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#470767 - 04/29/17 06:33 PM Why a pond should not be built on / near a creek.
John Fitzgerald Offline


Registered: 10/27/15
Posts: 1960
Loc: S. end of Elkins, Arkansas
Here is the normally very small trickle and sometimes dry creek that runs near the lower side of our property. A pond would quickly fill with gravel, silt, etc.

https://youtu.be/rgO-66eA80g
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#470808 - 04/30/17 12:25 AM Re: Why a pond should not be built on / near a creek. [Re: John Fitzgerald]
snrub Offline


Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 4834
Loc: SE Kansas
Yes a pond built with a large watershed (large enough to create a creek, even a seasonal creek) has some serious dam and overflow handling capabilities to consider to handle the seasonal and weather event flows. Gets into a whole nuther ball game compared to a 1 to 3 acre regular pond.

Also can run into a lot of different permit issues with various acronym lettered agencies most people would rather not deal with once you start damming up something shat shows up as a blue line on official maps. Even if it is only seasonal flow.


Edited by snrub (04/30/17 12:26 AM)
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#470812 - 04/30/17 12:59 AM Re: Why a pond should not be built on / near a creek. [Re: snrub]
John Fitzgerald Offline


Registered: 10/27/15
Posts: 1960
Loc: S. end of Elkins, Arkansas
My creek has enough seasonal flow to support about a 70 to 80 acre lake. When I pump from it at low flow, I am simply moving water from one part of the same watershed to another (my pond). Another problem could be the introduction of any fish that swam up from the White River about 0.45 miles downstream. Flatheads and gar are very common there, as are gizzard shad and GSF. I use a very large and fine mesh filter when pumping.

Oh, the possibilities, if I owned about another 100 acres, had much much more funds and there was no USACE and EPA. LOL


Edited by John F (04/30/17 01:05 AM)
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#470955 - 05/01/17 12:53 PM Re: Why a pond should not be built on / near a creek. [Re: John Fitzgerald]
liquidsquid Offline


Registered: 11/20/11
Posts: 1920
Loc: East Bloomfield, NY USA
My little creek isn't even a blue line, and is seasonal about 4 months out of a year. It looked larger than your video on a much steeper slope 2 weeks ago after a true gully-washer.

Luckily I am fortunate enough to have a means to divert the chocolate cake batter flow away from the pond between driveways, but it was even more than that could take, which is a lot, so I lost a portion of my gravel driveway.
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#470961 - 05/01/17 01:26 PM Re: Why a pond should not be built on / near a creek. [Re: liquidsquid]
John Fitzgerald Offline


Registered: 10/27/15
Posts: 1960
Loc: S. end of Elkins, Arkansas
My creek at the time of the video had dropped about two feet or more feet from its peak. It had been all over the field to the right in the video. I think there is about 500 acres of watershed flowing into it.
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#470967 - 05/01/17 01:51 PM Re: Why a pond should not be built on / near a creek. [Re: John Fitzgerald]
cb100 Offline


Registered: 12/19/14
Posts: 131
Loc: lake co calif
Has anyone had experience building structure to catch the gravel before it gets to the pond. We had a fire and the next winter the pond filled with gravel.I removed about 300 yards of gravel but it filled back in the next year.

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#470970 - 05/01/17 02:17 PM Re: Why a pond should not be built on / near a creek. [Re: John Fitzgerald]
John Fitzgerald Offline


Registered: 10/27/15
Posts: 1960
Loc: S. end of Elkins, Arkansas
Locally, we have an approximately 300 acre lake that is built on a stream with an overwhelming amount of watershed. In the recent floods since 2008, there was gravel washing all the way through it and over the spillway. It is almost completely debris and silt filled. Efforts to dredge it by public works contracts have apparently been abandoned.

