40d Talk:Dam

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This article should be deleted for the same reason "Rock chute" was. It is an application of the material given in the wiki. --Savok 00:06, 6 November 2007 (EST)

Maybe - but where else is someone going to find specific information about this? Browsing through the map archive will only show basic dam construction and give no specific details. Isn't it basically the same as Design strategies? --Decanter 00:14, 6 November 2007 (EST)

Before looking at this page, I had no idea we could make dams and such... --Eagle of Fire 19:07, 12 November 2007 (EST)

If nothing else we should save the information about excavating the river tiles, I had no idea you needed to do this and I'm sure most people wouldn't either. --BurnedToast 09:54, 17 November 2007 (EST)

This article should definitely be kept. It does not belong with design strategies, and provides useful information. There is no reason to delete it. I agree with Eagle of Fire. Nate879 16:37, 9 February 2008 (EST)

Deletionists here, too? Why would you want to decrease the amount of information regarding Dwarf Fortress? I can see an argument for better organization, moves, or whatever, but certainly not deleting it. And here I had made an account to create an article for how to build an aqueduct from a river to a well or series of wells using locks. --Hilscher 14:25, 15 October 2008 (EDT)

Which I'm now discouraged to do after seeing this, I just realized. Why put in the work if it will just get deleted? Deletionism hurts everyone. --Hilscher 14:28, 15 October 2008 (EDT)

Ice Damming[edit]

I'm not sure if I screwed it up in some way, but I dug a channel in the ice, put in 4 floodgates across the river (which is 4 wide) and when it thawed it was not a dam, the water after the floodgates is 4 or 5/7, maybe its cause its a newer version and he added over filling. --Lowlandlord 00:34, 4 August 2008 (EDT) Or never mind, its starting to go dry now, guess I just needed to be patient.

Notes on water wheels as pump power in draining[edit]

(To the deletionists, this article was very helpful in showing that daming was even possible and the basic technique to do it. Rather than cramming it into a larger and amorphous "design" article, it is definitely a subject in and of itself).

My dwarves undertook the task of daming their river (the Sibrek Babinnish Memorial Dam) in an effort to tame the mighty carp and lamprey which had claimed a dwarf and two more in the process of (but unrelated to) building the dam. Wall grates were planned to be installed just downstream of the dam and then the dam reopened to allow the river to flow but the dreaded fish to remain jailed.

The plan was to use water wheel powered screw pumps to pump out the river into an underground pit faster than I could come in. Its simpler and safer than digging up into the river bed, and you can turn it off. Here is a side view.

 ============X    river

The pit wasn't very large, perhaps 60x20x2, and dug into sand and clay (surface river) which three miners excavated quickly and without all the rock hauling. It proved sufficient, with just enough extra capacity to give me the time to fix my mistakes.

Because mistakes were made.

First mistake, I only put pumps on one side of the river. This was a consequence of the project starting early. You see, my engraver got pulled into the river and was drowning. In a vain attempt to save him my mechanic hooked up the pumps before the project was complete. I made up for it in scale with 5 pumps lining the river's edge. Two more were hastily erected on the other side and manned by stout dwarves. Alas, his wounds were too grave and he did not survive.

Once the pumps started water sprayed all over the place but mostly went into the pit as planned.

Second mistake, I had no way to get into the river bed. Hastily cut stairs and ramps took care of that.

Committed now, dwarves poured into the frothing water to try and place the gates, but the water level was fluctuating too rapidly. Eventually I noticed the cause, the pumps were inactive! I had located my water wheel downstream of the pumps and too close. The water level under the wheel was dropping, shutting down the wheel and the pumps, then rising again starting the cycle again. Dwarves were called in to man the pumps by hand. In this way the flood gates were placed, with a very fast hand on the "unsuspend construction" order.

Glory of glories, most of the pitiless fish downstream drowned. Only a handful remained upstream at the source (which I thought was the terminus), but enough to claim my sheriff who was pulled in and drowned.

Lessons learned...

1) Screw pumps on either side of the river, powered by water wheels, are an easy way to drain a surface river. 3 to 5 on each side should be enough.

2) Water wheels must be placed upstream and at least 5 or 10 tiles away from the pumps to prevent the water level from dropping under them.

3) Make sure you know which way the river flows. How? Blood works. How do you get blood in the river? Be imaginative.

4) A slit trench dug directly behind the pumps leading to a modest underground cistern is enough water storage. Use of channeling and digging into sand or clay will make the work go faster. Dig a little bit more than you think you'll need, then dig some more.

5) Have extra manpower available to man the pumps should something go wrong.

6) Have a miner on hand to make sure you have a way into the river bed.

6a) Do not dig the entrance on the same line as your dams or you'll have to dam up an extra tile. Trust me, you'll be fighting for every gate.

6b) Put an exit up AND downstream from the dam so nobody gets trapped when the last gate goes in place.

6c) Put the exits on the far side from your fortress so should a baddie manage to get into the river they won't come out on your side.

7) Place a stockpile of pump parts, flood gates and mechanisms near the dam site to speed construction.

