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#428987 - 11/11/15 11:34 PM Soil-Floc, it continues to be an amazing product!!
canyoncreek Offline


Registered: 05/07/13
Posts: 1641
Loc: West Michigan
First, I need to apologize to TJ for the suspense he has had to endure while I he waited for me to finally have a window of time to sit down and put this post together. This is one of his 'babies'. I'm sure he felt like a proud Papa who knew his wife had delivered a baby but wasn't allowed to hear the details, find out the name, or see the little guy till the baby was a month old!!

But I had some difficulty in deciding on whether the project worked or not due to changing weather conditions and then got set back when my mom got the very unexpected news that the blood in her urine late one Saturday night was not a kidney stone but a very large and very ugly kidney cancer. Everything in my life has been more or less on hold as I tried to help her, dad and the family through this. She is home from the hospital, slowly recovering from her operation, and we are all trying to grapple with all the new uncertainties in life.

Certainly the pond has not been in the forefront but I still watch it every day and finally tonight I'm going to try to get this report done. I owe it to TJ to do it and so here it is.

Background:
Ground water pond, was dug for street/storm sewer run off about 25 years ago. At the time the excavator said he dug as deep has his trackhoe arm would go and could not punch through the clay in the test hole. The land was vacant and the pond was shallow, always full of green slime, trees fell in it, not maintained by anyone and if there was any fish in there it was from bucket stocking. Probably somewhere along the way people put their pet goldfish in as neighbors report at times hundreds of goldfish in there. Originally about 6' deep, about 1/4 acre

We bought the lot what 4 years ago, cleared the woods through the first fall/winter, and then had the excavator prepare the building site and redig the pond 3 springs ago. This time he did hit a sand vein over in one corner of the pond when he got deeper than the original pond was. So although still mostly a sand clay mix the bottom of the pond had one water vein into the sand. THe incoming water prevented the bulldozer from going down into the bottom of the pond and pushing out the dirt. So they kept the current depth at the time of hitting the vein, about 9' in the middle, and then had the trackhoe on the shore reaching in and finishing the sides to a nice gradual 4-1 or 5-1 run to rise slope.

From the beginning we could see the typical fluctuations of a ground water pond with the rains and the street run off, it comes up a foot, about a week or so later, back down about 6" and depending on how the water table is the pond either stays good, or drops dramatically.

I had a line from the house trenched in so I could fill it at will using a timer and water valve in the house on my house well. I also have a frost free old fashioned pump/hydrant handle out by the pond to fill using a hose but this comes off the same buried line that goes from house to well and off the same house well. 10gpm is about best I can hope for by the time you figure resistance of the line for the 250' to the pond.

I can't run any water in the house when the pond line is running full tilt so I set timer to fill from midnight to say 6am, 5am in the summer when my sprinklers have to go off early. So I have 5-6 hours of fill time. When it is dry in the summer, running every night I could barely budge the pond level. If I only ran a garden hose off the hydrant out by the pond, the smaller flow rate through the hose would allow me to run the shower inside so I could run the hydrant 24/7 and then I could fill the pond more noticeably after running it 24/7 for 4-5 days.

Filling the pond was OK, 3 seasons out of the year not bad, spring and fall rains helped. Winter was bad because if I filled the pond the ice would melt. Kids wanted to skate but the levels in the pond would drop so far by the end of the winter the ice would be like a bowl and the kids would slide into the middle of the bowl and couldn't get out the sides anymore.

It became clear that long term it is no fun filling the pond constantly and what to do in the winter?

I read everything I could on the forum about the SoilFloc and also TJ was very kind one afternoon and answered all my questions in a long phone call Thanks TJ! HE prepared me for everything I needed to do the application myself.

---------------------
There is a first time for everything!!

We decided to treat the whole pond even though I had an idea where the sand vein was. My goal was to do this once and do it right! I figured if I needed a touch up 2nd application at least the first one would tell me what a full on, complete application the first time around could do and then I would have flexibility to spot treat or do a 2nd application based on my experience the first time.