So, no, you probably cannot stop the influx of gravel and silt from a creek.
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#471010 - 05/01/17 10:03 PM Re: Why a pond should not be built on / near a creek. [Re: John Fitzgerald]
liquidsquid Offline


Registered: 11/20/11
Posts: 1920
Loc: East Bloomfield, NY USA
Just got another gully washer. 0.9" of rain in an hour. 5 inches over normal and counting, and the rest of this week is going to be even wetter! Again had to plug the culvert from chocolate milk (not quite so muddy this time).
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#471224 - 05/04/17 02:44 PM Re: Why a pond should not be built on / near a creek. [Re: John Fitzgerald]
syre9801 Offline


Registered: 07/29/16
Posts: 18
Loc: St. Cloud, MN.
so I was going to build a pond in an exsisting small creek bed. the creek does get large water events like the ones your talking about. So now I'm thinking I can move the pond up stream and reduce the watershed that I receive.

My two concerns are:
1. I won't have enough watershed to support a 1.5 acre pond. So how much watershed would I need to support it. Annual rain fall of 25-28".

2. Now instead of building a dam I would have to dig the pond. Which is more cost correct? I wouldn't need to haul the dirt off site as I can waste it in my farm fields rather easily. I should also say that the area I would be digging in would be heavy organic soils down to a gray clay layer. My father has dug drainage ditches through the area and that's what I have seen in the past come out.

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#471246 - 05/04/17 07:33 PM Re: Why a pond should not be built on / near a creek. [Re: syre9801]
snrub Offline


Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 4834
Loc: SE Kansas
I don't know what your topography is like in your area but if you have a stream water has to get to it. In our area most of our slopes are only 2-3 percent but enough so often there are natural small ravines caused by erosion that lead to these seasonal creeks. Ponds are often built with the dam paralell with the creek damming up one of these ravines. The ravine provides some of the pond depth without excavation and the additional excavation in the ravine provides soil/clay for the dam and additional depth. So they end up partially excavated and partially dammed.

Here is a pond I just built last summer that fits that description. In fact all three of my bigger ponds back up to a seasonal creek.

http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=459159

NRCS agent can help determining the watershed for a proposed pond location very easily. They have software and topography maps that make it a snap. They also have area rainfall records and can recomend a preferred watershed size range. It is also possible to use terraces to add more watershed which two of my ponds do exactly that because at least my big pond was undersize without it.

My main pond thread that talks about it down the thread.

http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=355351 Edit: I just looked all through that thread and there is no aerial picture of the pond showing the terrace bringing in additional watershed. I know I have posted that picture but it may have been on someone else thread. I will come back here and post it when I find it.


Edited by snrub (05/04/17 08:12 PM)
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#471259 - 05/04/17 11:12 PM Re: Why a pond should not be built on / near a creek. [Re: snrub]
snrub Offline


Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 4834
Loc: SE Kansas
Here is what I was looking for. The aerial picture below shows our main 3 acre pond to left of center. Buildings in center are our farmstead basically on top of a hill. To the right of the building is one of our fields that we have added to the pond watershed by building a terrace that you can see in the middle of the field to the right of the buildings. The terrace terminates in a culvert (so we can cross with machinery even if it is wet in the terrace) that flows into what I call our pre-sediment pond, then into the sediment pond (1/10th acre), and ultimately into the main 3 acre pond to the left of the buildings.

This is what I was talking about that if you are building a pond in an area that may not have enough watershed, sometimes there may be ways of diverting additional water into the pond. At 3 acres the pond would not have enough watershed without the terrace which almost doubles the watershed area. Keep in mind the buildings are basically on top of the hill and the terrace brings water around and to the south side of the hill into the pond. We used every bit of elevation we had to hold water.

Notice also on the back side of the dam is a seasonal stream. Across the other side of the stream is another 1 acre pond (our old original pond built to water cattle that I refurbished). It was originally built in a wash or shallow ravine. Also across that stream just to the north of the old pond is now another pond that is not in the picture because it is too old. The RES dedicated pond was just built last year. It also was built in a wash/shallow ravine that was excavated and dammed up. You can make out the ravine area in the photo.

