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#482473 - 11/11/17 07:43 AM Need help: Pond Leak with No Really Good Way to Fi
djwoodman Offline


Registered: 11/11/17
Posts: 5
Loc: NC
Hi I recently finished a 3 acre pond on a new venue we are building for events and weddings.. It is an average of 25 feet deep at full pond. Due to amount of water in the pond, the county had me install a pretty large pipe system in case the pond needed to be drained. Something in the pipe system is allowing a leak of about 20 gallons per hour to leak through the pipe. This pipe flows 90 feet through the base of the dam, and then another 300 feet through a pasture and would drain into a large creek. The logic in this was if the pond had to be drained, the 12 inch underground pipe would allow the water to go into the creek without damaging what is suppose to be a vineyard.
The problem is, we have been unable to find the leak. There is a lot of silt on the pond and I have had a diver go down and look with no luck finding the leak. The valve is at the deepest part of the pond, about 40 feet deep, and there is a ton of silt in that area.
I have little faith in the yahoo's that built the pond can do anything, so I am kinda stuck. The pond is creek feed and when creek is running good we increase, but when it slows we decrease and have never hit full pond.
Even if we drained the pond (and lost the 3 grand of fish we put in this spring) I am really not sure we could locate the leak.

Soooo I have been thinking that the best solution might be to just recirculate the water back into the pond. I do not have electricity available and have been looking at a solar water pump to pump water back into the pond. In research I have found a pump made by Dankoff called a slow pump that can pump water long distances through 1 inch pipe.
So here is my thoughts and I would gladly appreciate any help or guidance.

Install something to collect the water, say a 500 gallon water tank,
Install the pump,water filter, and a float valve to allow the pump to come on pump the water through 400 feet of buried 1 inch pipe back into the pond. I will build a shelter over the collection tank and pump and mount the solar panels on top. Pump will probably run about 3 hours a day. I know this sounds nuts, but I have a lot of $$ in this project and we need to get this lovely pond to fill. That being said before investing another $2500 in this system I thought I would see if anyone else has an idea. We should have power to the area in 2 years and this will open up more options.

So to summarize:
Need to pump apx 400 to 500 gallons of water per day about 400 feet with a 40 foot elevation, back into a pond. No electricity available, and no one lives on the property that could come and crank up a gas pump.

Looking to install a dankoff slow solar pump and necessary components to pump water daily back into the pond.

Again I appreciate any thought on this.

Thanks

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#482474 - 11/11/17 08:06 AM Re: Need help: Pond Leak with No Really Good Way to Fi [Re: djwoodman]
TGW1 Offline


Registered: 09/19/14
Posts: 1998
Loc: Harrison Co. Texas
Welcome, I'm not going to much help to you but I'm pretty sure someone will come along soon and make a suggestion or two. In the meantime, is the 20gpm of water running from inside the pipe or outside the pipe? I have also looked into moving some water around and like you I looked into some pumps but I did not look into solar.
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#482475 - 11/11/17 08:07 AM Re: Need help: Pond Leak with No Really Good Way to Fi [Re: djwoodman]
fish n chips Offline


Registered: 09/06/11
Posts: 2312
Loc: Northeast Ohio
Wow, sorry for your troubles. What you are going thru isn't nice and it's going to take time.... I would talk to the pond builder and see if there is any financial help. Then with them or not, plug the current pipe. Install a siphon drain to a size that would satisfy the county and overflow expectations. Tie that one into the drain that goes under the vineyard. Be done with it and not worry about maintaining something else every year. This is a very short synopsis of what I would do.

PS. You need the outflow of the siphon to end below the inlet of the siphon in the pond. I think it is about 4' ? Sounds like you have that.

As TGW1 mentioned while I was typing, that is very crucial to notice where that water is coming from.


Edited by fish n chips (11/11/17 08:10 AM)

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#482476 - 11/11/17 08:11 AM Re: Need help: Pond Leak with No Really Good Way to Fi [Re: djwoodman]
snrub Offline


Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 4200
Loc: SE Kansas
Welcome to the forum and good luck with your problem.

If it happens to be the valve or along the pipe that is the problem you could have a diver just go down and put a cap over the end of the pipe. That would eliminate all the pipe joint and valve as the potential problem unless the leak is at the first joint of pipe inside the dam and it is leaking around the outside of the pipe into the joint.

If you ever needed to drain the pond you would need to remove the cap though which could be problematic. But it should solve your leakage problem unless you have leakage around the pipe into a joint. And if you have that you have much bigger problems, depending on how far inside the dam structure the leak is. I'm not a dam engineer so those are just my layman's ideas. Take them for what they are worth.

