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#209131 - 03/20/10 07:05 AM high water table
Bushhog Offline
Fingerling

Registered: 03/20/10
Posts: 5
Loc: Lansing, Mi
Hi everyone. I just registered and have some questions.
I want to dig a pond about 50' x50' and 8-10 deep.
The water table is very high in the area. In fact the sump in the basement runs non-stop with clear cold water. A basement specialist thinks there is a spring under the ground in the area.
The pond will be located about 150 yard from the house and about 4 foot higher in elevation. It is flat and used to be horse pasture. I will be pumping the water from the basement to the pond.(about5 gal a minute rate) right now it just drains into the county culvert
My question is if the water table is so high do I risk the chance of hitting the spring or whatever is down there and having it overflow and run off the property.
This is very general info. US soil surveys state that the soil is mostly loam. Capac loam I think they called it.
The neighbors house ,which sits at the same elevation as the proposed pond, sump runs a lot as well.
Any ideas. I have a CAT 320 series excavator lined up for the dig. I want to put fish in the pond and my waterfowl dogs will use it for training and practice. Swimming perhaps too
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#209152 - 03/20/10 10:22 AM Re: high water table [Re: Bushhog]
esshup Online   content
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Lunker

Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 18952
Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
Welcome to the forum.

I think the risk is very low unless there are artesian wells in the area. The problem with a groundwater pond (and I have one) is that you are at the mercy of the water table. Something to consider: The proposed pond is at a 4' higher elevation than the house. Depending on how far down the water table is, (how deep is the basement dug into the soil?) that's how far down you will have to dig just to get to the water level. Once you've hit that level, you will have to dig another 8'-10' deeper than that. The sides of the pond should be sloped gradually enough so that you have easy walking in and out of the pond bowl, just to get to the water.

You'll probably have to pump the pond area continually during construction as well.

If you can, take pictures during the process. We like pictures, and they will be a good reference for you once it fills up.

If you haven't already started, I would strongly suggest building some cover for the fish that will inhabitat your pond, so you can place the cover as soon as the digging is completed. It's harder to place the cover in the pond once it's full.

Are you planning on one area of the pond with a very gradual slope (in the water) i.e. 5:1 to 7:1 so puppies can get wet without going too deep on their first forays into the water?
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#209210 - 03/20/10 05:48 PM Re: high water table [Re: esshup]
Bushhog Offline
Fingerling

Registered: 03/20/10
Posts: 5
Loc: Lansing, Mi
I have only decided to dig a pond. I have also decide to pump the water from my basement into it. That's about it. I haven't even closed on the house yet.
I have been searching the internet high and low and all I get is general pdf files on pond construction. I am looking for personal experiences. Ideas and tips and such. Glad I found this site.
Right now I can only afford 10 hours of equipment time so I will need to dig nonstop for those 10 hours.
The idea about the puppies is great. I never would have thought about it. Perhaps I can use that gradual slope to back the excavator out of the pond as I am digging, sort of like a car ramp. I'm nervous about getting it stuck as well.
Talking to the neighbors the water table remains fairly constant year around. As evidenced by their sump usage. Soil surveys from the net have the water table at 4 foot or so.
Pumping while digging is something I'm not sure how to handle.
Just throw a trash pump in and let er rip or what?
I want to save all the good soil I can because I need to raise the ground around the house about a foot. I figure I can use about 400 yards or so around the house. I figured I would make my own fill and get a pond as well.
I plan on digging in August or so when the ground is most dry.
I would like some hybrid bluegills in it as well.
I welcome any info on this project. I plan on getting a few farm ducks as well. Don't know if they will stick around or not but we'll see. I like the idea of a kidney bean shaped pond as well looks more natural.
Thanks in advance.
Jeff
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#209239 - 03/20/10 10:01 PM Re: high water table [Re: Bushhog]
esshup Online   content
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Lunker

Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 18952
Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
From experience (albet limited) I'd wait until the funds were beefed up a little more. 10 hrs won't go far unless you are really experienced in running the equipment, and if you have to pay to get it delivered, you don't want to have it delivered twice.