Supplies: Harbor Freight cheap poly rope, thin is fine, floating is fine, I bought 2 100' sections as my pond is 100' wide (and about 200' long)

I also got 4 5 gallon buckets. It helps to tie a string around the handle of 2 of them or in my case, get 2 different colors (2 white and something other than white for me)



An old row boat is a very good idea. Stability is good, being able to rinse it with a hose and let it sit a bit is good for the challenge of cleanup afterwards.

I filled 4 buckets for starters not wanting to overload the boat but you probably could work with 6 or even 8 if you had a stable boat 14' or bigger.


I also experimented with a hand held, hand crank grass seed applicator.




Some way to mark your progress on the banks of the pond is good. I used a spray can to paint the grass. But you can use snow stakes (1/4" fiberglass ones are easy to put in and take out by hand) You can see the brown stripes in the grass in this picture. This helped the shore crew to know exactly where to stand with the ropes.

Note! I initially marked at 3.5' distances apart. But I forgot that the boat is about 3.5' wide itself so that covers the water 'under the boat' as it goes back and forth across the pond and really you are working to spread out the side of the boat as you sit sideways and are really working in the 3.5' that the product is being thrown out the side of the boat. So my rope crew were really moving to every 2nd mark on the grass as I went to the next pass of product on the pond. So in the future I would have marked it every 7' not every 3.5'

The 3.5' number comes from the application rate of the product. You are throwing a certain amount of product into a 11 sq foot box, a box that is 3.5' by 3.5' So i concentrated on trying to throw the product evenly across a 3.5' width swath. I found out by experience that my grass seed spreader probably covers that 3.5' width exceptionally evenly and perhaps even a bit wider throw, maybe 4-5' I just made sure I threw out a little extra and also the swaths back and forth overlapped a bit so there was plenty and thorough coverage.



From there it was trial and error and learn as you go. I had a man on each side of the pond. I pulled the boat the short axis of the pond back and forth with ropes tied to front and back. If I was being pulled backwards, then the guy holding the rope that was attached to the front was keeping tension on his rope. This kept the boat precisely in place and the man pulling in back could control the speed. We soon learned that a steady but slow hand over hand retrieve of the boat led to the most even application.

It is critical that there be no wind or you won't be able to get an even throw on the product (throwing by hand or by spreader) and the plume on the surface instead of sinking as intended, would all blow to one side and you lose your coverage.

Here is what it looks like after several back and forths. You can see that the areas do overlap and they tend to move a bit on the top (swirl from boat going back and forth and a very slight breath of wind we had that day)



Note that even though we went in straight lines, the product moves a bit, swirls, twists but most of it sinks and does it thing as it goes down.



First application of entire pond done!



TJ can teach anyone who is interested how to do this but basically you get 2oz part A and 2 oz part B and throw A first and B next and then move to the next 'square' and do the same.

this is NOT according to package label but I did do it differently. I put 2 oz of part A and then 2 oz of part B in the grass seed thrower making sure to 'layer' the two parts even in the small hopper. Then I hoped as the agitator went around in the bottom it would mix it on the way out. TJ warned to mix, mix mix and not try to do large portions of A and B without premixing well (meaning no 1 gallon of A on top of 1 gallon of B in a bucket and try to mix all at once) I hoped smaller quantities mixed would work.

I also found that by keeping the boat in steady slow motion across the pond I could also control the flow of the spreader threw the hole at the bottom and could also find a comfortable steady crank speed on the hand crank and get a even coverage. I dialed in the hole at the bottom to a #4 out of 6 setting and then the crank speed of your hand crank you just have to figure out what works for the conditions.

We also found that after proper application rate (maybe even a bit heavy) that we had a bunch of product left. TJ ordered the right amount for me but I must have not calculated the pond size correctly! So with plenty of product and the boat pretty slimy by that point we decided to go back over the whole thing again. It seemed like the warnings by the manufacturer were all focused on people who didn't apply enough or didn't apply evenly, not on over application!

We did the whole drill again, this time we had some experience and could easily get the right speed, the right product application, and then the shore team moved to the next mark on the grass and another pass etc. When we had another good heavy application, I went around the shore and reapplied to the banks since the boat can't get the shallows too well. I put plenty up in the first 6" of grass or so as well thinking positively about the likelihood that my pond isn't going to go down anymore, so future rains this fall will bring me up above the current grass line and we might as well keep the levels high there as well!

