Bentonite for leaking pond

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by BackwoodsIdaho, Jan 31, 2005.

  1. BackwoodsIdaho

    BackwoodsIdaho Well-Known Member

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    Any one have experience using bentonite as a pond sealer? We have a small pond in one of our pastures that is leaking. My thought process is to drain the pond, let it dry out, clean out all the trash, logs etc etc from the bottom then cover it with a layer of bentonite (used for well seals etc) and then a layer of soil. I am thinking, since we (LisainN.Idaho - my wife and homesteading partner and me) do everything ourselves, we could do this pretty cheaply since we have the tools, tractor etc. Our only cost would be the bentonite.

    Thanks

    jim
     
  2. Senior

    Senior Active Member

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    Several of my neighbors here just pour the bentonite in to the ponds and supposedly the bentonite will go straight for the hole in the pond. We get it locally at the COOP and it is not expensive. Might be better than draining a big pond.

    Senior
     

  3. raymilosh

    raymilosh Well-Known Member

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    first figure out why the pond is leaking...has it always leaked or did a leak develop? If it has always leaked, layer it with bentonite as you said, concentrating on very rocky places or places with very coarse soils that may be the source of the leak. Also pour the bentonite down the wall of the dam. If it developed a leak, it may be due to trees growing roots through the dam. If that's the case, you will need to remove the trees and prevent new trees from growing there again...seasonal seedling tree removal and scythe the grass periodically..that sort of thing. bentonite is so sticky it will ruin your clothes..so wear something you don't mind trashing.
     
  4. kate

    kate Well-Known Member

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    in mo, what we did is drain and clean out to clay layer and then pack with equipment down as good as you can. probably you could throw some bentonite down then, but the clay layer packed down works very well as a good seal, until it is broken..............sometimes you have to dig down until you get to the layer of thick clay.
     
  5. BackwoodsIdaho

    BackwoodsIdaho Well-Known Member

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    It has leaked for a few years now. I think it has developed a some fissures due to muskrats and due to shifting ground. Unfortunately, we are on a sandy soil so clay is hard to get down too. That was why either a pond liner or bentonite came to mind.
     
  6. Dixielee

    Dixielee Well-Known Member

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    I did a search since I had never heard of it, and found interesting info on it. Obviously we don't need the kind you cleanse your face with, or tablets to clense our bowels, but I didn't see anything that mentioned sealing leaks anywhere. If anyone has a link or other info, we would appreciate it as we have 2 leaky ponds. Thanks.
     
  7. BackwoodsIdaho

    BackwoodsIdaho Well-Known Member

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    check out www.pondseal.com
     
  8. Dixielee

    Dixielee Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, we checked out the site and it sounds promising. I couldn't find a price for it on the website though. It said you could get it in 50# bags. I think I will check with our local COOP and see if they can get it or may already have it. We have a mixture of clay, rock and gravel. It would be great to get everything sealed. My husband had planned to rent a dozer this spring and go over the ponds to help seal, maybe the dozer and the bentonite will do the trick.
     
  9. chris774

    chris774 Member

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    have heard utou can run pigs around pond and theyll seal it because the leak is probly just below the water line. maybe someone can elaborate or might check the pig forum
     
  10. jhambley

    jhambley Well-Known Member

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    You'll want to check out the forum at PondBoss.com. It's a site dedicated to pond buiding, stocking, maintenance.

    They have a great forum with lots of information concerning the use of benonite.

    http://www.pondboss.com/cgibin/ubbcgi/ultimatebb.cgi

    Good Luck
     
  11. heelpin

    heelpin Well-Known Member

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    --------------------------------------------------------

    Check the yellow pages under oil field services and supplies.
     
  12. raymilosh

    raymilosh Well-Known Member

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    well drilling companies use bags of bentonite by the truckload. It is therefore inexpensive. Look for it in well drilling supply places like Hughes Supply, Driller Service, etc. finding all you want will be easy and relatively inexpensive. It may be cheapest to have it delivered on pallets by a forklift/tractor trailer combo.