pond questions

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by pcdreams, Jun 9, 2006.

  1. pcdreams

    pcdreams Well-Known Member

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    We were looking at a parcel that has an old pond on it.. The realitor said it never held water and I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions on what one could do (or if its even plausable) to try to get it too.

    I have no idea why it didn't hold water and neither did she... It's overgrown now and has some burnable trash in it.

    My guess is the soil has a pretty high perc rate.... A couple Ideas I had was either to put down a layer of clay (it's quite plentiful around here) or maybe put a horse/cow in there to compact it. I'm thinking there was a chemical of some sort they use to use also (betadine?).. I guess theres always the option to line it with pool liner or concrete but that would probally be $$ and still might not work.

    :shrug:
     
  2. Lisa in WA

    Lisa in WA Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Are you thinking of bentonite? Betadine would just make it very sterile and you'd be a funny color if you went swimming in it. :p
     

  3. pcdreams

    pcdreams Well-Known Member

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    LoL.. Yea thats the stuff :nerd:
     
  4. EasyDay

    EasyDay Gimme a YAAAAY!

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    If you have the means to get some clay dumped in, that would help. Then, fence it off and throw a 1/2 dozen or so little pigs in it. They'll stomp and roll in it and seal the cracks with the clay. If you have access to straw, use clay AND straw, AND pigs!

    You can use just the pigs and forego the clay (and straw), if you want. But the clay would give it a head start. But nothin' like a few pigs to seal a pond! Much better than cattle or horses.

    The return on your investment would be worth it. When their job is done, sell 'em off: for a person's BBQ, around 120 lbs... or for your own or someone else's freezer, between 220-240 lbs.
     
  5. dkwhite

    dkwhite Member

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  6. Beststash

    Beststash Well-Known Member

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    Get a dozer in there and rework the pond - I suspect that it was never dug deep enough for a clay base and lining. In most states you can get the county extension service to come out and survey and assess your situation at no cost. They are there to serve.

    Agree, Pondboss is an excellent forum.
     
  7. Boleyz

    Boleyz Prognosticator, Artist

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    Get a guy who know how to dig one. In Western KY (Across River from MO. Bootheel) You have to dig until you hit what's called around here "Hardpan". It's a layer of tightly compacted clay.

    As someone mentioned, this hardpan must be dug out enough to line the interior of the pond, as well as the bottom.

    Most ponds that seep were not dug correctly. Talk to someone local who has dug ponds before. It's worth it to get an expert, if you want a good pond in years to come.

    Nothing looks worse than a half-filled pond on a farm IMHO.
     
  8. Wolf mom

    Wolf mom Well-Known Member

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    Just be careful it doesn't become an "attractive nuisance" & make sure you have lot's of insurance...
     
  9. pcdreams

    pcdreams Well-Known Member

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    Not sure what SPG means but our parcel is south of norwood
     
  10. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    You would need to go to what was once called the Soil Conservation Service. Now has a name like Natural Resources Conservation Service or such.

    The ability to hold water is only part of the situation. The other is having enough watershed to keep it full. Many a pond fills up during the rainy season and goes dry during the dry season. Not a good way to maintain a health population of fish or such.
     
  11. EasyDay

    EasyDay Gimme a YAAAAY!

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    Though this isn't always the case. He can only work with what's under there.
    The guy that dug our latest pond is the best for several counties around.
    We let him choose the spot. Great amount of run-off. We had 4-5 ft of good topsoil from an eternity of runoff, and as he went deeper, came to a shale bed. Very little clay.

    However, our neighbor right up the road is trenching septic lines and has nothing but clay right under a few inches of soil. He wants to grow grass there.

    So, we're swapping. We're taking his clay to put in our pond and giving him a mountain of good top soil.
     
  12. dkwhite

    dkwhite Member

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    Sorry, SPG=Springfield

    I'm 15 minutes west of Springfield. I know a good pond guy in my area. I thought if you were close enough I'd give you his contact info. Norwood's out of his range though I'm afraid. I had a leaky pond cleaned out and enlarged from a 1/10 acre to 1/4 acre a couple months ago for a little over $500.
     
  13. pcdreams

    pcdreams Well-Known Member

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    well thanks for the thought anyway :).. I'm not sure how big the pond is.. Just found it the other day while we were down there and haven't measured it.. I'd guess maybe 50' across

    heres some pics of the parcel. In the arial you can see the pond about 2/3 of the way down the field and on the left.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/63599778@N00/?deleted=91528715
     
  14. Little Quacker in OR

    Little Quacker in OR Well-Known Member

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    :) I am no engineer here goodness knows! But I think that two things are important here and they have been touched on. A hole in the ground is not a pond! So, the first is, do you have clay there and if so, a little DC 3 cat is enough to re dig the pond. The trick here was(and I know your area might be very different)to take off the topsoil, pile it aside, then dig the pond to the requested depth( 6ft etc) and shape( I wanated a "C" shape), then form a island in the middle(I insisted..LOL), then use the top soil for a little berm or something that you could put a bench and a couple of shade trees on. I love to sit there! Also had a little "canal" dug for an excuse for a bridge. :p

    This approach worked great here. There is a slow leak from the pond on a constant basis, even with good clay...but..and this brings me to my second point....we have a 2" pipe coming down from the spring 750 ft up the hill and that supplies the pond with a small stand pipe( 1/2 " in diameter) of constant fresh water 24/7.

    This keeps the pond viable all year round. Then you need to think of where excess water will go when you get lots of rain. So, you want a large diameter outflow pipe....here we found 4" was adequate..don't know about where you are and whether you would need a larger or smaller one?

    I know there must be other considerations, but these seem to be the ones that concerned me the most. I t hink it is great that you have the start of a pond and if there is any way at all you can get it back up and running, do so. They are just wonderful to have! The thing you do NOT want is a body of water that floods when there is lots of rain and then shrinks down to a stagnant, smelly, gross, mosquito laden mess when a dry spell comes along. Good planning will prevent this if you have the raw materials at hand.

    Oh yeah..and just as a point of interest..geese are great at tamping down a pond surface too and are easy to deal with and good weeders when the pond is all set. ;)

    Have fun and good luck..I just love my pond!

    LQ
     
  15. swamp man

    swamp man Well-Known Member

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    You've gotten alot of good advice.We have oil wells here,and lotsa' people in this area use drill mud so seal ponds.Also,not all tree,but many kinds of trees can cause a levee to leak.
     
  16. Little Quacker in OR

    Little Quacker in OR Well-Known Member

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    Hi Swamp Man! I am not sure about "levee's" as opposed to just a berm and what the differences are? When a pond is all done and contained we just use berms for somewhere to put all the soil that comes out of the hole. We pile the clay on first and then retrieve the topsoil and put it up on top. Nothing to do with keeping the water in. Does that make sense? LOL

    I like "patio"trees in this situation..I know that varies with where a person lives. Here it would might be Dogwoods, Fig, Japanese Maple, Magnolia, Mimosa, etc or just a pretty arbor planted with grapes, wisteria or rambling roses.

    Hope you all in the south are having a beautiful spring! It's lovely here.

    LQ