Then clean up, (good luck hosing that slippery goo out of the boat! spraying water on it only makes it slippery-er) (handy to have that hydrant down by the pond though!)




----------
Conclusions:

Part A powder attracts particles and pulls them down into the bottom layer. This creates overnight instant clarity. Amazing to see everything in the pond that I haven't seen in a while. My pallets are easily visible, but I also can count by sight the hundreds of goldfish! I had a turbid pond all year, probably from goldfish, and crayfish stirring up the bottom. I have no vegetation thanks to the crayfish. This worked to my advantage as the soilfloc works best in a 'nude' bottom. Heavy vegetation means the product can't glob the soil together.

Part B then takes that stuck together soil and adds a crosslinked polymer on top of it and then pushes that down into any crack that is pulling water down into it (a leak) Clearly the part B is what makes everything slippery. 2 weeks later I was in dress clothes and shoes and made a mistake of standing with both feet parallel to shore and then before you know it I, I hit a patch of that Part B polymer in the grass where we had hosed out the boat and voila, I was in the pond. Very ungraceful way to go, feet slipping in the air, no way to catch yourself! Watch out, the banks get very slippery!

So I still have a little extra left, stored in the house. I'm hoping I don't have to use it but can always reapply in the spring. Water temps are not ideal for applying now as the warmer the temps, the faster the chemical reactions that make the stuff work per TJ

So how did it work? Well that was part of the problem. About every 3-4 days we have had rain this fall here. SO right when I get a reading on rate of decline per day, it rains and we go back up to full pool again. The best I can say is that it is working EXTREMELY well. I can easily see that once the level is up, it stays up for a lot lot longer than before. The water level is staying over top of my culvert that brings water in from the street. Usually in about 3 days that 14" culvert would go from being covered to being up in the air with no water touching it.

In the late summer early fall with ground pretty dry and some evaporation going on in the late august weather we would lose about 1" a day, probably a bit faster in the hot days of August. I'm sure evaporation was much less by the time I finished the project in October but right after I completed it, we had no rain for about a week. I figured during that stretch we lost perhaps 1" in SEVEN days rather than 1 day. Since then I can't track it due to steady rain events.

I'm thrilled with the results to say the least. The product is not cheap but then again I probably bought enough for 3 applications. But it is effective.

Now I have a new concern. If we get heavy rains and my pond doesn't go down much at all, I'm going to have to worry about overflow issues! We never faced that as in between rains I always lost enough rain to make room for the next one.

I'm also excited about winter time levels staying up better for skating. I suspect that losing an inch a week or so, maybe more over the long winter as ground water table goes down, will still cause a noticeable drop over the 3-4 months of winter that I can't pump it back up. But it has to be much better than before!

Depending on how this winter goes, I can always reapply in the spring.

It also is a great feeling that I don't have to use lots of electric and the wear and tear on my well pump to constantly add water to the pond anymore. I still can do it anytime I want but hopefully it will be a rare thing now.

Many thanks to TJ for helping me through this. Hopefully my experience will help others. If you have questions or something wasn't clear, please ask, I'd love to help someone else in the area if they want to tackle doing this in their pond!

CC













Edited by canyoncreek (11/11/15 11:35 PM)

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#428997 - 11/12/15 06:40 AM Re: Soil-Floc, it continues to be an amazing product!! [Re: canyoncreek]
Dave Davidson1 Offline
Moderator
Lunker

Registered: 01/04/06
Posts: 13169
Loc: Hurst & Bowie, Texas
CC, great news. I need to read this about 3 time to digest your methodology.
_________________________
It's not about the fish. It's about the pond. Take care of the pond and the fish will be fine. PB subscriber since before it was in color.

Without a sense of urgency, Nothing ever gets done.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP

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#429040 - 11/12/15 01:38 PM Re: Soil-Floc, it continues to be an amazing product!! [Re: canyoncreek]
dane Offline


Registered: 02/06/15
Posts: 13
Loc: NE
It has been about four and a half months since TJ helped me with a Soil-floc application on my 1 acre pond. I have not run my pump since that time and previously I was running it every week to 10 days. Since my application I am still only losing amounts about equal to the NOAA evaporation table listing for my area and the rains have made up for that. I could not be more satisfied, and yes CC my kids are also looking forward to skating on flat ice this year!

