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#3174 - 01/11/04 12:14 AM Sandy soil (ESS-13 or what???)
bkhovest Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/11/04
Posts: 4
I recently purchased roughly 5.5 arces is Michigan. The soil type is sandy. I have read alot about ESS-13 but have not heard of anyone who used it and what was the out come. I have not started digging the pond yet. I am trying to research what method of sealing sandy soil is best and cost effective. Can anyone help????

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#3175 - 01/11/04 01:08 PM Re: Sandy soil (ESS-13 or what???)
Bob Lusk Offline
Editor, Pond Boss Magazine
Lunker

Registered: 04/10/02
Posts: 2690
Loc: Whitesboro, Texas
Before looking for remedies, explore your soil further. Find out how deep the sand is, what's below it. If you have clay soils below the surface a short distance, they may be sufficient to build a dam. If not, then look at alternatives.
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#3176 - 01/11/04 08:22 PM Re: Sandy soil (ESS-13 or what???)
Troutgal Offline
Member

Registered: 05/09/03
Posts: 27
Loc: Kansas
bk -

I feel your pain. I am in an extremely sandy area of southwest Kansas. My advice? Either find LOADS of clay to form an impervious layer or consider a liner.

We started out with a polyacrylamide/bentonite mixture and ended up with a dry hole. To top it off, the soil tech that sold us the product has avoided us after he guaranteed that the pond would seal. It didn't.

The ESS-13 product requires a MAXIMUM seep rate of (I believe) 8 inches per day otherwise I don't see it working. It's expensive, yes, and I would recommend it to someone that has a soil that ISN'T sandy like ours.

Search for a source of clay in your area. If you have a smaller pond you can also try buytarps.com they seem to have the best price for liners.

I wish the additive would have worked for us and maybe it would have if we didn't have such a shady technician. However, a seep rate of 13" a day doesn't sound like success to me LOL :rolleyes:

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#3177 - 02/08/04 10:24 PM Re: Sandy soil (ESS-13 or what???)
mark engel Offline
Member

Registered: 05/08/03
Posts: 11
Loc: Oklahoma City
i would like to hear from anyone that has an opinion on ess-13. should i try bentonite first. i would like to hear any experiences on either.

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#3178 - 02/10/04 04:15 PM Re: Sandy soil (ESS-13 or what???)
Svoberts Offline
Lunker

Registered: 05/30/03
Posts: 336
Loc: Kremlin, OK
I live in northern OK near Enid. We have ponds in very sandy soil in Grant County that I bet only hold water because of A) high water table near the Salt Fork River or B) dugout ponds are in a natural clay liner. I do know about some ponds out in western OK that are in sand but just need to be dug down a few feet to reach clay. Have you done any investigation very deep? As far as the additives, search around in here, lots of info.
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#3179 - 02/10/04 09:39 PM Re: Sandy soil (ESS-13 or what???)
Cecil Baird1 Offline
Hall of Fame

Lunker

Registered: 08/08/02
Posts: 18164
Loc: Northeastern Indiana
As usual Bob Lusk is right on the money. You should always do a test dig before coming to any conclusion. You may have clay farther down where it counts.

Where in Michigan is it located? I have a friend near Gladwin, Michigan (thumb area) that has sandy soil but about five feet down it is clay.
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#3180 - 02/12/04 06:42 AM Re: Sandy soil (ESS-13 or what???)
FlyFisher Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/12/04
Posts: 2
Loc: Azle, TX.
Sandy Soil; sandy loam, basically the same everywhere I guess, regardless of state. I have enjoyed reading many of your posts and for the first time in my life...I'm getting involved in a forum. I am the owner of a beautiful pond, about 3/4 of an acre, full of very healthy bass, channel cat, crappie and perch. Cost? If I had not been fortunate enough to have something someone else wanted, it would have cost me $125,000.00..........and at that cost, I wouldn't have a pond. A highway construction crew wanted some of my dirt, and I wanted a fishing pond...we bartered and both of us are happy. Only problem I have is, it won't hold water. An old friend (90) retired from digging ponds about 5 years ago and he had me do a little test prior to allowing my pond to be dug. I make a little marble sized mud ball, lowered it into a glass of water, allowed it to sit overnight and got my results. If the mudball had remained round over night in the glass of water I would have been in good shape. My mudball was flat the next morning, but I had the chance to get a free pond and I went for the gusto. If it were not for the fact that one side of my property is lined with a live creek, and I can pump water from the creek to the pond, I would have nothing more than a mud hole. I have tried bentonite, 100 bags of oak leaves and grass clippings, but no noticeable difference in the loss of water. I made contact with a local man that has a machine that blows bentonite from a large machine and broadcasts bentonite over the entire pond from one location. He does not guarantee the results but charges $5000.00 for treating a one acre pond. After reading all the postings here.....bentonite may not be my best bet, but may be better than draining the pond, and starting over with dump trucks loaded with clay. Maybe I should give the Texas Lottery a little more time. In the meantime, I will watch your postings, learn what I can and wish all of you the best of luck.

