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#410276 - 05/05/15 08:53 PM Dam replacment, contractor advice double check...
Aczlan Offline


Registered: 05/05/15
Posts: 3
Loc: Upstate NY
We have an old concrete dam in a small pond on my inlaws farm which has a pretty good leak around both sides.
Here is the dam from the pond side:
IMG_1774(Custom).JPG
And the outlet side:
Looking West: IMG_1772(Custom).JPG
Looking East:IMG_1771(Custom).JPG
And one more from the top:
IMG_1770(Custom).JPG

If you look at the two pictures from the outlet side, you can see where the water has been going around the dam.
Last year, I stacked bagged concrete around the east side and it worked well for the summer, but its leaking again.
This is built on what the conservation office calls "sandy loam" not a lot of "watertight" soil around the pond.

Along with this project, we would like to fill in the ditch that leads from the pond to a culvert (probbaly ~200'). Given how things drain (the ditch is a low spot), the pipe will be 12" perforated double walled plastic pipe so that the existing water flow can continue. Here is a picture of the area where the pipe will be put in and backfilled:
IMG_1781(Custom).JPG
We have drainage from the pasture on the left of the above picture and the hayfield/hill on the right that will need to enter the pipe, so perforated pipe is a must.

One priority is that when all is said and done, there must not be any place for grandkids to slip, fall and end up stuck in the pipe.


So far, I have had two contractors come out to give me estimates and they have had two very different ways of fixing the problem:
Contractor A: Contractor A is highly recommended by the facilities people at work, he has done some work there and is turned out good. He does a lot of drainage for the farms and orchards in the area.
His suggestion is to bury a 60" tall catchbasin (like: http://www.park-usa.com/skins/park/standard.aspx?elid=112&bid=1&cNode=90) at a slight angle (leaning toward the pond so that the side toward the pond is 1" lower than the outlet side), so the low side of the top is level with the top of the current dam and make a small berm (6-10"?)around the other three sides so that when the pond rises, it flows into the grate and out via the pipe.
He would fill in around the box and the first 10-15' of the pipe with clay to make a "plug" that will keep the water out.
At 2-3 points along the perforated pipe, he would backfill it with washed stone all the way to the surface to provide a place for surface water to drain to.[/php]


Contractor B: Contractor B has done work for us in the past and does good work, but he is very busy and he uses us for fill in work, so he will start, do a piece, then disappear for 2-3 weeks (often leaving his equipment parked here, one time his Bobcat 335 mini excavator sat in our back field for the better part of a month).
He came out today (while I was at work, so I just spoke to him over then phone).
He proposes pouring a 16-18' wide dam, with a spillway much like the current dam, but with a slot sized to put 4x4s across to adjust water level, then having that feed into the pipe (he wasn't very clear over the phone how the transition to pipe will be handled and I didn't press as he said he will have a drawing for me tomorrow).

I asked Contractor B about Contractor A's plan and he said that its a bad idea as it "will just get pushed out in a year or two"

Personally, I really like Contractor A's plan as it seems to be the least complicated way to get water from point A to point B without having someplace where kids could get stuck when playing, but I am not an expert.

Looking to get some opinions from some knowledgeable parties who don't have a financial stake in the matter and this board has been pointed out to me several times over the years as the place to go for pond into.

Thanks in advance

Aaron Z


Attachments
IMG_1774(Custom).JPG (743 downloads)
IMG_1772(Custom).JPG (468 downloads)
IMG_1770(Custom).JPG (285 downloads)
IMG_1771(Custom).JPG (284 downloads)
IMG_1781 (Custom).JPG (480 downloads)



Edited by Aczlan (05/05/15 08:56 PM)

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#410316 - 05/06/15 07:35 AM Re: Dam replacment, contractor advice double check... [Re: Aczlan]
esshup Offline
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Lunker

Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 24026
Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
My experience with French Drains (which is what that 12" perforated pipe would be, only on a larger scale) is that unless they are 1) wrapped with a sock and 2) placed in a trench that is first lined with fabric to prevent dirt from entering, then set on top of and surrounded with gravel, then the fabric folded over the top of the gravel and covered with dirt.

