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#1570 - 03/11/06 05:44 PM Pond Proximity/Depth to Basement of House
MarkECIN Offline

Registered: 03/11/06
Posts: 388
Loc: Wayne County, Indiana
Don't think this is a new question, but we are looking at building a new pond (clay dirt) next to our house which has a full walk out basement. How close can we get to the house and how high should the top water level be in comparison to the basement perimeter drains. I've heard safety a foot below otherwise the water would back up in basement. This would mean a deeper hole dug and a more slanted fall to the water edge. What safeguards should I take to ensure a one acre pond, 15ft deep, close to house for enjoyment from porch sitting/viewing (& fishing, of course) but not interfere with basement perimeter drains? Thanks for advice.

#1571 - 03/12/06 08:56 AM Re: Pond Proximity/Depth to Basement of House
Ric Swaim Offline

Registered: 04/24/03
Posts: 1902
Loc: Surry Co NC
JMO, if properly built ie: clay lined & compacted it won't leak into your basement any more than other ground water. Just make sure you leave the same amount of mass between your pond & house that would be in a proper dam for the amount of water you are holding back. Again, this is just an opinion.

I've heard lots of people complain of leaking basements that didn't have a pond outside. I built my house & therefor paid particular attention to water proofing the basement. For 18 yrs it's been dry as a bone.

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#1572 - 03/12/06 03:23 PM Re: Pond Proximity/Depth to Basement of House
Brettski Offline
Field Correspondent

Registered: 10/07/05
Posts: 6874
Loc: Illinois
...and another thought, pursuant to Ric's input...
What is the soil type that is at the level and below the house foundation. My thinking is this: If the soil is somewhat permeable at this level, then there is a good chance that you will be packing the pond with borrowed clay to help seal it. No biggie, it happens. If for some reason, there is any kind of breach below the water level and near the home, what are the chances that over time it will migrate horizontally thru the soil? And, what are the chances that it may compromise the integrity of the soil supporting the house footing? You indicated that the home may be pretty close to the pond. I'm not presenting these thoughts based on experience as much as one that tries to anticipate the "worst case scenario". In my world, I am sure that I thought of everything...only to find out I missed the most critical facet. I remember talking with a savvy NRCS agent that was up on his pond construction. He was helping me while I consider a property for pond construction, but it would potentially run up to a neighboring property. He threw a number of scenarios and how to mitigate them; one of them being a non-cooperative neighbor. He said that in that instance, they would recommend keeping normal pool a min of 3 ft below the point that it would run over the property line, particularly when it is in an area of a neighboring driveway or similar. The concern is waterlogging the soil beneath causing a structural compromise.
Lastly, when you say "top water level", are you talking about when the emergency spillway is running at full capacity during a deluge? Presumably so. If not, back to the drawing board.
Thanks for posting, a hearty Welcome, and keep us up on your project.

#1573 - 03/12/06 09:42 PM Re: Pond Proximity/Depth to Basement of House
Bill Cody Offline
Field Correspondent


Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 12398
Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
An extra thick clay liner on the pond side next to the house would be worth the extra expense. I put a double thick clay liner in front of my house that sits 5ft - 10ft from the waters edge. He house, sump pump, perimetrer drainage system does not operate unless there are very heavy rains and the creek is flooding which indicates that the clay liner is not leaking water out of the pond toward the house.
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#1574 - 03/13/06 06:21 AM Re: Pond Proximity/Depth to Basement of House
MarkECIN Offline

Registered: 03/11/06
Posts: 388
Loc: Wayne County, Indiana
Great information, got us thinking. The house is actually on a hill, with a lower area to the South perfect for a pond. We will be 50'+ from the septic system and 100'+ from the road frontage. Problem: Built a house with a full basement and not thinking ahead about a pond at the time (hindsight)--now wanting to put one in. I can send pics to one who wants to see my probem area (m.schlegel@verizon.net). Right now we plan on the contractor and the Water & Conservation expert onsite for the initial hole where the dam would be. I just want to get this where I want it, but not cause myself majoy problem down the road. PS...I like all the reading, experiences, and knowledge I've been gaining on this site besides just reading books.

#1575 - 03/13/06 07:43 PM Re: Pond Proximity/Depth to Basement of House
zhkent Offline

Registered: 03/18/04
Posts: 229
Loc: Burlington, Kansas
I dug a pond in front of a house in december. The house was in the "flood plain" of the pond so we left all of the dam 1 ft lower than the basement floor. No way water can get high enough to get in the basement.
Make it look easy,

#1576 - 03/14/06 12:27 PM Re: Pond Proximity/Depth to Basement of House
MarkECIN Offline

Registered: 03/11/06
Posts: 388
Loc: Wayne County, Indiana
Thank you all again, I'm just loving this site--a wealth of excellent information!
Looks like I need to take the 1 ft lower than basement perimeter drain into consideration (even though I'm on a hill). I'll let you know how it goes when the contractor, pond advisor and I meet soon and I'm taking lots of pictures as it progresses. \:\)


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