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#485278 - 01/16/18 05:22 AM Need some ideas for a 1 acre/15 foot deep pond
bruce king Offline


Registered: 01/16/18
Posts: 4
Loc: western washington state
I purchased an old dairy farm, and I'm not using the manure lagoon
for its intended purpose.




The lagoon is 220' square, and the walls are built 10' above ground level, with the bottom sunk 5' below ground level. the walls are earth, the bottom and sides are clay-lined, and they hold water.

The dairy used sawdust for bedding, and before the guy went broke he stopped using the manure separator for a few years, and as a result the inside of the pond is lined with 1 to 2 feet of aged manure and fine sawdust. I used an excavator to scrape out some of it; maybe 2000 yards of material.

The pond is fed by a sump and pump that pumps rainwater off of the concrete on the farm and into the pond via a 4" pipe. It drops the water into the pond with a 4' drop. We get 5 to 7 feet of rain a yeare here, so keeping the pond full isn't really a problem.

If this was your pond what would you put into it, and what would you add to it?

We're temperate climate here; that is, our winter temps are in the 40s, and our summer temps are in the 70s, with maybe two weeks below freezing and two weeks above 90.

The stuff in the center of the pond is canary grass and some small trees and stuff that is growing in a floating mat of sawdust and manure; the mat is about 18" thick and floats around; the wind pushes it from side to side. The light green is duckweed. THere's a pretty good population of bullfrogs and smaller tree frogs, and dragon flies and various insects.

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#485280 - 01/16/18 05:59 AM Re: Need some ideas for a 1 acre/15 foot deep pond [Re: bruce king]
Dave Davidson1 Offline
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Lunker

Registered: 01/04/06
Posts: 13486
Loc: Hurst & Bowie, Texas
I think step one would be a water test
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#485281 - 01/16/18 06:25 AM Re: Need some ideas for a 1 acre/15 foot deep pond [Re: bruce king]
RAH Offline
Lunker

Registered: 05/17/09
Posts: 4158
Loc: Indiana, Boone County, 25 mile...
I would be looking at reducing the nutrient load perhaps with plants and tilapia, but as suggested by Dave, I would have the water tested for pollutants including e. coli and heavy metals, especially if you are considering eating fish from it. Once you know the water is not a hazard, you could consider installing a drain pipe and pumping enough water to get some flow through, as long as this will not cause pollution downstream. Building an emergent wetland downstream might help improve the water quality leaving the pond and provide wildlife habitat at the same time.

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#485282 - 01/16/18 07:01 AM Re: Need some ideas for a 1 acre/15 foot deep pond [Re: bruce king]
snrub Offline


Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 4920
Loc: SE Kansas
I would probably start over and use the clay to line a new pond. Maybe even in a new location.

The fact that you probably can manage around all the nutrient problems.......eventually, and the fact that you can spend electricity to run water up hill in perpetuity doesn't mean you have to or will want to over time.

Sometimes rather than spending nickels and dimes over a long period to makeshift something to work it is better to just bite the bullet and do it right up front.

I'm all for repurposing stuff. But this looks like an uphill battle for a LONG time.


Edited by snrub (01/16/18 07:07 AM)
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#485285 - 01/16/18 10:32 AM Re: Need some ideas for a 1 acre/15 foot deep pond [Re: bruce king]
ewest Offline
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Lunker

Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 19409
Loc: Miss.
What do you want from the pond (goals). Water and soil (pond bottom analysis) would be the place to start. Another would be to gather all info from prior owner about past operations like food source , chemicals used, copies of government reports filed, environmental site assessments done and results.
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#485292 - 01/16/18 02:38 PM Re: Need some ideas for a 1 acre/15 foot deep pond [Re: bruce king]
RAH Offline
Lunker

Registered: 05/17/09
Posts: 4158
Loc: Indiana, Boone County, 25 mile...
FYI - Option C discussed in detail later in the document after being introduced near the beginning. This may at least provide ideas.

http://aglifesciences.tamu.edu/baen/wp-c...-Structures.pdf


Edited by RAH (01/16/18 02:42 PM)

