Saturday, 27 June 2015

The Debris Fence At Tseng-wen Reservoir

An hour ago tonight I returned to Tainan city following a brief, late afternoon trip to the back of Tseng-wen reservoir which served two purposes: first, to observe the present water level at the reservoir following several sporadic though intense periods of rainfall in the past two months, and second, to check on the current status of the structure I have been tracking over the past two years.

The first aim was satisfied upon reaching the reservoir's half-way point along highway three which affords a spectacular view over the little bay where I have previously set out on my boat. There has been a massive infill of water - as much as perhaps six or seven meters deep. Islands, spurs, peninsulas and shorelines that I had walked across only a month or two previously are now all entirely submerged...

Overlooking the little bay at the reservoir's half-way point. Now almost entirely submerged.
I made only the briefest stop in Dapu village to fill up the motorbike at the gas station, and then proceeded directly to the location of the structure I have been observing for the past couple of years. It lies a short distance before highway three's bridge over the Tseng-wen river, and this time there was no on-site security to prevent public access to the site, and so I naturally just walked in to take pictures. It is now almost complete and appears to be a somewhat elaborate debris fence, intended to catch driftwood and large clumps of floating vegetation rather than fine sediments, which had been my initial guess two years ago...

The debris fence as viewed from the east sometime before 5pm. Note that the cables running across the river from tower to tower are knitted together by vertical cables to form a lattice-work.
A closer shot with more light - note the little chap sat fishing on the southern shoreline.
The public notice-board, which as usual is located on-site and thus (de-jure) inaccessible to the public. Note the poor English: "Wooden-Bar Facilities Construction". I should be proof-reading these things.
A view across the river debris fence from the southern shoreline. 
A close up; note the wonky, uneven concrete on the right hand structure. The van below is a four-wheel drive Mitsubishi Delica which is ubiquitous among Taiwan's rural populations - I quite fancy buying one of my own at some point, but I believe Mitsubish no longer manufacture them. 
The steel cables were adjoined to the concrete towers by large steel caps bolted into place. Note also the irregular spacing sequence of the cable locks.
The cables reaching into the now-capped screw holes on the northern structure.  
Close up on the second of the two towers standing in the middle of the river. Already there is driftwood and reeds attached to the latticework fence. Note also the regularly spaced cable locks at the top of the lattice-work as compared to the fewer and more irregularly spaced locks toward the bottom of the lattice work.
An inflatable boat tied up to the fence with a bit of rope. It is somewhat shorter and wider than my big boat which I used last weekend to take the girls to Dadi Gorge.
A view from the bridge on highway three overlooking the Tseng-wen river as it flows down from Chiayi county's Alishan district. At this point another foreigner drove by on a motorbike and stopped to chat for a short while. Also called "Michael" (Mc... something or other) he was from Northern Ireland and was taking a short trip up to Chiayi city for the weekend and had decided to drive this way rather than the straightforward drive north on highway one in order to soak in the scenery.
On my way back I stopped briefly at Dapu park to take yet another guage of the reservoir's water level. The floating platforms I had previously taken for some sort of research station had now been moved further up to the back of the reservoir and their true function was now clearly revealed as nothing other than commercial fishing platforms.
Looking to my right, upstream and eastward; I estimate the reservoir to be about half-full.
Vehicles on either side of the spit; a Honda CRV and a tourist boat.
My parting shot at Dapu park; a vertical cloud formation over the fishing platforms.


  1. Engineer here. I wouldn't call the lock spacing irregular; the upper ones are at every cable (the same is probably true at the bottom - important to secure the ends) and the rest are locked at every other cable in a staggered pattern.

  2. Yes. that's a more accurate description. Cheers.


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