(From the Auckland Evening Star.)
For some years past various methods have been tried, for the successful draining and utilising of the swamp lends at Waikato. By some it was at first contended that the too sudden liberation of the water ruined the land, and they resorted to gradual drainage, cutting the water, channels a foot deep the first year, and deepening them in successive years. That theory was tried by several. Of late years, however, Mr. E. B. Walker had resorted to deep drainage, with the most successful results. His last achievement has been the tapping of an underground lake or creek at a distance of ten feet from the surface. His men were engaged cutting a large main drain in Rotorangi Swamp (better known as Walker’s). A stroke of the pick was followed by a terriflic rush of water, which caused the men to hurry up out of the drain. A pole was obtained and thrust nine feet into the aperture, through which the water flowed and btill continues to flow in torrents, but the bottom could not be felt. This discovery has caused much discussion among proprietors of swamps, and bears out the opinion formed of that part of the swamp near Ohaupo, which the contractor of the railroad tried in vain for so many months to fill in. The opinion was formed that there was a shell or upper crust of the swamp which concealed a huge lake. This crust had been broken, and the earth as fast -as thrown in was absorbed, by the water, and floated away. Another argument held in favor of the notion that a large sheet of water existed beneath the hard surface of the swamp was that the line in winter was more solid, and did not sink or open in huge cracks as it does in summer, the supposition being that the accumulation of water actually supports the ground. Mr, Walker thinks it very probable that various swamps have, been formed by Maoris stopping creeks for the purpose of catching eels. The creeks got. overgrown with vegetation, and the accumulation of debris ultimately spreads a earth.covering over.
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Waikato Phenomenon., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 180, 30 October 1880
Waikato Phenomenon. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 180, 30 October 1880
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