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#483970 - 12/10/17 11:48 PM Out the Bottom or Out the sides ??
Pond Star Offline

Registered: 08/18/12
Posts: 52
Loc: Oregon
Going to try and tackle my 4 year leaking problem again this spring/summer.

2/3 acre pond - dug and dammed - steep sides - 11' deep at deepest spot - hit shale when digging in an area about 1/3 the total size of the pond - covered bottom with minimum 2' clay - sides may not have gotten that much - no compaction as compaction guy didn't show and then it started raining.

Initially could see water leaking out in several spots at the toe of embankment in a 225' stretch when pond first filled.

Have tried Soilfloc in the end where we hit shale without any noticeable change. Added 624 cubic yards of clay two years ago (sides and bottom) and it helped some - but again the compaction guy did not show - so got no real compaction...... and it started raining before I could get someone else.

Pond drops rapidly after rain stops at end of winter - 6 foot in about two-three weeks - then slows down considerably and after 2 months loses very little and no leak at toe of dam. (deepest part now approx 3-4 feet)

So the question -- how do you ascertain if it it leaking out the bottom when the pressure is high (full pond) or is going down thru the sides? No noticeable interior leaking holes. So I don't know whether to concentrate efforts on the bottom or the sides ?

#483975 - 12/11/17 08:02 AM Re: Out the Bottom or Out the sides ?? [Re: Pond Star]
snrub Online   content

Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 4736
Loc: SE Kansas
Might be safest to just add clay to any obvious area of shale or porus soil and recompact the entire bowl. Making sure all areas are covered adequately. Then you know for sure what you have.

I subscribe to Pond Boss Magazine

#484002 - 12/11/17 03:30 PM Re: Out the Bottom or Out the sides ?? [Re: Pond Star]
Dave Davidson1 Offline

Registered: 01/04/06
Posts: 13375
Loc: Hurst & Bowie, Texas
Mine also leaks. The only way I can figure out where is to drain the darn thing and look.
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

#484015 - 12/11/17 05:58 PM Re: Out the Bottom or Out the sides ?? [Re: Pond Star]
Bob Lusk Offline
Editor, Pond Boss Magazine

Registered: 04/10/02
Posts: 3095
Loc: Whitesboro, Texas
Water seeping out the back toe of the dam suggests the dam wasn't cored properly. If that's the case, then the entire pond bottom, and up the sides, needs to have compacted clay. Or, you may able to dig a core trench, backfill, and compact it well into each end of the dam, beyond where the dam ties into the hillsides.

I'd be tempted to dig into the front side slope, above the water level, digging several feet below the water level, and see if these test holes fill with water. If so, you can resolve it with a core trench. Mike Otto wrote a story about digging a core trench after the fact and compacting it with a remote-controlled ditch compactor.

I'd be tempted to call Mike and discuss it with him.
Teach a man to grow fish...
He can teach to catch fish...


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