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#485293 - 01/16/18 03:33 PM Re: Need some ideas for a 1 acre/15 foot deep pond [Re: bruce king]
Bill Cody Offline
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Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 12412
Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
Your manure lagoon is slightly larger than an acre, 1.1ac. After reading the informative link provided by RAH, I think you bought a liability. The previous owner should have and maybe by law should have properly dealt with renovating or closing the abandoned lagoon before selling the property. There was probably a permit involved for installing the lagoon and the permit may have dealt with or specified proper guidelines for closing the lagoon when it was no longer actively used for manure storage. Or at a minimum, you should have received a significant discount on the property because the abandoned lagoon is a liability not an asset. It will cost quite a bit of money to 'clean-it-up'.

I have some experience observing and dealing with a few abandoned manure lagoons. Without a clean-up they are a nutrient super over enriched containment basin. The thing was a manure pit - and animal sewage lagoon. As abandoned basins the apparent water quality is usually, often always very green and dissolved oxygen shortages and fish kills are common depending on location and weather. Toxin producing algae blooms commonly occur. Nitrogen and phosphorus concentrations are at extreme levels. The critters that are currently living in the lagoon are those types /species that are tolerant of oxygen shortages. As it is, it will never be a "decent" pond with out good clean out. If it were mine I would have it drained, the sludge removed, and the basin deepened and then well compacted with proper soil compaction equipment. Do not use a bulldozer as the sole soil compactor.

Below are some quotes as good information of how to properly rejuvenate the lagoon from the link RAH provided. If the lagoon is not rebuilt expect it to be a ' very difficult problem child' as long as you own it.
From the Link: "Dewater most of the liquid waste in the earthen structure by irrigating it onto nearby cropland or forage land. Then agitate the remaining liquid with the sludge and pump it into a sludge slurry applicator. The sludge can then be spread onto cropland or forage land or incorporated into the soil. After removing the liquid and most of the sludge, depending on the condition of the liner, you may need to remove any remaining solids and if needed some of the nutrient –enriched soil with a small track-type dozer or farm tractor with a bucket.
Rinse the structure with water. Rinsate can be used to irrigate crop or pasture land. Fill the lagoon with water and allow it to sit for several months.





Edited by Bill Cody (01/16/18 03:50 PM)
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#485294 - 01/16/18 04:32 PM Re: Need some ideas for a 1 acre/15 foot deep pond [Re: Bill Cody]
snrub Offline


Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 4920
Loc: SE Kansas
It makes very good crop fertilizer.
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#485295 - 01/16/18 04:34 PM Re: Need some ideas for a 1 acre/15 foot deep pond [Re: bruce king]
bruce king Offline


Registered: 01/16/18
Posts: 4
Loc: western washington state
The dairy farm that used this manure lagoon ceased operations 3 years before I purchased the property, and I've owned the property for 5 years, so it's been 8 years since large amounts of manure was added. incidental manure might have been added as the concrete does get some manure on it; there was a goat milking operation here after the cow dairy closed for a couple of years, and I run pigs so
there's some pig manure in the last 5 years.

three years ago I breached the wall and drained the lagoon of liquid, and then rented a long reach excavator and removed most of the solids 30' in from the sides, which i spread on the crop fields nearby. After that I rebuilt the wall and clay liner and then filled it with rainwater
using the existing sump and pump system.

Filling it really isn't a problem; the concrete slabs that feed the sump area are 1.5 acres, so the pond itself gets 5-7' of rain water and then I pump in another 10', and by late spring it's full enough that its approaching the bank top.

two years ago I irrigated from this lagoon, pulled out 9' of water, removed some more solids, and then refilled it with rainwater again over the winter; so the pond has had two flushes
since manure was added.

RAH points out option C, permanently converting to a farm pond and outlines actions similar to what I've done. I've done water
testing at the farm wells and there's no nitrate issue; some manganese, iron and a little bit of arsenic but no organics or bacteria, but that's well water. This is surface water.

Should I do a drinking water test on the pond water, or are you suggesting some other sort of test?