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#3181 - 02/12/04 07:18 PM Re: Sandy soil (ESS-13 or what???)
Bill Cody Offline
Moderator
Ambassador
Field Correspondent

Lunker

Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 8865
Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
If I were going to spend $5000 on a bentonite fix, I would "bite the bullet" drain the pond, let it dry enough to drive a tractor with roto-tiller over the pond bottom. Work bentonite into the top 6" to 10" of bottom soil (scarify). Compact well with a sheep-foot roller and refill. That whole operation would not cost more than $5000 and probably much less say around $1000-$2200. The chances of the pond now holding water are much, much greater than the "other way" (water application). Lack of guarantee should make you suspect. If you use his method ask for references and check them out for long term seal.

With a bentonite seal it is VERY important to keep the pond full so the soil layer in the dried zone does not crack and allow water to escape.
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#3182 - 02/12/04 08:36 PM Re: Sandy soil (ESS-13 or what???)
TyW33 Offline
Member

Registered: 04/04/03
Posts: 310
Loc: Mankato, MN
If it costs $5000 to drain and bentonite, how much would it cost to drain, dig it out another 18" and put in a solid clay liner?

FlyFisher,
How much water do you need to pump to keep it full? Have you done the math on how much in costs to keep it full?

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#3183 - 03/10/04 08:48 PM Re: Sandy soil (ESS-13 or what???)
mark engel Offline
Member

Registered: 05/08/03
Posts: 11
Loc: Oklahoma City
bkhovest. i have been hanging around at this site for over a year and have made and seen many requests for information on ess-13 or anyone who would recommend it. i called the company and asked for info. i have more money than sense and they could easily take me for thousands. noone responds and i think it is a bs ghost. you will not see any of the pros on this site come in and tell you anything about any experience with it. i am challenging anyone from ess-13 to even claim anything here. call me at 405-232-4100. show me anything. i have a 14 acre hole that i dryed and put 18 tons of bentonite in last week(all a diesel could haul) because i couldn't get any good input at all on this product. i have good clay available and my lake will fill at any cost but ess-13 has gone to the bottom of my list. rainfall is my number one problem with record lows last year. good professional inspection and advice has gone to the top of my list. noone will even claim that ess-13 belongs there.

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#3184 - 03/10/04 09:05 PM Re: Sandy soil (ESS-13 or what???)
mark engel Offline
Member

Registered: 05/08/03
Posts: 11
Loc: Oklahoma City
also we had a 3 inch rain which exceeded any single rain since my dam was completed. there is over an acre of water about 4 or 5 foot at deepest- more than ever before and it is holding good- i think. i am pumping from a creek below and dont know for certain. the water is already past the area i plowed in the bentonite which covered the bottom center against the dam about and acre. ill have to see what happens if it starts getting up the dam. the sides north and south at water level are hard core clay. the dam may or may not hold good and the feeding ravine west may get into the same sandy levels i tried to plug in the center with the bentonite? ill report in a few weeks. everyone - talk to me.

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#3185 - 03/10/04 09:36 PM Re: Sandy soil (ESS-13 or what???)
Cecil Baird1 Offline
Hall of Fame

Lunker

Registered: 08/08/02
Posts: 18164
Loc: Northeastern Indiana
Mark,

I don't know what the problem is but I had no problem talking to the company representative and they sent me an information packet. However I decided not to go with the product because it clogs the gills of fish if they are present, and this particular pond could have a subterrainean connection to my trout pond which is full of trout.

