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#220737 - 06/08/10 02:36 PM building a retaining wall
WildmanWilson Offline


Registered: 06/08/10
Posts: 2
Loc: Kentucky
I have a 1/4 acre pond in my back yard. It's been there before the house was even built in the late 70s. The banks have eroded back pretty far in the 17 years I've lived here.

Has anyone ever built a retaining wall like what you would see at a golf course pond. Or maybe some other idea. I need to stabilize any further erosion. I know wood may rot pretty fast but I really can't think of any other solutions.

I do have older trees on the front side that seems to hold the bank better with all the roots but it's still moving back some too.

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#220738 - 06/08/10 02:38 PM Re: building a retaining wall [Re: WildmanWilson]
Happy Birthday Sunil Offline
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Registered: 09/03/03
Posts: 9626
Loc: Somerset, PA
Welcome to Pond Boss, WW.

I have no experience in what you are asking about, so let's see who can give some advice.
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#220745 - 06/08/10 02:56 PM Re: building a retaining wall [Re: Sunil]
jjr0419 Offline
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Registered: 01/02/09
Posts: 4
Loc: Louisiana
You could look into vinyl sheet pilings. They work very well down here.

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#220750 - 06/08/10 04:03 PM Re: building a retaining wall [Re: WildmanWilson]
Todd3138 Offline
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Registered: 07/09/09
Posts: 3441
Loc: North Central WV
Welcome, WW! I'm not an expert either, but here are some links that may get you started until an expert, or someone with an opinion, happens along!


Pond Seawall

Pond Bank Retaining Walls

Hope these help. Try posting some pics of your place and telling us a bit about your pond and what you are managing for in terms of fish or other activities.


Edited by Todd3138 (06/08/10 06:11 PM)
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#220756 - 06/08/10 04:56 PM Re: building a retaining wall [Re: Todd3138]
JKB Offline
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Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 4862
Loc: Michigan
Todd,

I think you accidentally put in a link on the first one that hits your law firm on two clicks.

I am looking into retaining walls. The vinyl is the cheapest, cost wise and installation, But I am still looking at 18K to do this correct. No sense of doing a half a@@ job, so it will take more time.

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#220757 - 06/08/10 05:01 PM Re: building a retaining wall [Re: JKB]
teehjaeh57 Online   content
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Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 5147
Loc: Lincoln, NE
Wildman - love your handle! Welcome to the forum!

Considering your pond is on the smaller size, have you considered simply installing rock or riprap to stablize the banks? Limestone in all sizes in our area is pretty cheap [$18/T] and I'll bet 200T would do it for you. Much cheaper and easier than a retaining wall at any rate.
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#220762 - 06/08/10 06:11 PM Re: building a retaining wall [Re: JKB]
Todd3138 Offline
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Originally Posted By: JKB
Todd,

I think you accidentally put in a link on the first one that hits your law firm on two clicks.

I am looking into retaining walls. The vinyl is the cheapest, cost wise and installation, But I am still looking at 18K to do this correct. No sense of doing a half a@@ job, so it will take more time.


Boy, how funny is that! I had used that link in an email earlier this afternoon and must not have copied the first PB link when I thought I actually had done so! I apologize for the error! I'll pull that link down so there's no confusion!
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#220764 - 06/08/10 06:28 PM Re: building a retaining wall [Re: Todd3138]
esshup Online   content
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Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 18187
Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
Wildman, welcome! How high are we talking about? i.e. from water line (water level) to the top of the retaining wall?
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#220820 - 06/08/10 11:02 PM Re: building a retaining wall [Re: esshup]
WildmanWilson Offline


Registered: 06/08/10
Posts: 2
Loc: Kentucky
Originally Posted By: esshup
Wildman, welcome! How high are we talking about? i.e. from water line (water level) to the top of the retaining wall?


The water level may vary in dry times as much as 2 ft. I was thinking I could put up the wall and back fill about a couple of ft to gain some bank. The levy seems fine. I really am only concerned with two sides...the one next to my house and the far side where I have a building about 12 ft away from the current edge. If I put in the wall and back fill when the level is low I can gain a few feet of bank back and maybe take care of losing any more ground.

The rip rap and rock idea may also work but I wouldn't regain the couple of feet back but I may be able to live wit that.

You guys are a big help. I may get a picture or two on here in a day or two.

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#220827 - 06/09/10 12:31 AM Re: building a retaining wall [Re: WildmanWilson]
esshup Online   content
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Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 18187
Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
Years ago Dad and I installed steel retaining wall that's interlocked and looks like a "W". 3' to 4' out of the water and IIRC 3' below the sand. After 34 years it's starting to bow out (towards the lake), but we didn't use any earth anchors. We backfilled a good 2' in depth behind it. I can call him and see if he remembers just how long we cut the pieces, and I can take pics if you want. This is 75' long.
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#220891 - 06/09/10 11:37 AM Re: building a retaining wall [Re: esshup]
rmedgar Offline
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Registered: 03/12/04
Posts: 2256
Loc: S. Mississippi
Esshup, would love to see pictures.
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#221024 - 06/09/10 09:31 PM Re: building a retaining wall [Re: rmedgar]
esshup Online   content
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Registered: 01/26/09
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Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
Here's the pics. It's never been painted, and is made from either 1/4" thick or 5/16" thick steel. Brettski, do you have any idea what thickness this stuff comes in? IIRC, you should know where it was purchased wink.

Dad remembers that we cut the pieces between 7' and 5' long, depending on if our test probe hit concrete below the lake bottom. We installed it right in front of an old, cracked and failing cement seawall that probably was poured in the early '40's. It's capped with a 4" x 4" x 1/4" angle.

West side of the pier:


East side of the pier:




Close up of ladder area and the interlocking steel:


Each piece slides together with the previous piece from the top. We washed the pieces down with a 1/2" pipe on a garden hose, stopping about 6" to 12" from final depth. We pounded them down with a sledge hammer the rest of the way. All manual labor, no machines except an abrasive wheel in a circular saw. The steel was picked up from the steel warehouse with the boat trailer and cut to length there on site.

That planter at the lake shore is the bottom part of a 275 gallon fuel oil tank. The tree on the right is a cottonwood, left of the planter is a white oak and to the left of the pump enclosure is a black locust.

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#301811 - 08/03/12 11:30 PM Re: building a retaining wall [Re: teehjaeh57]
cocklebur2 Offline
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Registered: 03/04/04
Posts: 10
Loc: Chappell Hill, TX
I have a similar problem, and have considered rock as the most practical solution for a small pond. But has anyone tried railroad ties or other lumber to create a horizontal wooden retaining wall?

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#301815 - 08/04/12 06:34 AM Re: building a retaining wall [Re: WildmanWilson]
Dave Davidson1 Offline
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Registered: 01/04/06
Posts: 9939
Loc: Hurst & Bowie, Texas
I have seen an awful lot of railroad tie retaining walls around area lake houses. How long do they last? I don't know.
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