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#481133 - 10/16/17 12:39 PM Evaporation or Muskrats?
Testarossa28 Offline


Registered: 03/22/16
Posts: 10
Loc: NE Ohio
Hello,
Within the last 2 - 2.5 months we have noticed our pond's water line going down. We have a pond that is a little less than 1/4 acre located about 30 minutes SW of Cleveland, OH. I would venture to guess that it is down about 1.5 feet, maaaybe as much as 2 feet. We have river rock lining the pond and the water line is down to below the rocks and you can see the clay/mud on the sides. Now, I know that we haven't had much rain in this area, some say its drought conditions. But, I tend to worry so I want to make sure that this amount of water loss in this area is normal?

I called Aqua Doc, a local pond maintenance company, and they wanted to send out their pond construction crew, but they are booked until spring 2018. They also hinted that it could be a muskrat problem. I have not seen a muskrat or any evidence of their activity. The pond bank on one side is heavily overgrown as it abuts a stream. So, there is no way to check for muskrat activity on that side. This pond is also aerated and we have 2 dogs, so I would guess it's not ideal for Muskrat living. Just need to be talked off the ledge if that amount of evaporation is normal. Thank you!

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#481139 - 10/16/17 01:21 PM Re: Evaporation or Muskrats? [Re: Testarossa28]
RAH Offline
Lunker

Registered: 05/17/09
Posts: 4131
Loc: Indiana, Boone County, 25 mile...
If you can locate a local trapper, they can probably check for muskrat sign better than anyone.

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#481234 - 10/18/17 01:17 AM Re: Evaporation or Muskrats? [Re: Testarossa28]
esshup Offline
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Lunker

Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 24027
Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
I'm in North Central Indiana and my pond is down between 4 and 5 feet due to lack of rainfall. It's also a water table pond so it follows the height of the water table in the ground.
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#481239 - 10/18/17 07:58 AM Re: Evaporation or Muskrats? [Re: Testarossa28]
DonoBBD Offline


Registered: 06/13/12
Posts: 1893
Loc: Ontario, Canada, Eh.
Yes if the water is low you will see the rats holes. With a 1/4 acre pond that should be an easy job. Check your local rain data. If you aerate 24/7 you will have a good 1/2" or more per day. To the math against your local rain fall data.

We have not seen any substantial rain in two and a half months in Ontario. The hurricanes normally would bring a week of rain every time there is one but they would not make it up to Ontario. The weather just pushed them east with just the tails catching us.

Our pond is at its lowest it has ever been. We do pump it full with a pump from a drainage ditch but that ditch has been dry for two months.

Cheers Don.
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#481243 - 10/18/17 09:30 AM Re: Evaporation or Muskrats? [Re: Testarossa28]
canyoncreek Offline


Registered: 05/07/13
Posts: 1783
Loc: West Michigan
esshup, dono, any rain over this past weekend? South of us by Kalamazoo had 5" and Western MI Univ football field was completely under water. WE had just over 2" and it was very much needed, the pond filled back up nicely. Hoping you guys get the rain you need!

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#481346 - 10/19/17 08:14 PM Re: Evaporation or Muskrats? [Re: canyoncreek]
esshup Offline
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Lunker

Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 24027
Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
I emptied my rain gauge before I left for Texas. When I returned, it had 3" in it. The pond is lower than when I left for Texas.

It's about as low as it ever has been. The fixed platform for the dock is 12' long and this spring it was 6' out into the water. The walkway is 16' long and it overlaps the floating portion of the pier by about 18" at full pool.

The part of the floating dock closest to the shore is now resting on the bottom of the pond.

A client nearby that has an area that is roughly 4:1 slope has 40 feet of exposed pond bottom.........