The pond in question is just a small holding pond 25 X 30 and I was able to seal it with 10 bags of sodium bentonite available at a local feed store. In this case the "sprinkle method" worked well. However I later had to drain the pond and that brook the seal. Still seepage is not that high and I will add 10 more bags of sodium bentonite at $5.00 per bag to seal it again.
_________________________
Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter. Mark Twain







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#3186 - 03/10/04 09:39 PM Re: Sandy soil (ESS-13 or what???)
Cecil Baird1 Offline
Hall of Fame

Lunker

Registered: 08/08/02
Posts: 18164
Loc: Northeastern Indiana
Date: Fri, 28 Feb 2003 09:53:28 -0500
From: SeepCon@aol.com
To: jjbaird@ligtel.com
Subject: ESS-13
X-Mailer: Atlas Mailer 2.0

Cecil,

Thank you for your email and I apologize for the delay in responding. We had a problem with the routing of our emails. When it was resolved with had a whole mailbox full.

I will send you out a packet of information which describes the application methods and effectiveness. As far as cost, that depends on the application method, size and location of the project. I would be happy to provide a price quote for your project.

The only time ESS-13 is harmful to fish is during an ESS-13 waterborne application. Once the water has cleared, fish may safely be added.

Please let me know if you nee any additional information. Please feel free to call me at any time.

Betty Bailey
Vice President
Seepage Control, Inc.
1-800-214-9640
_________________________
Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter. Mark Twain







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#3187 - 03/13/04 06:24 AM Re: Sandy soil (ESS-13 or what???)
mark engel Offline
Member

Registered: 05/08/03
Posts: 11
Loc: Oklahoma City
its only been a few days but i think im holding water. my pump is only putting in about 30 gallons a minute and i think that takes about a week for an acre foot. my approx. acre surface came up several inches in a 2 days and that would mean very little seepage on freshly covered area. im going to try and measure my area and flow a little more exact and keep track of my gain. i have a pump that will put in an acre foot in about 7 hours but my little creek wont keep up unless it just rained. right now im just trying to keep the bentonite wet until the spring rains can bring it on up. i calculated that it would take years to fill with this litle pump. pray for runoff.

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#3188 - 03/13/04 06:29 AM Re: Sandy soil (ESS-13 or what???)
mark engel Offline
Member

Registered: 05/08/03
Posts: 11
Loc: Oklahoma City
also i have no fish and i would love to have a truck load of sealant to broadcast as the lake came up. how much did they say for those barrels of ess-13?

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#3189 - 03/13/04 12:49 PM Re: Sandy soil (ESS-13 or what???)
Cecil Baird1 Offline
Hall of Fame

Lunker

Registered: 08/08/02
Posts: 18164
Loc: Northeastern Indiana
You need to contact them Mark and find out. I gave away all my information. They can give you an estimate over the phone.
_________________________
Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter. Mark Twain







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#3190 - 03/23/04 09:59 AM Re: Sandy soil (ESS-13 or what???)
Shawn Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/23/04
Posts: 1
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Mark, Just this morning I came across this discussion on Pond Boss. ESS-13 has been around since 1958 and it has worked in a waterborne application to seal ponds since then. That being said, not all ponds are right for an ESS-13 treatment. We want to be involved with each pond to make sure that each one is right for treatment. Specifically, if a pond has a hole where the water is 'flowing' out (through a rock formation, etc.) then we do not recommend a waterborne application. Rather, in these cases we recommend a dry application where the ESS-13 is mixed with the soil and compacted.

For those that have had small ponds where this is not econimical, they have brought in clay or a lot of bentonite and compacted it knowing that a waterborne application may be an option for them down the road. The bottom line is that we would rather walk away from a project (and we have, as evidenced by other pond boss discussions) than have a failure.

We also have a limited warranty with each project just in case there are some factors that the pond owner is not aware of before treatment. We will happily answer all questions about what ESS-13 can do for you at 1-800-214-9640. If you would like to speak to me directly, my extension is 21.
I look forward to hearing from you again soon!

Thank you,

Shawn

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#3191 - 03/24/04 09:57 PM Re: Sandy soil (ESS-13 or what???)
mark engel Offline
Member

Registered: 05/08/03
Posts: 11
Loc: Oklahoma City
shawn thanks for the phone number. i may call you. right now i want to see how i progress. discing in the bentonite definitely plugged the middle some and im going to have to see what happens as the water comes up this spring. we havent had a trace of rain in over 3 weeks and i had to turn off my pump a week ago last Sunday. in 11 days its fallen about 12-13 inches. i think thats ok on new fill. i have about exactly one acre of surface with a max of maybe 5 feet depth. i may have stopped my real leak below but i need to see what happens as i spread out from there. my bentonite job covered about 80% of the area under water-the relatively sandy bottom center hole of my dam area. from here the water is really going to start spreading out on clay i have never had water on before. i need rain. i may call just for your brochure and your thoughts on how much drop is acceptable while i wait to see what happens. thanks.

