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#482245 - 11/06/17 11:08 AM Fill a dry pond
pondfill Offline


Registered: 11/06/17
Posts: 4
Loc: Texas
I have a small, dry pond on my property that fills seasonally. I wanted to drill a well to keep it filled but that would cost me around $40,000. Anyone have any ideas on how I can fill it and keep it filled year round without spending a huge amount of money? Thank you!

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#482246 - 11/06/17 11:08 AM Re: Fill a dry pond [Re: pondfill]
pondfill Offline


Registered: 11/06/17
Posts: 4
Loc: Texas
THANKS!

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#482248 - 11/06/17 11:22 AM Re: Fill a dry pond [Re: pondfill]
KapHn8d Offline


Registered: 10/02/17
Posts: 103
Loc: TX
When you say it "fills seasonally", are you saying it fills with rainfall/watershed runoff and leaks out over time or evaporates out over time?

I wouldn't recommend spending money of a well to try to keep it filled until you understand where the water is going. The operational expense (electric bill) keeping it full will likely be more in the long run than the capital expense of poking the hole in the ground.

If your pond is leaking, that is probably the first thing you want to troubleshoot and correct. Fighting evaporation will be a lower lift than fighting a hole in the boat.

Can you provide some more specific details on pond size and behavior so folks here might better help?

Cheers!
/c
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#482252 - 11/06/17 11:46 AM Re: Fill a dry pond [Re: pondfill]
snrub Offline


Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 4228
Loc: SE Kansas
Welcome to the forum.

Probably need some more specifics before anyone can help much.

Size of pond? Age? Watershed area? Does it leak out quickly or evaporate slowly? How long does it take from full pool to go dry? Are there other successful ponds in your general area? What type of soils was the pond built in - clays, sands, rocky?

Pictures would be great also.
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#482260 - 11/06/17 12:47 PM Re: Fill a dry pond [Re: pondfill]
John Fitzgerald Online   content


Registered: 10/27/15
Posts: 1561
Loc: S. end of Elkins, Arkansas
If you don't have clay that could be compacted in the bottom, you should consider a plastic or butyl liner. Then, you only have to worry about evaporation. I have been fighting a leaker for two years now. It becomes not worth the effort after a while.

Some people have had good luck reducing or stopping leakage with a product called Soilfloc.
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#482268 - 11/06/17 03:19 PM Re: Fill a dry pond [Re: pondfill]
pondfill Offline


Registered: 11/06/17
Posts: 4
Loc: Texas
The pond is around 50'x200', maybe 8'-10' deep at its deepest point. It is filled by rainfall. It has a sort of ditch that leads into it. I have only been on this property for about a month so I don't know too much, but from what I've gathered it takes about a month or 2 to drain completely, and I believe it is draining through the ground, not evaporating. The type of soil looks like clay. I read about something called bentonite, anyone had any experience using that? Thank you for the help!!

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#482272 - 11/06/17 03:54 PM Re: Fill a dry pond [Re: pondfill]
dg84s Offline


Registered: 10/20/13
Posts: 93
Loc: North Central Texas
Soil types and average rainfall amts vary greatly across Texas. Where is your pond located? Nearest town? My north central Texas pond leaks and I have tried to fix it with sodium bentonite and am not happy. If I were you, I'd save money for a liner. It won't be cheap, but it won't leak if done right. Good luck. Keep researching before spending money.

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#482273 - 11/06/17 04:01 PM Re: Fill a dry pond [Re: pondfill]
Sunil Offline
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Registered: 09/03/03
Posts: 11362
Loc: Somerset, PA
pondfill, if the pond can fill up from rainfall, then the first step is to find out why it does not hold water beyond evaporation losses.
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#482274 - 11/06/17 04:01 PM Re: Fill a dry pond [Re: pondfill]
Sunil Offline
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Registered: 09/03/03
Posts: 11362
Loc: Somerset, PA
..and welcome to POND BOSS!!!!
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Excerpt from Robert Crais' "The Monkey's Raincoat:"
"She took another microscopic bite of her sandwich, then pushed it away. Maybe she absorbed nutrients from her surroundings."


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#482275 - 11/06/17 04:37 PM Re: Fill a dry pond [Re: pondfill]
John Fitzgerald Online   content


Registered: 10/27/15
Posts: 1561
Loc: S. end of Elkins, Arkansas
I feel like I have done as much research as anyone could reasonably do on leaking ponds over the past two years. Read nearly every online article. I have corresponded with experts on here, and various other online experts. Had NRCS come out. Talked to excavators and engineers. Tried some Soilfloc without much results about a year ago.

Ponds can leak from a great variety of places. Leaks can come through back flow of springs in the bowl or partway up the sides, seepage through the dam, under the dam, piping along old roots from trees, seepage through the bottom, wicking into deep topsoil veins, leaking through sand or gravel veins, fractures in bedrock, and some other ways. A leak can be through a very small hole in the basin and lose a significant amount of water, or it can cover the entire pond basin and lose about the same. The source of leaks cannot easily be determined in many if not most cases. The most frustrating leaks are those where the pond loses about half its volume and then stops, and the source cannot be determined. Such a situation requires either further draining or other methods like core trenches or possibly Soilfloc, if that works in a particular situation. There is a good chance if you do a project to stop a leak, the leak will have been somewhere else. I have come to the conclusion that the only sure way to fix leaks is an unbroken impervious liner.