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#429043 - 11/12/15 02:23 PM Re: Soil-Floc, it continues to be an amazing product!! [Re: canyoncreek]
teehjaeh57 Offline
Chairman, Pond Boss Legacy award; Moderator; field correspondent
Lunker

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 7734
Loc: Lincoln, NE
Thanks Jeff and Mark for the honest appraisals - exactly what we need is reliable empirical data so I can determine the capabilities and limitations of this solution. After 20 projects, we're hovering around the 90% success rate - but have run into issues with using the coarse grind product C.

This report was very complete and thorough - I am going to provide this link for future projects so guys can review your testimonial. Thank you for the kind words, Jeff - it was great working with you, and I'm pumped your pond leak, for now, has been resolved! I hope it remains tight indefinitely.
_________________________
Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. ~ Henry David Thoreau





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#429056 - 11/12/15 05:12 PM Re: Soil-Floc, it continues to be an amazing product!! [Re: canyoncreek]
liquidsquid Offline


Registered: 11/20/11
Posts: 1845
Loc: East Bloomfield, NY USA
Wow, thanks for this report!

It finally stopped raining here long enough to see that I still do in fact have a leak. It is less than originally, but I still see about 1/2 inch a day on average, even with a small stream running in. I think I now have the wife sold on getting this thing plugged up, she is tired of looking at bathtub rings also (and hearing me complain about it).

My neighbor wants in too, his pond is on the hill top and has a lot of trouble filling and then leaks quite a lot. We will be helping each other on this project.

First things first... wife demands a trip to Florida next spring. So not until after that.
_________________________
Bear with me, just learning...

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#429156 - 11/13/15 11:37 AM Re: Soil-Floc, it continues to be an amazing product!! [Re: canyoncreek]
Custom 68 Offline


Registered: 05/09/14
Posts: 109
Loc: Springfield MO area
CC great write up and thank you for that. Also good luck to your mom and your family they will be in my thoughts. I have talked to TJ much earlier this year about my pond issues and as stated he is a great guy and very helpful. I have not pulled the trigger yet as I was saving up and deciding if this is right for me or if my leak issues are bigger than this might handle.
That leads me to a question. How much water were you loosing? I saw some different references in your write up and wanted to understand. I will need to look at my notes but mine is substantial it will leak about 4 or so inches per day but always stops at the same level after the leak down. I don't know that this is "fixable" with this Soil-Floc.
Thanks again
David
_________________________
Thanks
Dave
1 acre pond.

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#429415 - 11/16/15 10:50 AM Re: Soil-Floc, it continues to be an amazing product!! [Re: canyoncreek]
4CornersPuddle Offline


Registered: 01/24/11
Posts: 192
Loc: southwest Colorado
CC, thanks for the thorough and clear narrative. That's some good writing. I easily envisioned myself on the bank watching the process.
Here's a thought for topping off a slow leaking pond with ice cover.

I may be all wet; I've never tried this but, since you have a close approximation of the present leak rate for your pond, how about trying to add water with your hose under the ice at a rate equal to or slightly less than the leak rate? The idea would be to not puddle water on top of the ice but to keep in underneath to support the ice cover?

You'd have to figure a way to keep the hose from freezing if it were not running of course-bury it, insulate it, something else? If the discharge were under the ice cover and the rate of flow was slower than the leak, would the additional water buoy the ice cap without running out on top?

Has anyone here tried such a thing? I'll set up the experiment this winter on my pond just to learn. The discharge end may have to be in deep enough water that the warmer water (less dense) mixes with cold water and doesn't rise the top and start melting the ice.

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#429424 - 11/16/15 01:23 PM Re: Soil-Floc, it continues to be an amazing product!! [Re: canyoncreek]
liquidsquid Offline


Registered: 11/20/11
Posts: 1845
Loc: East Bloomfield, NY USA
The warmer water from the hose will rise to the surface, and still chew a hole or at minimum make the ice dangerously thin. Think under-ice springs and what they do to the ice above them.
_________________________
Bear with me, just learning...