As far as goals go; having a pond wouldn't be bad; I'd like to reduce the mosquito population; if I can get some use out of it for fishing that'd be fine, subject to concerns about water quality per the comments (heavy metals, etc).

I'd rather not decommission it formally because it would be impossible (read: Immensely expensive) to replace given current environmental concerns, and it's been handy to have 10 acre feet of water to irrigate with; the last few years we've had 90 day droughts in the summer.



Edited by bruce king (01/16/18 04:35 PM)
Edit Reason: typo

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#485296 - 01/16/18 05:01 PM Re: Need some ideas for a 1 acre/15 foot deep pond [Re: bruce king]
RAH Offline
Lunker

Registered: 05/17/09
Posts: 4158
Loc: Indiana, Boone County, 25 mile...
I get the "formal decommissioning" thing. I think you could test the water like they do streams for the normal culprits often there due to animal confinement operations leaking into them. If you do not have a way to keep the swine manure from continuing to reach the lagoon, then I think an aesthetically pleasing pond is not going to happen. Can you install a drain and build a wetland downstream so that you can run more water through the lagoon without risking polluting other water sources? Emergent pond plants are used in storm-water wetlands, so you might look into these species to help. If you just want to control mosquitoes, try adding Gambusia and see if they survive, but healthy ponds without fish have few mosquitoes due to invertebrate predators. If you want a typical fish pond, the excess nutrients need to be removed one way or another.

http://fourthcornernurseries.com/the-use-of-aquatic-plants-to-treat-waste-water/

http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1757-899X/176/1/012018/pdf

http://www.northinlet.sc.edu/training/me...0sw%20systs.pdf


Edited by RAH (01/16/18 05:06 PM)

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#485795 - 02/02/18 06:45 PM Re: Need some ideas for a 1 acre/15 foot deep pond [Re: bruce king]
bruce king Offline


Registered: 01/16/18
Posts: 4
Loc: western washington state
I got the water test results from the lagoon. attached is the file
itself. Comments welcome.


Attachments
pond boss.png (73 downloads)


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#485796 - 02/02/18 07:07 PM Re: Need some ideas for a 1 acre/15 foot deep pond [Re: bruce king]
RAH Offline
Lunker

Registered: 05/17/09
Posts: 4158
Loc: Indiana, Boone County, 25 mile...
Don't see the microbe analyses?

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#485800 - 02/02/18 08:22 PM Re: Need some ideas for a 1 acre/15 foot deep pond [Re: bruce king]
bruce king Offline


Registered: 01/16/18
Posts: 4
Loc: western washington state
you're saying bacterial test? I did the inorganic because they
wouldn't accept the bacterial sample after 4pm on a friday because stuff would grow in it over the weekend before they could test it.

they had never done a test of pond water for fish, and this was
our combined guess as to what would be interesting, but I missed
a basic factor - ph - and I'd actually like to get a list of what I should be testing for - spent $230 on that test, and figure I probably wasted my money.

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#485804 - 02/03/18 06:18 AM Re: Need some ideas for a 1 acre/15 foot deep pond [Re: bruce king]
RAH Offline
Lunker

Registered: 05/17/09
Posts: 4158
Loc: Indiana, Boone County, 25 mile...
That price does seem steep. Others may be able to help but even a well water test evaluates e. coli and coliform bacteria, I think?

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#485806 - 02/03/18 06:25 AM Re: Need some ideas for a 1 acre/15 foot deep pond [Re: bruce king]
Dave Davidson1 Offline
Moderator
Lunker

Registered: 01/04/06
Posts: 13486
Loc: Hurst & Bowie, Texas
I was told, but did not verify, that a local feed lot in my area used tilapia to “clean” their manure lagoon.
_________________________
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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#485810 - 02/03/18 09:39 AM Re: Need some ideas for a 1 acre/15 foot deep pond [Re: bruce king]
RAH Offline
Lunker

Registered: 05/17/09
Posts: 4158
Loc: Indiana, Boone County, 25 mile...
I believe the tilapia eat what grows on the manure just like in a fertilized pond.

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