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DW and I want to buy a few acres in the country, We used to be in the country but city limits have slowly but surely reached our doorstep. We would like to have about one half to full acre lake or pond. BTW, what is the technical difference. Anyone have any experience about forming a body of water and where to begin.
Any advice appreciated. You can email me directly if you prefer at [email protected].
 

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My understanding is that a lake is fed by running water (stream, creek, spring, whatever). A pond is fed from runoff.

I don't have the URL handy but the Government (Dept of Agriculture?) publishes a great guide to creating ponds and lakes (how to build a dam, how to line a lake site, etc).

DW loves our little lake. Everytime we are at the farm she has to go fishing.

Mike
 

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If you are interested in a particular piece of land and want to know about the feasibility of putting a body of water there, seek the advice of the Natural Resources Conservation Agency (may still be called Soil Conservation Agency in some areas). They can provide a normally free site analysis for you.

Personally, I wouldn't spend the money to put one in unless it was fed by enough natural flow (e.g., spring) to keep it topped off at all times. Depending on the area, it may take hundreds of acres of watershed to maintain even a small body of water year-round. My pond is only a couple of hundred yards from my neighbor's. Mine has an outflow 24/7/365. He has to pump water from a spring run several hundred yards away to keep his topped off.

Rule of thumb is a well-designed, well-built and well-maintained pond add three times its cost to property value. Reverse can also be true is all you end up with is a mud hole and mosquito breeding pit.

Ken Scharabok
 

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We have two streams on the property(approximately 3 feet wide and 'MAYBE' 10 inches deep) that are about 30 feet apart-do you think it would be possible to build a pond to catch some of this water and is it really worth the time,expense and gov't involvement(I believe the Corps of Engineers needs to be involved but I may be wrong) or not?
 

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oz in SC said:
We have two streams on the property(approximately 3 feet wide and 'MAYBE' 10 inches deep) that are about 30 feet apart-do you think it would be possible to build a pond to catch some of this water and is it really worth the time,expense and gov't involvement(I believe the Corps of Engineers needs to be involved but I may be wrong) or not?
we have 2 ponds on our land one is fed by small creek the big one about 200x200is fed from the bottom allways toped off but murky all the time
 

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I thought ours was a pond but since the hurricanes, it seems more like a lake! It is fed from the run-off and we call it the Grand Pond because I had to pay a $1,000 penalty for my ex digging it without a permit (however, here it is easier to get forgiven than to get permission). Without our pond providing drainage, we would be underwater by now, I'm sure. Yes, it is murky but the geese and gator don't mind. It came in handy when there was no power for a week (twice in a month). At least we could haul its water to the potty and flush while our city friends had no water to speak of and therefore no flushing. The critters are grateful to have a watering hole and I'll be glad it is there if the forest fires of '98 ever revisit us.
 

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We call that a tank.
 

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You really have to know the lay of the land. One of your county offices will have soil maps. Our property has heavy clay, which is great if you want a pond. Our pond drains off our neighbor's property, which is fine with me as it keeps the mosquito breeding grounds smaller. Because it is rain fed, the level rises and falls. If you dig a real small pond, you could have a mucky puddle one year and flooding the next. I'm sure an excavator of ponds could give you an idea of a proper size for your needs, as could the conservation officer.
 

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Proceed cautiously when building a pond.

My sister had a "shared" pond which was approx 1/2 acre in size in her "new" subdivision.

The pond is a nightmare. Because they is no influx of fresh water, other than rain runoff, the pond has gone stagnant and looks a bit on the scummy side. What really is bad ......are the geese that took up residence in the pond. They crap 24/7......leaving fecal matter strewn about everyones yard.

She no longer lives there.


While some areas are conductive to having a pond.....which improves the aesthetics......and considerably enhances the value of the property-----other areas are such that one shouldn't even consider the folly of building a pond.
 

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So it seems IF there is a relatively continuous supply of water,a pond is a better idea than where you are reliant on rainwater or runoff?

I know it is difficult to give advice without seeing the individual sites but roughly how big a stream is needed to provide a pond?

The stream/creek/whatever we have on our property are quite small(to me at least) but I guess since they appear to run continuously there would be enough water to fill and maintain a pond...
 

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Lot of factors Oz. Inflow must at least equal evaporation and soil absorbsion. In theory, you could keep a one-acre pond topped off with a garden hose if there was no evaporation and the pond bottom was 100% sealed. If there is any leakage, then inflow must compensate for it. You need to consult an experienced pond builder familiar with your particular situation.

Ken Scharabok
 
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