If the leak is minor, and you have a water source, you can pump to keep the pond to a good level, but pumping gets old or expensive or both after a few years.
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#482281 - 11/06/17 06:55 PM Re: Fill a dry pond [Re: pondfill]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5311
Loc: Boone County Illinois
I'm not a pro but, if you think you have decent clay, maybe the pond was just never properly compacted?
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#482286 - 11/06/17 07:10 PM Re: Fill a dry pond [Re: John Fitzgerald]
snrub Offline


Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 4228
Loc: SE Kansas
John F gave you a good synopsis of the many ways a pond can leak.

Another one is rodents such as muskrats digging holds in the dam. I noticed what I think is a fresh muskrat hole in my forage pond just today.

If the pond is pretty old and has lots of trees on the dam, that can be a source of problems. Old ponds often have trees and brush along with muskrat holes in the dam area.
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John

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#482290 - 11/06/17 07:47 PM Re: Fill a dry pond [Re: pondfill]
John Fitzgerald Online   content


Registered: 10/27/15
Posts: 1561
Loc: S. end of Elkins, Arkansas
snrub,
Usually, muskrats do not frequent open, well mowed areas. They tend to ponds with brushy banks for cover. I'm surprised you found a muskrat hole there.
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#482299 - 11/07/17 06:26 AM Re: Fill a dry pond [Re: pondfill]
Dave Davidson1 Offline
Moderator
Lunker

Registered: 01/04/06
Posts: 13093
Loc: Hurst & Bowie, Texas
What is your location? Nearest town.

Type of soils? Contact the NRCS. This is one thing that they can usually help with. If you don't have a high enough clay content, it will never hold water.

Do other ponds in the area hold water?
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It's not about the fish. It's about the pond. Take care of the pond and the fish will be fine. PB subscriber since before it was in color.

Without a sense of urgency, Nothing ever gets done.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP

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#482304 - 11/07/17 08:12 AM Re: Fill a dry pond [Re: John Fitzgerald]
snrub Offline


Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 4228
Loc: SE Kansas
Originally Posted By: John Fitzgerald
snrub,
Usually, muskrats do not frequent open, well mowed areas. They tend to ponds with brushy banks for cover. I'm surprised you found a muskrat hole there.


We have had several muskrats. The creek behind the dam is a place they frequent and can live relatively unmolested. They will come up the overflow pipe, forage around the pond edge, then go back to the creek. I have not had as much problem since I raised the pond level by putting a 90 degree elbow on the overflow pipe.

Not sure what the hole is at water level in my 1/20th acre forage pond. Have seen no rat nor their feeding (cutting grass and weeds off at waters edge) but the hole has me concerned.
_________________________
John

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#482322 - 11/07/17 12:48 PM Re: Fill a dry pond [Re: pondfill]
pondfill Offline


Registered: 11/06/17
Posts: 4
Loc: Texas
I am in Waxahachie, about 30 miles south of Dallas. How much does a liner cost? Thanks everyone for the help.

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#482346 - 11/08/17 07:30 AM Re: Fill a dry pond [Re: pondfill]
Dave Davidson1 Offline
Moderator
Lunker

Registered: 01/04/06
Posts: 13093
Loc: Hurst & Bowie, Texas
Liners are expensive; really expensive.
_________________________
It's not about the fish. It's about the pond. Take care of the pond and the fish will be fine. PB subscriber since before it was in color.

Without a sense of urgency, Nothing ever gets done.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP

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#482384 - 11/09/17 05:54 AM Re: Fill a dry pond [Re: pondfill]
liquidsquid Offline


Registered: 11/20/11
Posts: 1833
Loc: East Bloomfield, NY USA
If I were you, I would find a reputable pond builder to enlargen it, and build it right. That means looking for on-site proper clay for construction as part of the process. Since the pond dries up, you don't have to drain it yourself. If the right materials are found and the soil is good, it will possibly cost less than a liner and you will wind up with a nicer BOW.


Edited by liquidsquid (11/09/17 05:57 AM)
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#482741 - 11/16/17 06:59 AM Re: Fill a dry pond [Re: pondfill]
tim k Offline
Member

Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 200
Loc: lampasas texas
I had a well dug in Georgetown (about 300 feet) for $10K - oversized the pump and it puts out 35 gallons per minute. My pond is one acre - it does not leak - just will go down from evaporation - I use the well water to keep it topped off and works great -

I am also in an area where I have choice of my electric provider - cost to run the pump has not been bad at all

$40k for a well seems crazy unless the water is very deep

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#482742 - 11/16/17 07:11 AM Re: Fill a dry pond [Re: pondfill]
TGW1 Offline


Registered: 09/19/14
Posts: 2009
Loc: Harrison Co. Texas
I wished I had a choice when it comes to elec provider. A little competition might keep cost down. My water well elec cost will run around 10 bucks per day for 65 gpm when down hole pump was new. I get a little less gpm after the pump being in the hole 2 yrs later. I haven't check gpm lately but I can see it is a little less water today. Around here a 200' well here will run around 20 grand after all is said and done.


Edited by TGW1 (11/16/17 07:14 AM)
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