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Compliance Works – Part 2

Maybe we tempted fate when we put our last post up, saying that we hoped it didn’t rain so that we could empty Lac Lucie and start the works that need to be done on the dam wall, but as in the UK, France has seen an unprecedented amount of rain over the last 2 weeks.

The water level on Lac Lucie had started to drop and we were receiving a daily visit from a large egret, several herons and far too many cormorants on the lake. Nigel even managed to get in and go round the edges with his loppers and take out a few snagging roots as well as removing the aerator from the lake so it did not get damaged during the works. We were starting to feel a bit more optimistic about the possibility of netting the lake before Christmas.

Monk valve 22nd November
Monk valve 4th December

As the water level began to lower, Stuart, from Cesar Constructions, noticed that the monk valve had not been built to comply with modern regulations and a decision was made to build a new one, a further expense, but we want to make sure that the lake is fully compliant under our ownership. This would mean that we would need to drain Lac Lucie completely, move the fish out for a holiday and once the DDT had inspected the new valve we could move the fish back in and then start the works on Kingfisher.

By the end of the first week in December we started to see the bottom of the lake in some parts and Nigel got some of the leaves clearer out near the lily pads.

Shallow end 7th December
Lily pad end 2nd December

Then this happened (The rainfall is shown here in blue). Some days over 30mm of rain was recorded for this part of France and all of the major rivers were flooded.

Despite all of our best efforts there was more water going into the lakes than was coming out of it and in several places the dam walls were being damaged, revealing bricks and tiles and these were being washed downstream. We became more and more despondent each time we walked round and our boots were not drying out from one day to the next.

By the 12th December the water levels were higher than they were before we started the draining

New silt trap 12th December (see Part 1 for how it did look)
Monk valve 12th December

Finally today we have no rain and none is forecast for the next week so fingers crossed we can drop the levels again. The chances of being able to net it before Christmas are now unlikely but we know that we cannot do anything about the weather and will still hope to get all of the work done early in the New Year.

In the meantime we have been looking at other jobs that need to be done. We have cleared the trees that were blocking the satellite signal to the Kingfisher chalet, fixed the outside water tap on Lac Lucie and cleared some of the garden at the house ready for a vegetable patch. We have also bought 6 fruit trees and got those planted.

Finally. anyone who stayed in the Kingfisher chalet this year would be aware of the issues with the floor and how it was a little ‘bouncy’ in places and this was the major project that we wanted to resolve this year. We have now started to take the kitchen and bathroom apart and look at what we need to sort the floor out and have been to the builders’ merchants to see what our options are (new words added to our French vocabulary again). This is the current state of affairs but please be reassured that we will make it habitable before April as new flooring being ordered tomorrow.

We will update you again soon, but until then, bonne journée…..

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