My neighbor had a pair of ducks in his pond, and besides constantly dabbling in the water at the water line, which eroded his banks, the water was constantly muddy. He got rid of the pair, and the water cleared up. This is in a 1/4 ac pond. Also, ducks could help contribute to "swimmers itch".

I know that you've got time to plan before digging, so I'd recommend getting a plan together, consult with the NRCS if possible, double/triple check the plan, then go from there.

An excavator can only move dirt as far as it can reach, and digging in water takes longer/isn't as precise as digging out of the water.

Once you get to the point of the hole filling in with water, you should have one deep hole where the water will run. Beg, borrow or rent a trash pump, 20' of rigid intake hose, and at least 100' of discharge hose. Get an innertube, snake the hose thru the inertube, hanging the screened intake about 18" below the tube. Tie it to the tube so it can't slip down any further. That will keep the intake off the bottom, and filling the intake hose with silt. You'll probably have to dig a shelf for the pump to sit on, and constantly move it deeper as the pond is dug deeper. They are more effecient at pushing water than sucking it.

If you've got the room to turn around, and can keep the water at bay, a dozer might be quicker to move the dirt if it doesn't have to go far. I don't know if a pan scraper will be feasable for that type of soil, but if you have the room, it's the quickest way to move dirt over 50 Yds., IIRC Mike Otto's recommendations.
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#209256 - 03/21/10 05:32 AM Re: high water table [Re: esshup]
Bushhog Offline
Fingerling

Registered: 03/20/10
Posts: 5
Loc: Lansing, Mi
Thanks,
I have had my fair share of time in the seat. My bro in law works for CAT and he is getting me his rental rate which is 50% off. I can get the machine for about $400 per 10 hrs it is the delivery that hurts. Trying to work out a deal with one of his customers to drop off their machine and give them a grand for an entire weekend Fri,Sat,Sun. I helped bro. in law dig his pond a few years back and I started with the dozer shaping and pushing the soil, making a bowl shaped area. Once it became to deep I moved into an excavator and worked my way around the edges while sitting on a shelf that I had carved with the dozer about 4 feet down the side of the pond. We had it about 12-15 ft and still hadn't hit water and ran out of boom reach. The soil just wasn't firm enough to get way down inside. He ended up getting an extend-a-hoe (sp) and eventually hit water at about 20 ft.
I did all that work in one day. He ended up re-shaping one side because we didn't have a people friendly slope to get in and out.
I plan on storing the soil around the pond site while it dries. Once it dries out then I will move it to needed areas with a Bobcat. I was in the Landscape business most of my life and I dread the hours in the Bobcat moving all that soil but one must sacrifice for the greater good of the land.
If I can get the excavator delivered at a decent price, right now I'm looking at $500 bucks for delivery and pick up, I will adjust my dig time. I plan on digging a kidney shaped pond so I think I will start on one side of the bean and dig it completeley and if I run out of time I will finish the other half next year. I absolutley have to have the fill dirt for around the house and i will spend just as much buying it as i will digging it so I am willing to be patient.
I will try the ducks as the wife and kids are looking forward to it. There is so much waterfowl around the area I will end up with wild geese and ducks anyways. I am really looking forward to this venture and am already thinking of building a "log cabin" man cave out by the pond. What is the minimum water depth for fish survival in the winter time?
Thanks,
Jeff
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#209288 - 03/21/10 09:30 AM Re: high water table [Re: Bushhog]
esshup Online   content
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Lunker

Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 18952
Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
Those bobcats bounce you around pretty good, don't they? You are in the lake effect area, so you'll have a pretty good covering of snow on the pond during the winter. Shallow ponds tend to winterkill easily without winter aeration. For your area, if it was my pond, I'd like to have at least 40% of the surface area at 12' water depth, figuring down from the average water table depth in the soil. You'll get some sediment washing in, either from rain or groundwater carrying soil into the pond until it fills up. My wag is to plan on 1'-2' of stuff carried into the deepest part of your pond. If you want to see what my mess looked like, look here .