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#429428 - 11/16/15 02:20 PM Re: Soil-Floc, it continues to be an amazing product!! [Re: canyoncreek]
canyoncreek Offline


Registered: 05/07/13
Posts: 1641
Loc: West Michigan
Custom 68: I didn't have a ruler in the water in the spring or summer so I can't be sure how much I lose. I had it in from late summer to early fall and watched it long enough to say that it was about 1" per day. Some of this was late summer heat and evaporation, but the biggest variable was the ground water table. If the water table was saturated it would hold level pretty good and go down slowly. But if the weather was dry for 10-14 days and the water table started dropping then it would drop the pond faster.

I don't know if the pond would hit a 'low point' and never drop after that. I suspect since my leak was probably all over in the bottom but mainly in the gravel/sand vein that the excavator hit that I probably would have continued down a ways. I always started pumping when it got bad, and also we were bound to get another rain which would help me help fill it faster.

To address your leak, you have to decide if you think you know where it is leaking and how reliably you feel that is the answer. If not, then you are best off treating the whole thing. TJ can help you on the logistics of deciding, where, when, and how much to treat on the first go round. My pond was small enough and I felt i wanted to do this once so I went all out. I may even have to do a second application but so far so good.

I'm sure especially when my pond was newly 'redug' we had leakage in the side walls of the pond as you could see the water wicking up into the dirt on the side walls even above the water level. But by now I think that part is not happening much and I treated the sides up into the grass a bit to try to prevent that.

You have to take into account so many variables when working on your own project, including how much vegetation you have on the bottom and what the current water temps are.

Right now I'm still sticking at about 1" water loss per week, we had unusually nice 50-60 deg days the past few days and I think we had a little evaporation. However i think i probably still have a little leak through the bottom, hard to say.

A very slow leak isn't so bad for me since I need to make room for future large advances of water from rain events. In the winter it probably will still lose volume over the long winter under the ice but we'll see.

I can't see the bottom anymore as the shallows are coated with oak leaves. A few very sad looking tilapia oriented straight up in the water, lips moving, gills flailing, using fins to try to keep their head upright, struggling to stay alive one more day. I feel badly and have run the aerator in the sunlight hours to try to get them a little more warm water turned over for them. I imagine November 16 is probably the latest I'll ever see tilapia alive in my pond as we usually have much colder Novembers than this year.

The crayfish don't mind, I see a few picked clean tilapia carcases on the bottom. The circle of life continues..

----
4Corners, we have a pipe from the well that is now about 30 feet out from the bank and right on the bottom. We tried raising the ice in the winter but even running it slow, the warm water coming out of that pipe (55 or so deg) seems to just come straight up and pool in one warm pocket. It creates a hole and slushes up the underside of any snow that is on the ice and ruins the ice. I guess if you had a way to prechill the water to 39 and then send it out into the pond that might work. I guess if you set up a big closed loop heat exchanger on the bottom, ran the water through that loop for enough time for the pond to cool it down then released it it would work fine.



Edited by canyoncreek (11/16/15 02:52 PM)

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#429432 - 11/16/15 02:36 PM Re: Soil-Floc, it continues to be an amazing product!! [Re: canyoncreek]
Custom 68 Offline


Registered: 05/09/14
Posts: 109
Loc: Springfield MO area
Thank you canyoncreek for the additional information. Yes I will end up talking to TJ again I am sure. I really would like mine fixed and no I dont know where the leak or leaks are at but I do suspect it was a gravel vein that was hit during the initial digging. He had to go deeper than wanted to get thru the gravel and the core I don't suspect he got all of it packed good.
Again thanks for taking the time to answer my question.
Dave
_________________________
Thanks
Dave
1 acre pond.

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#439872 - 03/08/16 06:57 PM Re: Soil-Floc, it continues to be an amazing product!! [Re: canyoncreek]
canyoncreek Offline


Registered: 05/07/13
Posts: 1641
Loc: West Michigan
I thought I would try to post some before and after pictures.

Before soil floc, and after last winter (Winter of 2014-2015) which was colder, snowier, and had longer snow cover in the spring, we had this much for water loss at ice out.



