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THE ALLEGED PERCOLATION FROM WATER RACES.

TO THB JtDITOB.

Sib,— l regret to bob by your ropork the last Ooanty O ( , uno |i meeting that olj MMion* h*ve been raised by ao l **© of the member* to tLo water races, on the around that they are f] ,odlng the swamp lands In certain localities. Now, as I have had more to do with the regalatlDg of the first water races made Id the Ooanty than any other peraon now living, I. trust my experience and observations, Bxteuding over 13 yeaia, will he taken by those intureated In the momentous question of water moos as of aome value. The races I refer to are those wbloh were made by tbo late Mr 0. Reed, of Westerfield, and which were used, Indifferently, over heavy and light noils, and with mffiolont volume to have made themselves felt, If by pe«-oolatlon they could have Injuriously off acted the neighboring {round, which they did not ; and I may itate that from 1878 to 1883 we Irrigated half a dozen paddooka darlDg the summer md autumn moathi every year, Io 1882 n oomplianoe with the wishes of tbe present owner of Westerfield — who w*b than In England — a large addition was nade to the capacity of one of the races, »nd I may say that a third of all the water then m the snath branch of the aahbnrton River was diverted by the aid jf Mr Sutherland over the Westerfield paddocks, from a distance of three miles ibove the homestead The volume of crater sent down by Mr Sutherland may 3a Inferred, when I mention that the first intimation I had of Its arrival was to find he drafting yard fboded, the house I Ived m completely surrounded by water, md a stream pouring m at the frontdoor. The water from this race was used for nonths over rloh olay paddooks, as well is over lighter lands, bat no evil effects yere ever known to result from iti use, )ut a vait deal of good, loasmnoh as it jave abundance of beautiful green feed irhen there was not a blade to be got ilaewhere. In yews afterwards when the jyola of wet seasons set In, every hollow place beoame a spring, and the under mrrenta of water msde all the rloh olay jsddooks more or less bopgy. However, ire will probably tee no mo/c wet seasons 'or some years to come, as the dry oycle las evidently set m, and I venture to predict that before the end of April no nerabor of tbe County Council will have reason to oomplain of an over supply of v»ter qq his estate, When we consider -ho great amount of fall the Plains bgve !rom tbe hills to the sea (from ten to ;weive hundred feet) and the very porous lature of the strata, tbe numerous rivers, jreeks, and sprlogn whloh have their 3oaraes through it, and also the great rainfall we have experienced of late years, ire could ezpeot nothing else than tbat water would rise to the surfaoe In many place's, particularly where undersurrents impringe against deep beds of olay m siramp lands, I can folly endorse Mr Harper's vlewi on the poroolaMon question, ai I have had several times holes made fonr feet daop for gatp posts, within a foot of water raoen, and had means at hand for bailing out tho water, whloh I made sure we would find j but to my astonishment I always found the subnoil as dry as if I had sunk a milo away from the water raoe, for whloh reason, along with others, I oonslder that percolation from the raoes now In cxlstenoe within the oountry is altogether Inadequate to produoo the least appreciable amount of evil m the way complained of. Trusting that others will take advantage of tho oojumns of your valuable paper, and give the pnbjlp the benefit of their views on the Important question of water raoes at an early date, I am, etc., D. Olivbb. Oaelmsford, February 26th, 1689.

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Permanent link to this item

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG18890228.2.25.1

Bibliographic details

THE ALLEGED PERCOLATION FROM WATER RACES., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2075, 28 February 1889

Word Count
676

THE ALLEGED PERCOLATION FROM WATER RACES. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2075, 28 February 1889

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