You can find large caps, fittings and such on line by doing a search. The plumbing supply houses near me carry the large pipe but not the various joints, caps, plugs etc. But I have found them to easily be ordered on line and delivered by UPS.



Edited by snrub (11/11/17 08:13 AM)
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#482481 - 11/11/17 08:55 AM Re: Need help: Pond Leak with No Really Good Way to Fi [Re: djwoodman]
nehunter Offline


Registered: 07/20/15
Posts: 55
Loc: NE
There are cameras that could go up your drain to check walls of pipe. I know the cities have them for sewers. Is there some kind of balloon type plug you could shove up the pipe and then inflate? I have seen some for smaller pipes.

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#482484 - 11/11/17 09:27 AM Re: Need help: Pond Leak with No Really Good Way to Fi [Re: djwoodman]
RAH Offline
Lunker

Registered: 05/17/09
Posts: 3746
Loc: Indiana, Boone County, 25 mile...
You could just drain down the pond using the existing valve and then use compressed air and an inflatable plug to find (and repair) the leak. Sorry to hear about your trouble.

https://www.petersenproducts.com/Plugs-Inflatable-s/1972.htm

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#482488 - 11/11/17 09:31 AM Re: Need help: Pond Leak with No Really Good Way to Fi [Re: djwoodman]
John Fitzgerald Online   content


Registered: 10/27/15
Posts: 1552
Loc: S. end of Elkins, Arkansas
20 gallons per hour is really a small leak. I wish my leak was that small in my 1/4 acre pond. You could get more evaporation than that on a windy day on a 3-acre pond. That's only 480 gallons per day. I'd just let it go.


Edited by John Fitzgerald (11/11/17 09:35 AM)
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#482494 - 11/11/17 10:54 AM Re: Need help: Pond Leak with No Really Good Way to Fi [Re: TGW1]
djwoodman Offline


Registered: 11/11/17
Posts: 5
Loc: NC
Hi The water is inside the pipe. We think it is probably an issue with the valve, but there is so much silt around it that we just can not tell.

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#482503 - 11/11/17 01:05 PM Re: Need help: Pond Leak with No Really Good Way to Fi [Re: djwoodman]
DC70 Online   content
Fingerling

Registered: 12/15/08
Posts: 12
Loc: Indiana
Can you cap the pipe at the creek?

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#482504 - 11/11/17 02:25 PM Re: Need help: Pond Leak with No Really Good Way to Fi [Re: djwoodman]
RAH Offline
Lunker

Registered: 05/17/09
Posts: 3746
Loc: Indiana, Boone County, 25 mile...
If you drain it down, you could add an elbow and raise the valve out of the silt. Your issue scares me concerning the knife valve I installed on the drain to my new pond. It it leaks, I have a cable tied to a float so that I can drain it back down and cap it. I put the valve on in case the pond has a leak elsewhere and I need to fix it.

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#482567 - 11/12/17 01:56 PM Re: Need help: Pond Leak with No Really Good Way to Fi [Re: DC70]
djwoodman Offline


Registered: 11/11/17
Posts: 5
Loc: NC
Well that is exactly what I planned to do, but several have said it would not be a good idea to have that much water pressure running in the pipe that goes through the dam. If somehow some of that pipe started leaking due to the pressure it could weaken the core of dam over time.

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#482570 - 11/12/17 03:16 PM Re: Need help: Pond Leak with No Really Good Way to Fi [Re: djwoodman]
RAH Offline
Lunker

Registered: 05/17/09
Posts: 3746
Loc: Indiana, Boone County, 25 mile...
Can the valve just be open a small amount so the pressure in the pipe is very low?

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#482575 - 11/12/17 05:56 PM Re: Need help: Pond Leak with No Really Good Way to Fi [Re: RAH]
djwoodman Offline


Registered: 11/11/17
Posts: 5
Loc: NC
I decided to just put a 2 inch piece of pvc in the 12 inch pipe end and then seal around it with concrete. Then I threaded a 3/4 hose end to test and see if once the 400 foot of 12 inch pipe filled up if there would be enough static pressure to push the water through 400 foot of hose with a 40 foot elevation. If this test worked I was going to trench in 1 inch pvc back to the pond and be done with the issue.

But a guy that I wished I had meet earlier in this adventure, suggested that this could still be problematic as the water could still look for another way escape and it could possibly be at a seam of some of the pipe through the 90 foot wide dam. I do know the guys that installed the pipe through the dam used a rubber gasket system and it "should" be fine, but I'm just not sure. I do not know enough about the dynamics of moving water.