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#3192 - 03/30/04 09:23 PM Re: Sandy soil (ESS-13 or what???)
mark engel Offline
Member

Registered: 05/08/03
Posts: 11
Loc: Oklahoma City
the last week it rained a little less than an inch. water is definitely holding firm. tilling in bentonite works. its the same acre of water but it definitely holds now. i need some runoff to bring it up and see if it holds good above the area i tilled in the bentonite. my entire watershed is terraced from years ago when they farmed it and i am going to eliminate the terraces. my watershed is only about 120 acres which i found out is very close for a 14 acre pond around here. i need to make sure im getting all available runoff.

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#3193 - 03/30/04 10:09 PM Re: Sandy soil (ESS-13 or what???)
zhkent Offline
Lunker

Registered: 03/18/04
Posts: 229
Loc: Burlington, Kansas
I rebuilt my pond and tripled it's size. I went deep through blue shale and hit a seam of coal. I was afraid it would leak, but had no clay to seal it. It did leak showing up in a hay meadow 200-300 ft down the hill. I used 20 $5.00 bags of bentonite and sprinkled it out of a boat.
It didn't seal completely, but would say sealed 90%. Plan to add another 20 bags sometime, but pond is staying full.
Kent
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#3194 - 11/22/04 04:34 PM Re: Sandy soil (ESS-13 or what???)
bkhovest Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/11/04
Posts: 4
I have read all the resposes and still have the same question. I understand I need to do a test dig and I will do it before prodeeding with one method or another. Has anyone used ESS-13? I am trying to do research on differnet methods if I need to seal the pond. Can anyone other than the company that produces ESS-13 tell if it works? Or should I look into some type of liner if I need to seal the pond?

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#3195 - 11/29/04 01:32 PM Re: Sandy soil (ESS-13 or what???)
ilovefishingmark Offline
Member

Registered: 04/21/03
Posts: 271
Loc: mtn. home, arkansas
i did speak with the ees13 folks from seepage control.com. nice folks. he was pretty upfront with me and said it would be pretty expensive for my pond! my pond is almost 4 acres, but 25 feet deep in ssome areas. so, i believe he said they have to calculate an amount for the volume of water, not just acreage. they were pleasant however. i'm glad i waited, because with a year of waiting, my pond is holding like a bucket of water (took time to saturate/pack whatever). i would comment that it does seem to be more convenient, cheaper, and better to try to seal when you are building the pond if you are concerned about it holding (i..e poor soil type) rather than "hoping" and trying to fix it later from what i've seen folks say on this site! mark

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#3196 - 12/16/04 09:28 AM Re: Sandy soil (ESS-13 or what???)
Aaron Klusmire Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/14/04
Posts: 7
Loc: Nebraska
I used seepage control on two projects in eastern NE this year. The first was a constructed wetland about 1.25 acres in size, the other was a 4 acre sandpit along the Elkhorn river. The first was a slam dunk, good soil and compaction. The application has worked very well, with no seepage. The second application was just recently finished and the verdict is still out on that one. I have had no problems with the guys from seepage control, everything they have told me so far has been true and they have been very easy to work with. I beleive that in most ponds and lakes at least in the Midwest, the ESS-13 is a better choice than bentonite. Recommended rates of powder bentonite on the 4 acre sandpit was 2.5 pounds per square feet. So we needed about 435,600 pounds. Even if they are giving it away, trying to get 400,000 pounds of anything shipped to NE was not cost effective. With the ESS-13, if the equiptment is there, 4 guys can seal a 4 acre pond in one day. This saved me thousands of dollars in labor vs. bentonite. Finding the right location for a pond or lake is still the best bang for the buck, but it is nice to have some options when trying to seal ponds and lakes.

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#3197 - 04/07/07 12:34 PM Re: Sandy soil (ESS-13 or what???)
Tom H Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/08/06
Posts: 1
I have a 4 acre pond in Oregon with silty clay. We recently pored ESS-13 to stop 1 1/2" daily leak. We are monitoring results and expect to need further work to solve it. I'll be happy to post or answer your questions.

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#3198 - 05/09/07 08:55 PM Re: Sandy soil (ESS-13 or what???)
atticus Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/03/07
Posts: 3
Loc: Texas
When I checked, cost of ESS-13 for 4 acre tank was $42,000.----out of my range for a ranch pond. Wish there was a good alternative. Also checked on bentonite---was $35,000.

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