(Life was better for the dog then as he could still get in the pond and chase frogs and go for a swim...Not no more due to an underground fence loop around the pond...)

This is taken today from roughly the same perspective. It was a warmer winter, 50s at Christmas time yet, less snowcover and a bit earlier ice out. Definitely a sunny winter which is rare in SW MI.

Soil floc surely worked well!


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#460420 - 12/16/16 12:21 PM Re: Soil-Floc, it continues to be an amazing product!! [Re: canyoncreek]
aighead Offline


Registered: 12/14/16
Posts: 38
Loc: Dayton, Ohio
Beautiful write-up, thank you! Are the banks still slippery? I laughed at your description of sliding in in your dress clothes, sounds like something I would do.
_________________________
Snort Coffee is a podcast about goofy stuff. Hope to add ponding to my list of hobbies.

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#460423 - 12/16/16 01:41 PM Re: Soil-Floc, it continues to be an amazing product!! [Re: canyoncreek]
canyoncreek Offline


Registered: 05/07/13
Posts: 1641
Loc: West Michigan
aighead, thanks! No, banks aren't slippery anymore, but it took quite a while for that big pile of soilfloc that had washed out of the boat to dissipate or breakdown.

Once the soilfloc grabs suspended particles and clay silt and then compacts itself into a tight layer on the bottom you get much less silting. I find it very hard to drive sticks in by hand as you feel as if you are drilling through a rock hard top layer (I can only presume it is the compacted soilfloc)

yet, if you take a stick and scratch lightly the top layer does give a little poof of silt into the water. So probably the new layer of sediment is laying loosely on top of the under layer of compacted sediment.

This fall I had some drops that didn't make sense to me based on rainfall and the local water table being high. My big variable outside of evaporation now is the trees on each side of the pond. While I think the bottom is pretty well sealed (after 2 full pond applications) I do wonder how much water all the trees suck out of the pond at various times of the year.

I also have some new wet spots in my grass that I didn't have before closer to the house and uphill from the pond. I do wonder if since the low spot in the yard (the pond) is sealed, if the water table is pushing the water up at new places in the yard as the water veins find their own path. You never stop learning and wondering about these things.

I do wonder now if my new weeds/plants are not establishing like they did before because no seed can penetrate into that 'concrete' like surface and establish? I have some sedges and reeds that start on their own on the edge where I mow, but absolutely no vegetation whatsoever anywhere once I did the soilfloc...

Of course I also have (or did have) lots of hungry goldfish and possibly a few crayfish that could be eating the plants too smile

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#460424 - 12/16/16 02:24 PM Re: Soil-Floc, it continues to be an amazing product!! [Re: canyoncreek]
aighead Offline


Registered: 12/14/16
Posts: 38
Loc: Dayton, Ohio
Well now I'm very intrigued to learn if other folks have a similar lack of vegetation through the soilfloc layer? The plan I have include a fair amount of vegetation, in specific areas, to assist in water filtration. Maybe I'll need to have liner in those areas, which should be relatively small anyway.

Can you walk on the SF? Does that alter it's impermeability?

I'll apologize that I'll likely ask these questions a few different places. As I learn I hope to do that less and less but I'm attempting to learn as much as I can from you guys!
_________________________
Snort Coffee is a podcast about goofy stuff. Hope to add ponding to my list of hobbies.

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#460425 - 12/16/16 02:59 PM Re: Soil-Floc, it continues to be an amazing product!! [Re: aighead]
canyoncreek Offline


Registered: 05/07/13
Posts: 1641
Loc: West Michigan
I don't think it is a problem to get plants established after soil floc but you may have to plant them yourself. The soil floc layer can't be more than the top 1 or 2" and you can easily penetrate with a shovel. If you plan to add 'desirable' plants I see no issues.

I may be wrong about the soilfloc acting as a barrier for seeds to establish on their own. It is hard to do a truly scientific study on that. First, not many people get to put soilfloc in a pond that is brand new with a bare bottom. I was able to do that only because I had just prior to soilfloc done a complete plant kill and had added crayfish. Plus the goldfish and crayfish (probably the crayfish) were stirring up the bottom and I had like 3" visibility that whole summer so no plant life. I then did the soilfloc in the fall so basically treated a bare bottom pond.

