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#388885 - 10/04/14 02:30 AM Soil compaction...How necessary is it?
anthropic Offline


Registered: 05/03/14
Posts: 1922
Loc: East Texas, USA
Got some land a few miles west of Marshal, Texas which apparently has adequate clay for a dam. However, when I talked with a local pond builder, he shocked me by stating that soil compaction won't be necessary for the pond to hold water.

Now he's built many successful BOW in the area, so he should know. But I've had it drummed into me that soil compaction is a really big deal, very necessary for water retention.

What's the story on this in the Harrison County area?
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#388937 - 10/04/14 09:46 PM Re: Soil compaction...How necessary is it? [Re: anthropic]
poppy65 Offline


Registered: 04/15/13
Posts: 274
Loc: illinois
It depends entirely on what kind of soil you have at various depths. No one around here compacts the soil and have no leak problems I've ever heard of. We are on heavy yellow clay from the surface down to at least 12 feet. Terrible soil for yard and garden but great for ponds. In the summer you can't get a shovel into it and in wet weather you can't get it off the shovel.

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#388942 - 10/04/14 10:27 PM Re: Soil compaction...How necessary is it? [Re: poppy65]
esshup Offline
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Lunker

Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 24033
Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
poppy, are most ponds there excavated ponds or ponds where ravines are dammed up?
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#388955 - 10/05/14 08:46 AM Re: Soil compaction...How necessary is it? [Re: anthropic]
JamieE Offline


Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 166
Loc: NE Indiana
Soil compaction is done for the most part on the banks only in my part of the state... The ponds are excavated as our land is so flat that there is very little opportunity to find a ravine. So if there is a leak in a pond near me its almost always located some place along the bank.

I think the most critical thing to do in these earthen excavated ponds is to remove the topsoil all the way around the perimeter and fill with good clay from the the bottom of the pond. This area then is packed very tight in order to keep the banks from seeping.

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#388958 - 10/05/14 09:09 AM Re: Soil compaction...How necessary is it? [Re: anthropic]
DonoBBD Offline


Registered: 06/13/12
Posts: 1993
Loc: Ontario, Canada, Eh.
After building out pond with out compaction my thoughts are if you have no problem getting water then no need to pack the clay. In time it will compact 2-3 years.

If there is any weak areas where the clay may just line up perfectly it will leak. Compaction will prevent this by lining up the clay layers into a flat cake sealing them, but when wet will seep water still.

Like stated above the most important thing is to have the clay in the correct spot and top soil that flows water easy out of the sealed area. In time the clay will seal tight again.

Cheers Don.
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#389035 - 10/06/14 11:41 AM Re: Soil compaction...How necessary is it? [Re: DonoBBD]
Pond Star Offline


Registered: 08/18/12
Posts: 58
Loc: Oregon
I am going to be adding some more "black mud" (clay like material here in Oregon) over the top of the original black mud that was used to line the pond and has set for 2 winters. It is now dry -- how do I approach compacting the new (only slightly damp) on top of the old dry material as it will not bind to the old soil because it is so dry....??? wait till it rains and soaks everything up and then roll ??


Edited by Pond Star (10/07/14 01:03 AM)
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#389037 - 10/06/14 11:55 AM Re: Soil compaction...How necessary is it? [Re: Pond Star]
snrub Offline


Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 5492
Loc: SE Kansas
If you have a way to till or in other words mix the two layers together, then compact.. That is the way road beds around here are done.
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#389046 - 10/06/14 01:01 PM Re: Soil compaction...How necessary is it? [Re: snrub]
esshup Offline
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Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 24033
Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
If either of the soils are too dry to compact properly, then somehow, someway you've got to get water into the drier one. That could be by mixing really wet soil with the drier soil to get the correct consistency, adding water to one, etc.

That's one of the reason why you see water trucks on large jobsites where they are compacting.
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#389074 - 10/06/14 05:24 PM Re: Soil compaction...How necessary is it? [Re: anthropic]
Pond Star Offline


Registered: 08/18/12
Posts: 58
Loc: Oregon
Ok- that is going to be a bit tricky - the joke around here is that with black mud (I am being told this is really bashaw clay) there is a time between being too dry and hard to do anything with and a time when it is too wet and sticks to everything and is near impossible to get off -- that amount of time is around 20 minutes !! ha

How critical is pasting the sides compared to compacting the bottom if you have steep sides? (45 degrees and some steeper)


Edited by Pond Star (10/21/14 01:04 AM)
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#389080 - 10/06/14 07:05 PM Re: Soil compaction...How necessary is it? [Re: Pond Star]
esshup Offline
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Lunker

Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 24033
Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
Water can leak out horizontally too.......
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#389403 - 10/11/14 08:35 PM Re: Soil compaction...How necessary is it? [Re: esshup]
poppy65 Offline


Registered: 04/15/13
Posts: 274
Loc: illinois
Originally Posted By: esshup
poppy, are most ponds there excavated ponds or ponds where ravines are dammed up?


Most are excavated since it is pretty flat around here but there are some dammed up ravines used by those lucky enough to find a slope. Wish I had a ravine. I love a pond set in a ravine.

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