Just some illustrations of how you can build a pond and not have it consume the creek. You just steal water before it reaches the creek (all three ponds overflow into the creek).

Edit: Just realized that picture is too old to show the sediment and pre sediment ponds. So the terrace is running directly into the main pond as origionally designed.


Attachments
Pond with runoff area.jpg (278 downloads)
Description: main pond showing additional watershed captured with terrace flowing into pond from the field on right




Edited by snrub (05/04/17 11:25 PM)
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#471268 - 05/05/17 08:52 AM Re: Why a pond should not be built on / near a creek. [Re: snrub]
syre9801 Offline


Registered: 07/29/16
Posts: 18
Loc: St. Cloud, MN.
Snrub,

Thanks for the reply.

I see how you use the slopes to stay out of the creek and still utilize the watershed. The lay of the land on my 80 acres I could do something similar but my pond would need to shrink due to the lack of watershed. If I use the creek bed I'm getting too much watershed coming in to my property from other property owners.

I think by moving the pond up stream to a side drainage ditch area I stay out of the main creek bed yet receive enough watershed to supply a 1.5 acre pond. The problem comes as I have less slope for a dam and more digging. I also loose the constant flow of the creek which would add to the appearance and enjoyment of the pond. I do however avoid large scale flash flood potential. I'll have to keep looking for that perfect sweet spot to drop in a pond.

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#471303 - 05/05/17 10:48 PM Re: Why a pond should not be built on / near a creek. [Re: syre9801]
snrub Offline


Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 4834
Loc: SE Kansas
There might be different levels of permitting also.

I know in my case my big pond is just under acre foot capacity where greater permitting would have kicked in. That was by design on my part.

I also know in Kansas at least, once the watershed gets to a certain size of if the water flow is enough to be marked in blue on official maps the Corps and perhaps more agencies would become involved. I kept everything I did so that I only had to answer to local authorities.

I had a waterway I wanted to put in on one of my farms. Basically straighten up a dry creek (only runs when it rains) and make it into a grass water way so we can farm back and forth over it by raising equipment instead of having two small fields. It took in a little bit too much watershed so the local NRCS guy said we would have to get Corps approval and they would be involved in the required design. What should have been a simple job I could have done in a day with my dozer and scraper they wanted to make a grassed area hundreds of feet wide. Overkill by a long shot. So it is still a natural wash.

Point is there are breaking points in regulations where once you get to a certain level lots more sometimes very picky people get involved. Read picky as expensive. Every state has their own rules then there is the national stuff. I keep my ponds such that they stay within the jurisdiction of the local and state. But each to his own. If you want larger BOW's or damming up flowing water, be prepared to jump through more hoops, perhaps spend anywhere from a little to a lot of money on permitting, and get an education on bureaucratic hierarchies and pecking order.

I gotta tell this story. Once upon a time when we raised turkeys commercially for Butterball we decided to build a litter storage building (building to store turkey poop in). Keeping the litter under cover is both an environmental precaution and it also makes the poop more uniform in moisture, holds on to its nutrients better (better fertilizer) and spreads out of the truck much better. Your and my government (our tax dollars at work) had some incentives and cost share for farmers to build such sheds on the environmental end to encourage them to do so. Of course there were lots of hoops to jump through including to agreeing on sample testing, soil testing and other requirements for something like 10 years, but those are best management practices anyway so no big deal. So I checked into it. They would cost share as I recall 50% on the building. Great. So I apply. Have to have a plan. Ok so I come up with some building bids and concrete bids. Not good enough. Has to be engineered. Ok, none of my building guys want to touch it but some state guys would help out with the plans. Great. They come back with the plans. The plans have very specific bending requirements on the rebar and it looks as if we are building a Wal-Mart instead of a shit shed. Get a quote to get all this fancy stuff done and it is 4 times what I was originally going to spend on a building. Same size building. To store poop to keep the rain off. With the cost share it is still twice as much as it would cost me to build my own building which was way more than adequate and as good as any litter shed on any farm I had ever seen. So I said keep your plans and I built something myself the way I wanted it. No hoops to jump through either.