8) Hook up your pumps with a gear assembly and either attach it to a lever or be ready to dismantle it to shut the system down.

9) Don't let dwarves with kids into the river bed.

10) Install wall grates across the river just below your dam, then look the up to a lever. This will act as a selective fish filter. 10a) If you want to be sadistic, build a second grate further downstream. Leave it closed. Open the dam and upstream grate, let some fish swim in, then close the dam. Watch the now trapped fish slowly drown or pump the water out for a quicker death.

11) Once the dam is installed, leave it closed and have your dwarves go "fishing" by picking up all the now drowning fish downstream from the dam. Fish corpses are handed by a butcher, not at the fishery, so be prepared for a huge influx of raw meat.

12) Dismantle the pumps and water wheel once you're done to reuse the parts. Remember to dismantle the wheel before the axle or it'll fall into the river.

The picture in this article makes it look like this river was dammed by building floor tiles across it. I'm new to Dwarf Fortress; is this how it works? The later parts of the article seem to imply that you have to build *wall* tiles across the level which *contains* the water? Is there nothing you can do from ground-level? (floors, walls, floodgates, etc.).

I guess it seems like the unspoken assumption of the article is "the difficult part of damming a river is that you can't do anything from the riverbank". I think that stating this explicitly might make the article clearer. -- Creidieki 22:25, 2 March 2009 (EST)

Wall tiles look like floor tiles when viewed from one level higher. — Wisq (talk) 18:51, 11 June 2009 (UTC)

Waterfall Damming[edit]

This technique causes water to bypass a waterfall and bring it downstream, leaving the area above the water fall available for damming. ('.' is a wall, numbers indicate water, C indicates construction, # indicates mined areas, I is the support, X are floodgates, _ is ground)


Underneath the base of the river, dig a tunnel. I made my tunnel 4 tiles wide, running perpendicular to the upper river. This tunnel runs to the edge of the lower river. In the tunnel, create flood gates. By connecting the floodgates to a lever, you will be able to control the path the river takes. Bridge the river with constructed floor, floating the stone above the river with a support.

  77.  ####

 (The view looking down the river)


Collapsing the roof will blast a hole through the bottom of the river, causing the water to drain into your tunnel. Open the flood gates and dig a channel between the tunnel and the lower river.

  .77777._____    _


  .77777.____     _

and finally

  .     .
  .77777.____     _

This technique could probably also work without a waterfall if you make your tunnel a U and use screw pumps at one end. If what you are damming is actually a stream, you'll probably need to channel through the top. Cheers --Purpleposeidon 08:54, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

"Dropping a Bridge on it"[edit]

If you would like to dam the bridge in a way that is particularly awkward, anti-climactic, [or] mean-spirited, try this:

, = ground
~ = Open space above water
. = Open space
< = Up stair  > = down stair
O = wall
+ = floor
1. Z=0 ,,,~~,,,,, ,,,~~,,,,, ,,,,~~,,,, RIVER ,,,,,~~,,, ,,,,~~,,,, ,,,,~~,,,,
2. Z=0 Z=1 ,,,~~,,,,, .......... ,<O~~,,,,, .<+OO..... ,,,,~~,,,, .......... ,,,,,~~,,, .......... BUILD A RIVER-SPANNING WALL ONE Z-LEVEL ABOVE THE RIVER ,,,,~~,,,, .......... ,,,,~~,,,, ..........
3. Z=0 Z=1 ,,,~~,,,,, .......... ,<N~~,,,,, .<+OO..... ,,,,~~,,,, .......... ,,,,,~~,,, .......... MARK THE ORIGINAL WALL USED AS A SUPPORT FOR REMOVAL ,,,,~~,,,, .......... ,,,,~~,,,, ..........
4. Z=0 ,,,..,,,,, ,<,OO,,,,, ,,,,~~,,,, ,,,,,~~,,, PROFIT ,,,,~~,,,, ,,,,~~,,,,

P.S. Double sorry, forgot to sign this originally --Rowen(talk) 23:48, 17 September 2009 (UTC)

That doesn't actually work - constructed walls deconstruct into their components when they fall during cave-ins. The only time this'll actually do anything is if you do it over a brook, where it'll cause the brook tiles to collapse into (seemingly) infinite water sinks. --Quietust 05:20, 16 September 2009 (UTC)
Hmm I suppose I've only ever TRIED it on a brook as I rarely embark on a river (carp scare the living crap out of me). Sorry then!--Rowen(talk) 23:48, 17 September 2009 (UTC)
I'm thinking of ways to do this for a brook, sadly after finding out about the infinite water sink. How about digging out a huge room under the river (linked to the edge of the map using fortifications, or a chasm for infinite water drainage) - and on each side immediately next to the river wall, dig a walled-in hole down to the area below. Put a retractable bridge on the edge of the walled-in hole on the side away from the river. Retract the bridges, channel out the walls, do your stuff, then replace the bridges. This SHOULD do the trick safely for brooks. 21:39, 17 November 2009 (UTC)