I just don't have the metal and welder and materials to do the rest.
 

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I have done some research on this topic, as we were looking for land with good yr round creek to run a micro hydro set up.
micro hydro is cheaper than solar, and runs all day and night...even when the sun isnt shining.
you do have to replace the bearings on the generator every year or two though, so more maintenance than solar...

if you have a decent size creek, you can just divert part of it to a concrete or plastic holding tank with a pipe coming out the other side, down low..this pipe carries the water down to your pump house...need some good drop or head to get the water up to speed, then it goes to a generator with peleton wheel...usually goes through two to four venturie nozzles to speed up the water just before it hits the wheel.


then, after generating the power, the water is then rediverted back to the stream somewhere down stream.

this way your neighbors dont see too much of a disruption of flow...it almost seems like nothing has changed to those downstream.

if you have enough flow and head, you can generate a lot of power.

most of the cost is in the pvc, or penstock, generator, and then you have the regular charge controller/electronics you would have with solar or wind, etc..but still cheaper than solar.
Here is your answer
 

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How about a Water Wheel instead of a Dam? Like an old Mill.
 

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How about a Water Wheel instead of a Dam? Like an old Mill.
from what I have read, to generate any kind of decent amount of electricity, you need higher rpm's than what a water wheel would produce.

a water wheel could be used to turn a driveshaft that is maybe connected to something mechanical, but not so much for electricity generation
 
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