Most people add it in a pond that already has vegetation so probably always have places where the bottom stays 'mucky' and where plants can grow, spread, new seeds can root etc.

Others can share if they had new vegetation coming in places where it wasn't before after soilfloc.

Also, the seeds for aquatic plants often come from ducks, geese and so far we have had very few visitors so maybe my pond will grow weeds like crazy once the seeds actually arrive in the pond?

For now I'm happy since the weeds that did grow in the past were unwanted invasives (eurasian water milfoil) so at least if I want to get some hardy lilies or other desirable pond plant going, I can control how many and where I want them!

As for walking on it, it really isn't slippery. It feels more like walking on a crust, not a bad feeling. But once I get in a little deeper water (where I haven't been as faithful about raking out the leaves) everything feels kind of squishy and nasty like you would expect a pond bottom to be when things decompose and settle.

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#460429 - 12/16/16 03:13 PM Re: Soil-Floc, it continues to be an amazing product!! [Re: canyoncreek]
aighead Offline


Registered: 12/14/16
Posts: 38
Loc: Dayton, Ohio
Thanks CC, you rock! So walking on it doesn't seem to break the crust and releasing all the water out of the cracks? Like if you put a crack in the bottom of a bowl of soup?

SoilFloc seems pretty fascinating.
_________________________
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#460432 - 12/16/16 03:40 PM Re: Soil-Floc, it continues to be an amazing product!! [Re: canyoncreek]
canyoncreek Offline


Registered: 05/07/13
Posts: 1641
Loc: West Michigan
I'm told soilfloc works best in warm water so looks like you will have to wait till water warms up next May or June and then can experiment with it in a shallow section of your pond where you can test its properties yourself. TJ (on this forum) knows more than me and has more experience with what the pond bottom feels like or acts like a year or more after treatment. HE has done dozens of projects like mine.

Walking does not seem to affect the top layer very much. But you have to remember, for this to work, it isn't like sealing a porcelain or porous bowl by putting a thin layer of paint over the pores. The veins of sand and gravel in the bottom of the pond need a 'plug' of this stuff (polymer plus attached silt and sand) to all work its way down the crack, using the pressure of the water above it to keep forcing it down the crack to fill in the crack. That is why sometimes I think it might take one or 2 applications to bring enough polymer and suspended soil down into the hold to plug the vein or rent.

If the soil on the bottom of your pond is mostly gravel or rocky then the soilfloc probably has a harder time filling all the potential holes.

You could talk to TJ about buying a bag or even a partial bag of part A and part B (one unit) mixing and experimenting.

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#460435 - 12/16/16 03:48 PM Re: Soil-Floc, it continues to be an amazing product!! [Re: canyoncreek]
aighead Offline


Registered: 12/14/16
Posts: 38
Loc: Dayton, Ohio
I can dig it, thanks CC! Kinda like filling the cracks in drywall or something...

Did I forget to mention that your pond and setting looks lovely?
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Snort Coffee is a podcast about goofy stuff. Hope to add ponding to my list of hobbies.

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#460437 - 12/16/16 04:00 PM Re: Soil-Floc, it continues to be an amazing product!! [Re: canyoncreek]
canyoncreek Offline


Registered: 05/07/13
Posts: 1641
Loc: West Michigan
I was looking at your pictures and it looks very much like how mine started, an old pond, stagnant, full of muck, debris, but trees all around so hard to get equipment in.

I very much recommend a plan to deepen as much as you can on the first go around. If I had known what I know now, I would have had pumps on hand to pump empty, better equipment (long arm excavator) to get the bottom deeper etc. Since I have a ground water pond with not enough clay to seal on its own, I have to deal with water table changes, sand veins etc. The plan at the time was use a short arm excavator from sides, and bulldozer to push it out of the middle. But it wasn't dry enough for that plan and as they punctured the water vein the pumps weren't keeping up and the dozer had to quit or get stuck.

My backup was to run a water line from the well and fill it frequently. The soilfloc has at least kept my filling from the well a minimum and the periodic heavy rains help keep it much fuller than before.