Sometimes it boggles the mind just how much money can be wasted when you get high enough up the bureaucratic ladder.

Just a warning if you get the upper upty ups involved.


Edited by snrub (05/05/17 10:53 PM)
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#471418 - 05/08/17 01:14 PM Re: Why a pond should not be built on / near a creek. [Re: snrub]
syre9801 Offline


Registered: 07/29/16
Posts: 18
Loc: St. Cloud, MN.
snrub,

I hear you on the government red tape. I've been involved helping my father with the farm my whole life and this is the land that I'm buying this summer. It always amazed me how things get more and more involved from the government stand point with no or little added benefit. I also see this in my every day job as a construction project inspector. I will do my best to keep this as local as I can. The less eyes watching the better.

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#471419 - 05/08/17 01:38 PM Re: Why a pond should not be built on / near a creek. [Re: snrub]
RAH Offline
Lunker

Registered: 05/17/09
Posts: 4125
Loc: Indiana, Boone County, 25 mile...
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#471446 - 05/08/17 04:51 PM Re: Why a pond should not be built on / near a creek. [Re: John Fitzgerald]
catmandoo Offline
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Lunker

Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 5680
Loc: Hampshire Co., WV
Originally Posted By: John F
Here is the normally very small trickle and sometimes dry creek that runs near the lower side of our property. A pond would quickly fill with gravel, silt, etc.

https://youtu.be/rgO-66eA80g


John -- thank you for posting that.

We had an unusual winter and spring in my part of West Virginia.

The overflow from our ponds form small seasonal trickling streams. Our ponds are not fed from streams.

When my wife and I came home a few weeks ago after being away for several months as "snow birds", all of our ponds were at full-pool. We have gotten some big rains since we returned home a few weeks ago. Lots of leaves washed into all of the ponds. The primary drain of the largest and lowest pond got clogged with brush and leaves.

Over the last couple of weeks we got a lot more rain and a lot more leaves washing into our ponds. By mid-week last week, the water in our main and lowest pond was 18-24 inches above the top of the clogged stand-pipe drain. That put the pond water level where it was just entering the leaf-filled emergency overflow.

I began to get quite concerned. I didn't have an easy and safe way of clearing the primary drain on our main pond. It was too deep to go out in chest waders, and I didn't feel safe using my canoe or kayak due to the water velocity, temperature and wind gusts. The weather forecasts were very disturbing -- lots of rain coming.

That afternoon, I used my tractor to clean out the emergency spillway on my lowest pond. Water immediately began to flow through it. The emergency overflow bottom is about 36 inches below the top of the dam, and about 18 inches above our stand-pipe overflow.

I don't know how much rain we got overnight, but it was multiple inches. At sun up, I could hear significant water flowing somewhere. I walked to that emergency overflow and found about 18-24 inches of water in the spillway, which is about 5-foot wide at the bottom, and at least 8-foot wide at about 36 inches above the bottom of the spillway.

The water flowing out of the emergency overflow was deafening as it cascaded over the rocks to the bottom of our mountain hollow on its way through small creeks that eventually feed into the Cacapon River. I doubt I could have survived, with or without a life vest, had I slipped into that emergency overflow.

My ponds are only filled with runoff through heavy hardwood forest and about a 20-30 acre pasture. They are the "headwaters" of several small seasonal streams. There are many ponds below mine, that are fed from water starting above my property. I don't know what happened to them.

In conclusion, I can only say that using a small seasonal stream to feed a pond can be extremely dangerous without a lot of safety considerations.

Stay safe,
Ken
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