frost heave, culverts, erosion and aeration

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Paul Wheaton, Aug 29, 2004.

  1. Paul Wheaton

    Paul Wheaton Well-Known Member

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    I'm learning that there is much more to learn.

    I bought this place in 2000 and moved in in 2001. In December of 2001 the water ran over both pond dams. For the lower dam, the culvert got plugged. For the upper dam, the culvert was too shallow and frost heave (plus a tree growing on the dam) raised the culvert so that the intake side ended up higher than the dam.

    Got the trees off of the dams. Got a system to keep the lower culvert clear. Made both dams a little higher, including putting a little more dirt over the upper culvert so it won't be so susceptable to frost heave.

    So now I'm trying to wrap my head around long term solutions.

    During the summer and early fall, the flow through the upper pond is a dribble at best. Well, it would be if the pond didn't leak (another issue I'm working on). During the winter and spring, there's a pretty good flow.

    Yet another issue ... Getting air in the water for fish. I bought some trout and put them in the lower pond in 2001. They did great until summer rolled around, the creek went underwater and they ran out of air. So for the second pond, I'm thinking that it would be good to get the run off from the upper pond to land in the pond from the height of the water level in the upper pond. Maybe ten feet or so. This should provide good aeration and since it isn't running down any slopes - reduce erosion.

    Getting complicated?

    So if most of the culvert is under the frost line (18 to 36 inches depending on who you talk to) it will stay put, right?

    I have lots of trees that need to be thinned. I'm thinking of rigging up a wooden sluice (is that the right word?) to carry the water from the culvert to the middle of the second pond.

    Will this work? Or am I about to venture into another dumb idea?
     
  2. charles

    charles Well-Known Member

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    How far is the culvert outlet of the upper pond from the point you'd like to discharge in the second pond? And how much fall is there between these two points?
     

  3. Paul Wheaton

    Paul Wheaton Well-Known Member

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    Well, the new pond doesn't really exist yet. But I'm going to make a guess of ten foot drop. It might need to be carried 20 to 25 feet out.

    I'm getting all sorts of ideas involving thousands of dollars in landscaping that just isn't practical for a farm.
     
  4. Paul Wheaton

    Paul Wheaton Well-Known Member

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    I just had an idea - maybe you guys can tell me if it's okay ...

    What if instead of a culvert, I put in a poly pipe? I could mount the log sluice on two poles and then run the poly pipe into the sluice. Then plant some kind of shrub where the poly pipe comes out, thus hiding the poly pipe.

    If I used 1.5 inch poly pipe, this would be plenty during the summer. During the winter and the spring, I could use a spillway.

    The poly pipe could start kinda shallow and then go into the heart of the dam. The curve back up to feed the sluice. Thus avoiding frost heave. I could put a couple of cement collars on the poly pipe to help prevent water from following the poly pipe to make a hole in the dam.

    Another perk is that the poly pipe won't carry cold into the dam and enhance the whole frost heave thing.

    How does this sound?
     
  5. fordy

    fordy Well-Known Member

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    ....................Paul , why don't you hook an alternator to a water wheel and use the power to run an an aerorator(sp) to keep O2 in both ponds.....??...fordy..... :eek: :)