v0.31:Flood

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This article is about an older version of DF.

Flooding refers to filling a chamber with a liquid, traditionally water, for a variety of reasons. This is achieved through numerous methods, with varying degrees of fun. For more information as to why on <insert world name here> any dwarf would want to do this, see irrigation, trap design, and unfortunate accident.

Flooding with Water[edit]

Floodgate and River/Brook[edit]

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The simplest way to achieve controlled flooding is tunneling right up to a riverbed and placing a floodgate to stop the flow when the water is initially released. Then, pull the lever to let the water enter the chamber under your careful eye. In order to do this safely, it is recommended that you channel into the riverbed from above instead of puncturing it from the tunnel, and then pull the lever that activates the floodgate. Having a pressure plate somewhere in the room assures a controlled shutoff.

Screw Pump and Reservoir/Aquifer[edit]

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When the water in question is one Z-level below the desired level (for more than one level, see pump stack), particularly in the case of an aquifer, it can be very easy just to set up a dwarf-powered screw pump near a channel to flood rooms when necessary.

Pressure Flooding[edit]

Pressure flooding refers to using pressure mechanics to push water from a source, through a channel, and up into an area. Unless the destination room is above the source's pressure output level (usually the level of the source; see these examples for more information), no pumps are necessary. Other than moving the water through a U-bend instead of a straight channel, it functions almost identically to the river/floodgate method.

Flooding with Magma[edit]

Be warned: Magma is inherently more fun than water. Screw pumps and floodgates must be made of magma-safe materials, and a failure to account for pressure can result in hilarious antics.

Cleaning Up a Flood[edit]

If you accidentally circumvented your floodgates (e.g. mining around it), read this section for how to clean up.


Assuming that you have some surviving miners, the easiest way to clean up a flood is to create a drain into a cavern layer below. This is accomplished by digging an up/down stairway parallel to the flooded areas that terminates somewhere in a cavern, then joining the flooded chambers at their lowest point.