But I do know that when I capped the 2 inch pipe and came back in 2 days the 400 foot of 12 inch pipe was full and when I took the cap off it flowed like a fire hose for 20 minute before slowing down. Based on info off the internet 1 foot of 12 inch pipe holds 4.88 gallons of water, so 400 foot means there is almost 2000 gallons of water leaving my pond every couple of days, or over 6000 gallons weekly. I would prefer it be in the pond if I can figure out a way.

Any help appreciated.

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#482579 - 11/12/17 07:18 PM Re: Need help: Pond Leak with No Really Good Way to Fi [Re: djwoodman]
snrub Offline


Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 4200
Loc: SE Kansas
Originally Posted By: djwoodman
Well that is exactly what I planned to do, but several have said it would not be a good idea to have that much water pressure running in the pipe that goes through the dam. If somehow some of that pipe started leaking due to the pressure it could weaken the core of dam over time.




If you cap it on the inside of the pond (under water) there will not be any water pressure inside the pipe. There will be pressure trying to get inside the pipe, but none within.
_________________________
John

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#482580 - 11/12/17 07:20 PM Re: Need help: Pond Leak with No Really Good Way to Fi [Re: djwoodman]
gully washer Offline


Registered: 01/07/13
Posts: 308
Loc: Texas
Hello dj......The water in the hose isn’t going to rise to an elevation higher than the pond’s surface. Water seeks its own level. The only thing you will achieve with the hose, is to stop the flow of water thru the pipe……………. By merely capping the outlet you would achieve the same results


I agree with John........... cap the inlet

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#482595 - 11/12/17 10:31 PM Re: Need help: Pond Leak with No Really Good Way to Fi [Re: djwoodman]
fish n chips Offline


Registered: 09/06/11
Posts: 2312
Loc: Northeast Ohio
Yes, capping the inlet would be the best, but will his county like the idea of it taking a diver to be able to open it up if necessary on short notice?

I'll throw out another idea. How about another valve on the backside. I would tend to do that instead of rigging a way to pump the water back every day. It don't solve the problem of pressure inside the pipe.

Is it possible that the current valve is stuck in a slightly open position and won't seal closed? Possibly some junk/sediment. If you open the valve up, might a lot of that sediment around it that stops you from finding it, be flushed out so you can get to the pipe end?

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#482596 - 11/12/17 11:20 PM Re: Need help: Pond Leak with No Really Good Way to Fi [Re: gully washer]
snrub Offline


Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 4200
Loc: SE Kansas
We don't have much information on what type of valve it is or the location of the valve.

I would assume the valve is somewhere buried within the dam to prevent freezing, but we do not know that.

Assuming the valve is buried in the middle of the dam and has a control rod to the surface to operate it, my first course of action would be to open the valve wide open and let some water through. Then close the valve and see if it seals. It could be just something under the valve seat during installation and needs flushed out. But again, we do not know the type of valve (gate, ball, conventional screw and seat, etc) nor its location within the 400 feet of pipe.

Capping it on the inside at the inlet would eliminate all potential pipe and valve problems other than a bad joint connection within the first couple of pipe joints (water might seep around the pipe and into a bad joint but only anything before the valve). But the cap would 1. require a diver to install and 2.essentially make the drain ineffective till it was removed.

I like the idea of the inflatable plug, again depending on where the valve is. If the valve is the problem, this should fix the leak problem. At least for many years till the rubber inflatable plug rotted out.

We need more information to properly access the situation.
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John

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#482598 - 11/12/17 11:43 PM Re: Need help: Pond Leak with No Really Good Way to Fi [Re: djwoodman]
gully washer Offline


Registered: 01/07/13
Posts: 308
Loc: Texas
The OP says:
“The valve is at the deepest part of the pond, about 40 feet deep, and there is a ton of silt in that area”


So,apparently a diver is needed to even operate the valve……..…… Seems like an extraordinary design flaw.

Yeah, more information would be helpful. Perhaps even a sketch of the piping

PS: Those inflatable plumber's test plugs are only rated for about 10psi max......... They are used for low pressure testing of commercial DWV piping

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#482599 - 11/13/17 07:40 AM Re: Need help: Pond Leak with No Really Good Way to Fi [Re: djwoodman]
djwoodman Offline


Registered: 11/11/17
Posts: 5
Loc: NC
The valve is basically a pivoting flap that is attached to a rod that is attached at the top of the overflow.

The diver just jiggled it a bit we did not actually go up and try to open it.

There is definitely a design flaw, it should have had a threaded rod so we could just screw open the valve.

It is just one of many issues I have with the design and install, but in all honesty it is what the engineer specked for the project.

I am hesitant to just pull it wide open, as I am afraid with the amount of silt it could plug it up, or that we would not be able to get it properly closed. There is apx 9 million gallons of water in the pond, and I do not want to have to start all over unless it is absolutely necessary.