If not done that way the pipe will eventually fill with dirt and become plugged.....

Why not use a solid pipe if you are wanting to move water from point A to B and have a very small swale on top of the pipe to direct any surface water to the area where you want it to go?

I'd lean towards the catch basin idea providing that the grate can be removed to periodically clean it out.
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#410330 - 05/06/15 10:29 AM Re: Dam replacment, contractor advice double check... [Re: Aczlan]
Chris Steelman Offline

Moderator
Lunker

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 1815
Loc: Red River County,Tx
Aaron,

I think you should be looking at something like this instead of a concrete dam. I have one of these on my duck pond it is really easy to adjust the water level and you should be more reliable. It will look a lot better than a concrete structure.

http://agridrain.com/watercontrolproductsinline.asp

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#410359 - 05/06/15 03:27 PM Re: Dam replacment, contractor advice double check... [Re: Aczlan]
RAH Offline
Lunker

Registered: 05/17/09
Posts: 3999
Loc: Indiana, Boone County, 25 mile...
I have the inline type in two of my wetlands and the inlet type on my 1 acre pond (http://www.agridrain.com/watercontrolproductsinlet.asp). I prefer the inlet type because I could easily change it out if it failed. I have it under a fixed dock, so it is protected from sunlight, and added a trap door to the dock floor to access it. I used it to slowly raise the pond level over several years after establishing bald cypress trees and marginal plants. Works great for me. I plan to add one to my second pond after the plants establish.

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#410393 - 05/06/15 10:07 PM Re: Dam replacment, contractor advice double check... [Re: esshup]
Aczlan Offline


Registered: 05/05/15
Posts: 3
Loc: Upstate NY
Originally Posted By: esshup
My experience with French Drains (which is what that 12" perforated pipe would be, only on a larger scale) is that unless they are 1) wrapped with a sock and 2) placed in a trench that is first lined with fabric to prevent dirt from entering, then set on top of and surrounded with gravel, then the fabric folded over the top of the gravel and covered with dirt.
If not done that way the pipe will eventually fill with dirt and become plugged.....

Good point. I will have to see what he has planned when I get the written quote back from Contractor A.

Originally Posted By: esshup
Why not use a solid pipe if you are wanting to move water from point A to B and have a very small swale on top of the pipe to direct any surface water to the area where you want it to go?

Because there is a fair amount of water that percolates in through the existing ditch banks (very little surface water unless there is a fast heavy rain) and I would prefer to keep that water underground.

Originally Posted By: esshup
I'd lean towards the catch basin idea providing that the grate can be removed to periodically clean it out.

It will be removable, no sense in making it non-removable as junk will end up in it eventually.

As for the adjustable inline gate, we have no need of changing the water level. It hasn't been changed in the 15 years they have had this pond (other than when we had someone in to dig the silt out) and I don't see that changing down the road.
If the pond has to be drained, we will siphon it out, or use a pump. If we need to make the height adjustable, I could punch a hole in the side of the catchbasin, put a pipe through the hole and put an elbow with a riser to adjust the spillover height (like a standpipe).

Also, I dont know how well the inline gate would handle getting iced up in the winter and at 3-4 times the price of a catchbasin, I don't see much benefit for our situation.

Thanks for the ideas.

Aaron Z


Edited by Aczlan (05/06/15 10:07 PM)

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#410491 - 05/07/15 09:38 PM Re: Dam replacment, contractor advice double check... [Re: Aczlan]
Aczlan Offline


Registered: 05/05/15
Posts: 3
Loc: Upstate NY
Well, I heard back from Contractor B, he says that option B would be $4800 for the dam itself (plus the pipe in the ditch and filling in the ditch).
I talked to Contractor A and he has been too busy to put together a quote (working from sunup to sundown laying drain tile for farmers), but he should have a quote for option A this weekend.

Aaron Z

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