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#203718 - 02/11/10 08:31 PM brand new pond won't hold water
volsmzp1 Offline

Registered: 02/11/10
Posts: 3
Loc: TN
If anyone can answer that would be great. I understand completly about ponds draining due to the wrong soil, but do newly filled ponds take some time to let sediment settle which will help hold water?

I have a brand new pond that is all clay (Tennessee soil. There has been significant rainfall which has filled the pond. It has drained about 2 feet, then the rain filled it back again. It has now drained another foot or so.

any thoughts?

#203719 - 02/11/10 08:37 PM Re: brand new pond won't hold water [Re: volsmzp1]
esshup Offline
Field Correspondent


Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 21234
Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
Well, first off, welcome to PB!

There could be 2 answers.
1)The new soil needs time to soak up water until it won't hold any more.
2) Somewhere, somehow when the pond was dug there is a permeable layer or vein of permeable soil, letting the water out.

The usual procedure for making sure the pond is sealed is compacting clay into the pond with a sheepsfoot roller in 6" lifts until you've compacted 24" of clay.

If this continues to happen, and only goes down 24" from full pool, then I'd concentrate my search right around the 24" mark. It could be lower than that, and stops leaking once the water pressure is lowered.

I'd wait for a while before I start panicking.

3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).

#203726 - 02/11/10 09:16 PM Re: brand new pond won't hold water [Re: esshup]
The Pond Frog Offline

Registered: 01/25/10
Posts: 914
Loc: NorCal
Over what time line are these water level drops occuring? Does it drop to a certain level and then slowdown or stop? Did you do any compacting or work before it filled?

#203750 - 02/12/10 07:13 AM Re: brand new pond won't hold water [Re: The Pond Frog]
scott69 Offline

Registered: 07/12/08
Posts: 621
Loc: Chambers county(Valley), alaba...
after my pond filled the first time, it would drop about 4" in between rains. it was easy to see the water wicking its way up the banks. once the earth was saturated, it has never fell below fool pool. even during the driest times last year i always had water coming out of the pipe..

is your pond fed by a stream?
Scott Hanners

#203774 - 02/12/10 10:00 AM Re: brand new pond won't hold water [Re: scott69]
otto Offline

Registered: 11/02/04
Posts: 1074
Loc: texas
Keep an eye on the level, see what it does before you spend any money. Some ponds take a few fillings before they stay full.

Keep us posted.

#255042 - 04/15/11 09:20 PM Re: brand new pond won't hold water [Re: otto]
volsmzp1 Offline

Registered: 02/11/10
Posts: 3
Loc: TN
still having trouble with this pond. In researching on the web, it seems as if sodium bentonite may solve the problme, however I can't find any near Chattanooga TN. Anyone know where to buy it?

#255219 - 04/18/11 06:38 AM Re: brand new pond won't hold water [Re: volsmzp1]
Dave Davidson1 Offline

Registered: 01/04/06
Posts: 11519
Loc: Hurst & Bowie, Texas
Bentonite needs to be tilled into the soil. Is your pond dry?
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

#255241 - 04/18/11 11:52 AM Re: brand new pond won't hold water [Re: Dave Davidson1]
volsmzp1 Offline

Registered: 02/11/10
Posts: 3
Loc: TN
pond is currently dry, because of recent heavy rainfall. However, it will be dry in the next couple of weeks.

#255287 - 04/18/11 07:39 PM Re: brand new pond won't hold water [Re: volsmzp1]
charles s Offline

Registered: 04/18/11
Posts: 1
Loc: gray court , s.c.
wal-mart brand kitty litter contains bentonite clay $3 /25 lbs.

#255545 - 04/20/11 02:37 PM Re: brand new pond won't hold water [Re: charles s]
Michael Gray Offline

Registered: 12/28/06
Posts: 51
Loc: Tennessee
Co-op normally has it but clay is a better way to go.


#309411 - 10/17/12 07:40 PM Re: brand new pond won't hold water [Re: volsmzp1]
orgeranyc Offline

Registered: 10/17/12
Posts: 61
Loc: nyc
just wanted to follow up to see if your pond is now holding water
if so did you do anything to fix it?


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