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#317940 - 01/17/13 07:53 AM Half Acre Pond cost
chris410fortin Offline


Registered: 04/26/12
Posts: 2
Loc: NH
So I have this pipe dream of building a half acre pond on my 3.5 acre piece of wooded property. The main reasons I would like the pond are for a "water feature", basically to look at and accent the property as well as a place for the dog to swim and for furture kids to play. My big debate is are those two reasons worth the potential cost?

As for the site, currently its wooded and swampy, the house is set up about 40 feet on a hill and the area where the pond will go is mucky and wet. right now its a mosquito infested area and im hoping building a pond will make it easier to control them.

There is currently a very small seasonal brook that runs along the property. and connects the wet lands behind my house to a small fire pond across the street, which leads to a larger pond down the road. Im fairly certain that the soil can hold water due to the swampyness.

From reading here its not as easy as digging a hole in the ground and letting it fill with water, but I am hoping thats all I will need to do.

I attached 3 photos, one is an overall that shows the abuters and other local ponds, On the closeup, i sketched in the contours of the land (the pond/swampy area is currently the low area of the land)The potential pond area is currently swampy, but not listed as wetlands. I also attached a picture of the typical conditions.

Would it make sense to tap into the seasonal brook for water or isolate the pond from it? Im thinking I can clear the land myself and then just hire someone to come dig a hole and build up the land to form a small dam to contain the water.

I guess my real question is, how much, ball park, would it cost to have someone one come in and excavate a half acre hole about 4-5 feet deep, the excavated soil could be used around the site, Im thinking no additional fill would be needed and none would need to be removed from the property.


Attachments
overall.jpg (1039 downloads)
closeup.jpg (800 downloads)
20120812_115337 (Medium).jpg (742 downloads)


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#317944 - 01/17/13 08:38 AM Re: Half Acre Pond cost [Re: chris410fortin]
Dan Fischer Offline


Registered: 11/13/12
Posts: 16
Loc: western new york
I had a half acre pond dug last summer. It's eight feet deep and cost me $6000. My best advice is to get several quotes.

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#317947 - 01/17/13 09:00 AM Re: Half Acre Pond cost [Re: chris410fortin]
Bill Cody Online   content
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Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 8483
Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
A hole only 4-5 ft deep in a wooded area in NH will have winter fish kills on a regular basis. Do more homework on ponds and what is desired for a 'healthy' pond in your area of the country. Be aware ponds in woods are always problematic and I always tell people a pond in a woods is your worst nightmare compared to a pond without annual tree leaf inputs. Some wooded ponds can accumulate 1ft or more of leaves per year. Decomposing leaves do two big things to ponds. 1. lots of leaves create big dissolved oxygen demand on the ecosystem often causing anaerobic / anoxic conditions resulting in just about all if not all oxygen consuming aquatic life to die. 2. Lots of decomposing leaves contribute lots of nutrients (mainly nitrogen and phosphorus) to the pond. Abundance of nutrients usually grows an abundance of plants, weeds, algae, duckweed, etc. that are difficult or hard to manage. Large leaf inputs make pond management much more difficult compared to a pond with few if any tree leaf inputs. High organic loads cause short life spans of ponds and are the downfall of many ponds.

The local Soil & Water Conserv. office should have some advice for building a pond in your county. You don't have to follow their advice but it will contribute to your homework assignment.


Edited by Bill Cody (01/17/13 09:31 AM)
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#317948 - 01/17/13 09:16 AM Re: Half Acre Pond cost [Re: chris410fortin]
liquidsquid Online   content


Registered: 11/20/11
Posts: 1225
Loc: East Bloomfield, NY USA
Get a few quotes, but understand it costs ~$1K a day to run those machines for 10 hours. There are a lot of variables going into digging a hole, and especially one that will hold water well and not be an eyesore.