Only by mucking out the years of muck/leaves do you get a good headstart in reducing nutrient load, and also for the first time you will truly know what the soil is like at the bottom of the pond. If it is gravel, sand, you know then you might not win with soilfloc and you might need a supplemental source for water (even a stab well / shallow well near the pond) If you find mostly clay and you plan for it, you might be able to use the clay that you find, recompact it correctly in the bottom and sides, and when it refills, you won't even need soilfloc.

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#460441 - 12/16/16 04:26 PM Re: Soil-Floc, it continues to be an amazing product!! [Re: canyoncreek]
aighead Offline


Registered: 12/14/16
Posts: 38
Loc: Dayton, Ohio
Thanks for the input CC. My guess is the pond is only about 14 or so years old and was dug when the house was built. I think we have decent clay around, but I don't know for sure and haven't done any testing of the ground. I know I have several neighbors with pretty big ponds, but don't know if they are natural or if they were installed. They do not seem to have the water level fluctuation I have.

How do you know if you have a ground water pond? Everything in my front yard slants toward the pond and it fills with a fair amount of the run-off of the gutters on my house but I don't have a concept of how much water that really adds. Before we bought the place there was a creek running nicely down the north side of the property but that was the last that I saw running water in it, which was mid to late spring so we'll see how it goes this spring.

I'm not afraid to ruin my front yard in pursuit of a great pond. The gf has blessed the project and her dad has some equipment he is willing to help with, though I doubt a long arm excavator...

I'm a bit nervous about water usage... My neighbor said I may have a spring but it's on the complete opposite side of my property, probably 500 feet away, and I haven't confirmed it yet. I doubt I can afford to dig a well (though Dayton sits on huge amounts of water) and certainly can't afford to pay the city to pump water in from the hose for any permanent solution.
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Snort Coffee is a podcast about goofy stuff. Hope to add ponding to my list of hobbies.

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#461089 - 12/28/16 04:44 PM Re: Soil-Floc, it continues to be an amazing product!! [Re: aighead]
58er Offline


Registered: 10/30/16
Posts: 22
Loc: Michigan
Does soil floc work on a relatively steep bank, maybe 2or 3 to 1 or so.
I have a spot that I must not have compacted completely and the clay seems to be shifting and falling away with water seeping through. Pond was just completed and hasn't filled yet. Just kicking around ideas to try if cracks become a problem.
thanks

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#461117 - 12/29/16 02:03 AM Re: Soil-Floc, it continues to be an amazing product!! [Re: canyoncreek]
teehjaeh57 Offline
Chairman, Pond Boss Legacy award; Moderator; field correspondent
Lunker

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 7734
Loc: Lincoln, NE
I've used polymer on slopes as steep as 1:1 - we don't know if any leaks were originating from those steep banks - but what I do know is if there were, the polymer sealed them. 2:1 is no problem.
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#461120 - 12/29/16 08:13 AM Re: Soil-Floc, it continues to be an amazing product!! [Re: 58er]
snrub Online   content


Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 4395
Loc: SE Kansas
If it is on the dam and the surface of the slope is loose but the core and center were compacted properly you are probably fine. If it is around undisturbed soil or is that loose down into the dam, that could be a problem. Or if it was a soil type that does not compact well.


Edited by snrub (12/29/16 08:14 AM)
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#461197 - 12/30/16 04:45 PM Re: Soil-Floc, it continues to be an amazing product!! [Re: canyoncreek]
Dave Davidson1 Offline
Moderator
Lunker

Registered: 01/04/06
Posts: 13169
Loc: Hurst & Bowie, Texas
Aighead, I spilled some soilfloc around my house. I stepped on it later after a rain. It is danged slick. I used a shovel to move it.
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#472423 - 05/21/17 04:56 PM Re: Soil-Floc, it continues to be an amazing product!! [Re: canyoncreek]
keifer Offline


Registered: 05/21/17
Posts: 11
Loc: SW Pennsylvania, USA
Hello all. I just joined the Forum today after an internet search. There seems to be a wealth of information here provided by some very knowledgeable and generous folks. I have a small pond that appears not to be able to hold water. Looking at the product called Soil-Floc to help correct the problem. Looking for help and suggestions.

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