I'm not familiar with how to post pics on this site, but i'll see if I can put some up today.

Thanks again.

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#482608 - 11/13/17 09:14 AM Re: Need help: Pond Leak with No Really Good Way to Fi [Re: djwoodman]
nehunter Offline


Registered: 07/20/15
Posts: 55
Loc: NE
You could use a ram pump. It dose not require electricity and pumps on it's own. Look it up and how to make one with a google search. It may pump too low of a volume, don't know how big you can make them but it will pump up your damn.

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#482609 - 11/13/17 09:24 AM Re: Need help: Pond Leak with No Really Good Way to Fi [Re: djwoodman]
snrub Offline


Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 4200
Loc: SE Kansas
If I understand this right, a 12 inch flapper valve at 40 ft depth........wow, that is 20 psi at that depth times the square inches of a 12 inch circle. That is over 2000 pound pull to open against 113 sq inches with almost 20 psi against it.

Am I figuring wrong or is there something amiss here????

I would expect it more likely to be a knife valve. I do not know how a person would ever open a flapper valve that large at that depth. For sure a diver would not want to be in front of it if it was opened as he likely would become the new permanant plug.

I don`t think you would have to worry about silt plugging at that depth and pressure. But some more solit debris such as rocks or sticks could be an issue.

Edit; I reread the original post. Maybe the piping is 12 inch but the drain flapper valve is smaller. That could be a more plausible situation. Also he said he needed to pump water against a 40 ft head. That does not mean the pond is that deep so the pressure at the flapper valve would be the pressure of the water depth, not the pipe outlet head height. If it is a 10 ft deep pond it would be only 5 psi at the valve, but still 20 psi at the 40' head outlet end if it were plugged.


Edited by snrub (11/13/17 09:34 AM)
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John

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#482612 - 11/13/17 10:15 AM Re: Need help: Pond Leak with No Really Good Way to Fi [Re: djwoodman]
John Fitzgerald Online   content


Registered: 10/27/15
Posts: 1552
Loc: S. end of Elkins, Arkansas
I wouldn't even worry about a loss of 480 gallons per day in a three acre pond. If it's drawing off the bottom, it's not all bad anyway.
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#482628 - 11/13/17 04:13 PM Re: Need help: Pond Leak with No Really Good Way to Fi [Re: John Fitzgerald]
snrub Offline


Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 4200
Loc: SE Kansas
What would concern me more is what the water flow will eventually do to the sealing area it is passing around.

In other words, if a small leak eventually will become a bigger leak.
_________________________
John

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#482629 - 11/13/17 04:24 PM Re: Need help: Pond Leak with No Really Good Way to Fi [Re: djwoodman]
John Fitzgerald Online   content


Registered: 10/27/15
Posts: 1552
Loc: S. end of Elkins, Arkansas
If it's a flapper valve, it's just a larger, stiffer version of a toilet flapper. Those never seal correctly over time, and usually require replacement as normal maintenance within a few years. You could put a ball valve on the outlet end, close that, then have the leaking valve replaced while there's no flow through it if that's actually where the problem is. It could be a crack in the pipe close to and downstream from the valve. If you replace the valve, think carefully about the design.

As to the opening force, it takes tremendous force to open initially, but once there's flow, and the valve has a small opening, the force to open all the way drops off exponentially.


Edited by John Fitzgerald (11/13/17 04:48 PM)
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#482630 - 11/13/17 04:36 PM Re: Need help: Pond Leak with No Really Good Way to Fi [Re: John Fitzgerald]
snrub Offline


Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 4200
Loc: SE Kansas
I think he said it was gasket pipe and there is a 40' drop to the end of the drain outlet. That is near 20 psi. I'm guessing the gasket pipe is probably PVC sewer gasket pipe. Not sure what pressure it is rated for.

From what I gathered the 400 feet of 12" was basically drain pipe. Not sure if it would have been designed to hold pressure.

Replacing anything 12" pipe underwater would be not easy. I suspect loosing $3000 of fish and draining the pond would be cheaper and easier for the valve replacement.

Re-read his posts and the valve is indeed at a 40 ft depth. That is not quite 17.5 psi the valve is seeing or if capped at the outlet what the drain pipe would then see if the bottom of the drain is still at 40' (and not more). 17.5 psi against a 12" valve is some serious hydraulic pressure. 113 sq inches times 17.5 = 1977 pounds trying to push the valve off the end of a 12" pipe. Better have a good glue job and not be standing in front of it if it doesn't. eek


Edited by snrub (11/13/17 04:52 PM)
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John

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