We dug down to 22', and had almost 4' of soil wash back into the pond right after it was completed (12" of rain from one storm did the dirty deed).

That's a good deal on the rental.
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#209326 - 03/21/10 01:15 PM Re: high water table [Re: esshup]
JKB Offline
Lunker

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 4975
Loc: Michigan
"Those bobcats bounce you around pretty good, don't they?"

You just ain't kidding. Kidney belt is in order.

I like the bobcat for it's brawn and power, plus you can screw yourself in the ground and still get out. I would not use one for moving dirt any distance, even with rabbit speed.

Works great at ripping out trees and stumps on the cheap.

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#209366 - 03/21/10 08:21 PM Re: high water table [Re: JKB]
esshup Online   content
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Lunker

Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 18952
Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
I had an ASV here for a bit. Mucho power, not too bad about bouncing around, but the maintenance on the tracks is a killer if you own one!
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#209379 - 03/21/10 08:43 PM Re: high water table [Re: esshup]
JKB Offline
Lunker

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 4975
Loc: Michigan
Try keep tires on a bobcat while rooting around. 14 ply at 80psi, hit something wrong and you got a 130.00 bill. Front tire and you can usually get back and you will only wreck a ratchet strap popping it back on. Rear, shut it off and wait for the tire guy. I hate it when a valve stem breaks off

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#209507 - 03/22/10 05:44 PM Re: high water table [Re: JKB]
Bushhog Offline
Fingerling

Registered: 03/20/10
Posts: 5
Loc: Lansing, Mi
I agree on the tires. I would guess I have a couple thousand hours on a bobcat and they just don't do it all like most people think. You have to be pretty skilled to put a good finish on a grade with one. I always like to get a good pile going and push it like a dozer while the bucket is full. Many people try to back blade it and it's just to inconsistent.
I was out to the site again today looking at the area again.
I have about a 100 yd haul to get the soil where I need it.
Can you imagine running about 500 trips that far nonstop?
It's not gonna be fun but it's the cheapest way to go.
The grade is running East to West downhill about a 18 inch drop over 100 ft.
North to south looks pretty flat maybe downhill from south to north a couple inches. I might have to build up the west side of the pond a bit and feather it out so it's level. I will have to monitor it to see if I need an overflow pipe. Or just install one anyways. Unfortunatley if it overflows it will go right past the house. I think I will hook up a drain tile to the overflow and run it out to the county drain.
Thanks for the tips,
Jeff
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#209529 - 03/22/10 08:35 PM Re: high water table [Re: JKB]
Omaha Offline
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Lunker

Registered: 12/06/08
Posts: 4021
Loc: Nebraska
 Originally Posted By: JKB
Works great at ripping out trees and stumps on the cheap.


That's what I use it for primarily too. \:o


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#209635 - 03/23/10 03:26 PM Re: high water table [Re: Omaha]
JKB Offline
Lunker

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 4975
Loc: Michigan
 Originally Posted By: Omaha
 Originally Posted By: JKB
Works great at ripping out trees and stumps on the cheap.


That's what I use it for primarily too. \:o



That's only a baby one. I have had my share of driving on the front tires with a 6,000 lb tip over. Never on that angle though \:o . My fatso is about 9900 lbs dry, 105 HP.

When I hook up my tree/stump removal attachment on the fatso, I'll post some pics and maybe a video. I need to have two hyd. seals replaced and we are good to go.

A really good method is to keep it engaged and rock in and out. If you can.


Edited by JKB (03/23/10 03:37 PM)

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#209702 - 03/23/10 09:24 PM Re: high water table [Re: JKB]
Omaha Offline
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Lunker

Registered: 12/06/08
Posts: 4021
Loc: Nebraska
Thanks JKB. Any and all tips are appreciated as I'll be putting more and more time in with that little tree mover this summer. Really though, it doesn't move dirt worth a crap. \:\(
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