How do you plan and place cover in the shallow areas of the pond that won't look like a junk yard when the water drops??
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#481361 - 10/20/17 07:56 AM Re: Evaporation or Muskrats? [Re: Testarossa28]
TGW1 Offline


Registered: 09/19/14
Posts: 2343
Loc: Harrison Co. Texas
esshup, assuming low water is due to drought but will Muskrats in low numbers reduce water levels when burrows are in the dam area? If so, they must really do some serious digging. I think I found some rat holes at my pond this week. And for me, my water level remains really low right now due to drought at my farm (I missed all the hurricane rains) and I think the diffusers play a role with increased evaporation, if it does, I am assuming you are running diffusers also.
_________________________
Do not judge me by the politicians in my City, State or Federal Government.
Thank The Good Lord the government in Washington DC gets little done.
Outlawing guns will make a lot of us down here in the South
Outlaws and proud of it

Tracy

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#481376 - 10/20/17 11:18 AM Re: Evaporation or Muskrats? [Re: TGW1]
esshup Offline
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Lunker

Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 24027
Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
The only worry I'd have about muskrat runs/dens is the ground caving in when walked on or rode over with equipment or mowers. If they dig deep enough to cause water loss, the water would be showing up behind the dam. (I think) If that is the case, once the water gets to that level, it will stop leaking.

I have not seen any difference in the amount of water loss with diffusers running or without diffusers running.

Some quick googling and some math revealed some info on how much water vapor air can hold at 100% relative humidity.

O.K. Here's something to think about if I did my math correctly.

Running an aeration system that puts out 1 cfm of air for a day
will remove 1.63 fluid ounces per day providing you start with 0% relative humidity and the air bubbles once they hit the water surface are at 100% relative humidity.

That's in a 24 hr period. So, that's why I am not seeing any loss of water in the pond due to aeration. That is if I did the math correctly.

What I found was 1 Cubic foot of air can hold 0.01725 fluid ounce of water at 100% RH. My math skills aren't the best, so maybe someone else can double check my figures.
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#481400 - 10/20/17 11:04 PM Re: Evaporation or Muskrats? [Re: Testarossa28]
John Fitzgerald Offline


Registered: 10/27/15
Posts: 1969
Loc: S. end of Elkins, Arkansas
Evaporation rate directly depends on the difference in water surface temperature and the dew point temperature of the air. Wind is another factor. Aeration, particularly at night, would tend to lower water surface temperature, thus retarding evaporation at the water-air surface. If the surface temperature of the water is at or below the dew point, there will be no evaporation, regardless of wind. In fact, in late winter, when a rare gulf air mass comes over us, a pond can actually gain water by absorbing it from the air.

Example: With a surface temperature of about 45 and a dewpoint of 65, a pond will gain a small amount of water from the air.

More frequently, in late summer, we experience high evaporation, with water surface temps in the upper 80's or low 90's and dew points in the upper 50's or low 60's. Any wind makes evaporation greater.

You folks in central Texas may experience even greater differences between surface temperatures and dew points, and stronger winds.
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#481404 - 10/21/17 07:18 AM Re: Evaporation or Muskrats? [Re: Testarossa28]
TGW1 Offline


Registered: 09/19/14
Posts: 2343
Loc: Harrison Co. Texas
I am most likely wrong when it comes my pond and my thought process. I have killed a few fish as I did things in the past 3 yrs. But it just seems to me I loose more water per day since I started running the diffusers. So, after seeing the your thoughts on this, maybe I have a larger leak today. My pond has always had seepage somewhere and will lose around a 1/4" per day during the summer. Some to evaporation and some to seepage I am guessing.


Edited by TGW1 (10/21/17 07:22 AM)
_________________________
Do not judge me by the politicians in my City, State or Federal Government.
Thank The Good Lord the government in Washington DC gets little done.
Outlawing guns will make a lot of us down here in the South
Outlaws and proud of it

Tracy

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#481431 - 10/21/17 09:04 PM Re: Evaporation or Muskrats? [Re: TGW1]
esshup Offline
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Field Correspondent

Lunker

Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 24027
Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
You can find evaporation tables for your area on the NOAA website (I think). Evap rates vary from day/day to season/season and location makes a difference too.
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3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).

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#481510 - 10/23/17 12:03 PM Re: Evaporation or Muskrats? [Re: Testarossa28]
Testarossa28 Offline


Registered: 03/22/16
Posts: 10
Loc: NE Ohio
Wow, thank you guys for the info. It is still slowly going down. I put some snow stakes in there to mark the water level's progress. In about 3 days it went down another few inches. I am keeping an eye on it but so far no sign of holes. At the level it is at now, they would have to have about a 15 to 20 ft tunnel to get from the creek side into the pond.

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