If soils are difficult, it may cost more. If they hit some great groundwater flow, you may need to pump and it will cost more, you may hit a vein of gravel or sand and then you may need to bring in clay, etc. Just plan on your quotes being +/-40%, but make sure and hire a contractor with a good pond building record. Also get the book on this site and read through it "Perfect Pond, Want One". I wish I has this resource before I started, but if so, I may have been scared off before I had begun.

Once you choose a contractor, have them come and verify the site has good soils with some test holes over the area you are planning on having the pond. The test holes will provide the pond builder with a great idea if the site has good materials for building, and if the site may be too wet to dig or not.

I have a little over 1/2 acre pond, and it cost me $9K, and averages about 10' deep. It is on a hill-side so it needed enough materials to build the dam. My initial quote was $6K, but the cost went up when my clay layer turned out to be closer to soft concrete. The big dozer struggled to dig it out.

It was all worth it in the end.

As a side-note: If using it for swimming, a 1/2 acre pond should be more like 6-10 feet deep or more. You don't want to touch bottom when the water is low in the middle of summer, or have weeds trailing up between your legs. You may fluctuate a few feet depending on available water, so aim for deeper. Having a shallow pond for safety reasons doesn't help as the bottoms are typically not stand-worthy, being slimy and muck-covered.

Also at least in NY, 9K is competitive with a good pool when you factor in fencing, decks, and supporting equipment.

Do the pond right the first time, it if very VERY expensive to go back and fix mistakes. Great site to get started on though!
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#317971 - 01/17/13 12:10 PM Re: Half Acre Pond cost [Re: chris410fortin]
chris410fortin Offline


Registered: 04/26/12
Posts: 2
Loc: NH
Good info, man its expensive to dig a hole!

7-8 feet deep would be fine, I just figured it would be cheaper to dig a shallower hole.

If I did go through with the project I would try to thin out alot of the overhanging hardwood trees. would pine trees surrounding the pond be as much of a problem?

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#317972 - 01/17/13 12:29 PM Re: Half Acre Pond cost [Re: chris410fortin]
Happy Birthday John Wann Offline
Hall of Fame


Registered: 05/16/12
Posts: 1509
Loc: Phelps county, Missouri
My 1/3 acre pond ended up costing me over $7000 last spring.
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If you ain't gonna fart, why eat the beans?
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RES,HBG,YP,HSB,SMB,CC,and FHM. .seasonal trout.

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#317977 - 01/17/13 12:56 PM Re: Half Acre Pond cost [Re: chris410fortin]
jludwig Offline


Registered: 05/14/11
Posts: 1342
Loc: Central Kansas
Originally Posted By: chris410fortin
Good info, man its expensive to dig a hole!

7-8 feet deep would be fine, I just figured it would be cheaper to dig a shallower hole.

If I did go through with the project I would try to thin out alot of the overhanging hardwood trees. would pine trees surrounding the pond be as much of a problem?


It may be cheaper at the beginning but in the long run it pays to do it correctly.

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#318003 - 01/17/13 05:28 PM Re: Half Acre Pond cost [Re: chris410fortin]
thomasmgp Offline


Registered: 12/08/12
Posts: 30
Loc: South Carolina
Look into government funding. They are going to cover most of the cost of my 8 acre pond. I would hate to know how much that would have been out of pocket with no funding.

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#318005 - 01/17/13 05:44 PM Re: Half Acre Pond cost [Re: thomasmgp]
jludwig Offline


Registered: 05/14/11
Posts: 1342
Loc: Central Kansas
Originally Posted By: thomasmgp
Look into government funding. They are going to cover most of the cost of my 8 acre pond. I would hate to know how much that would have been out of pocket with no funding.


Government funding poses some challenges. Some of the challenges are good, some are just a headache.

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#376336 - 05/14/14 10:54 AM Re: Half Acre Pond cost [Re: chris410fortin]
Big Ponds Offline


Registered: 05/08/14
Posts: 40
Loc: Texas
chris,

be careful. that pond site sounds like a wetland. you don't want to deal with fines for building ponds in wetlands. it can cost a LOT!

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