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#487059 - 03/11/18 11:33 AM Pond with clay bottom leaking questions
Sisu Offline

Registered: 08/30/16
Posts: 10
Loc: Wisconsin

My parents had a pond built 6 years ago and I have some questions. Pond had clay added and compacted to hold the water. Pond is .4ac 14' deep, and is fed from a well with 4" hose running underground to bottom of pond. During winter the well gets turned off and no water is added to the pond. Water level goes down around 3' until spring hits. My questions about leakage are....

1) They added a beach, with some of the sand going into the water. Will the sand sink and mix with the clay causing water to drain?

2) They are thinking of adding a floating dock. 3 Anchor posts will be used. These posts will drill into the ground and will be installed in spring and removed every winter. Is this a bad idea because it would cause leakage?

3) Is the water level dropping 2-3' during winter a sign of draining more the usual?


#487060 - 03/11/18 11:48 AM Re: Pond with clay bottom leaking questions [Re: Sisu]
John Fitzgerald Online   content

Registered: 10/27/15
Posts: 1897
Loc: S. end of Elkins, Arkansas
Sand on top of a clay liner should do no harm.

Anything that penetrates the liner could cause a leak.

Ponds normally hold steady or rise slightly during most winters. You probably already have a leak or widespread seepage.

#487073 - 03/11/18 05:26 PM Re: Pond with clay bottom leaking questions [Re: Sisu]
Rainman Offline
Field Correspondent
Hall of Fame


Registered: 06/06/07
Posts: 6925
Loc: St Louis, MO area
My concerns are two-fold with a well pipe going to the bottom of the pond.

The first, and maybe biggest concern is that the pipe had better have a good one-way check valve, or the pipe will siphon, and drain the pond.

Second, and this can be a biggie too, is that well water is almost completely devoid of dissolved oxygen, and it could add to the suffocation of fish, especially in the summer.

I would put the well outlet about 10' above the pond and create a small stream or water fall over rock to create a lot of turbulance, which will dissolve oxygen into the fresh water...this will solve/correct both design issues

Edited by Rainman (03/11/18 05:28 PM)


#487074 - 03/11/18 05:50 PM Re: Pond with clay bottom leaking questions [Re: Sisu]
Sisu Offline

Registered: 08/30/16
Posts: 10
Loc: Wisconsin
Yea the original design of the pond is a whole other story. The people they paid to dig the pond didn't really know what they were doing. I've had concerns about oxygen as well and talked to them about moving the intake above ground. They have a pond guy that comes and has taken oxygen readings that are good. They have two air diffusers that run spring through fall. Since the oxygen readings are good during hot days of summer at the surface and below, they don't see the point in spending the money or letting me do the work.

#487075 - 03/11/18 07:12 PM Re: Pond with clay bottom leaking questions [Re: Sisu]
snrub Online   content

Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 4738
Loc: SE Kansas
Depending on the flow rate of the well and the velocity and angle the water exits the pipe, is it possible the water flow bore a trench at the bottom of the pond and cut through the clay liner?

I would think a 90 degree fitting on the pipe shooting the water toward the surface would help destratify the pond as well as push the well water towards the surface where it would be exposed to air, plus keep it from causing bottom erosion problems.

If the pipe is a ways above the bottom, this may not be an issue.

Edited by snrub (03/11/18 07:14 PM)

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#487505 - 03/21/18 06:33 AM Re: Pond with clay bottom leaking questions [Re: Sisu]
Linda Robert Offline

Registered: 10/19/16
Posts: 28
Loc: Shelton, CT USA
You must figure out where the pond leaks. Drain the pond and examine the entire surface area of the bottom. If the leak isn't obvious, you will need to coat the entire bottom of the pond with good clay or bentonite.

#487530 - 03/21/18 12:13 PM Sphere of influence of a two aerator system [Re: Sisu]
cb100 Offline

Registered: 12/19/14
Posts: 124
Loc: lake co calif
I have a pond that is 300'x80' 20' deep I am putting in an aeration setup with 2 diffuser I am wondering how far apart I should set the diffuser for optimal performance.

Edited by cb100 (03/21/18 12:14 PM)

#487531 - 03/21/18 12:17 PM Re: Sphere of influence of a two aerator system [Re: Sisu]
cb100 Offline

Registered: 12/19/14
Posts: 124
Loc: lake co calif
Sorry I was trying to open a new post.


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