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#490883 - 05/29/18 03:31 PM Dealing with Sediment
Theeck Offline


Registered: 05/04/17
Posts: 33
Loc: PA
Hello everybody. We have a small pond (120' by 90') that has gotten shallow due to sediment. The pond is about 100 years old and areas that were 6' deep 50 years ago are now 3-4 feet deep. There is no erosion from another site, it is just a collection of leaves and sticks decomposing. What can we do?

It has a metal drain pipe but no way to drain, to our knowledge, without breaking the pipe. Someone told us that if we shoot a 22 bullet up the pipe it will have a glass base that will break and drain the water. Have any of you heard of this?


What about those bacteria pellets? Would they work? It seems to me that the bacteria would already be present naturally.

Thanks

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#490887 - 05/29/18 03:56 PM Re: Dealing with Sediment [Re: Theeck]
John Fitzgerald Offline


Registered: 10/27/15
Posts: 2032
Loc: S. end of Elkins, Arkansas
Never heard of a glass base. You could get a 2" or 3" trash pump and drain the pond in a day or two.

Bacterial additives won't help. Draining, drying, and a bulldozer will.
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#490888 - 05/29/18 04:31 PM Re: Dealing with Sediment [Re: Theeck]
Theeck Offline


Registered: 05/04/17
Posts: 33
Loc: PA
Thanks. We have two small streams/springs feed the pond and it has water flowing in all of the time. With a rain, it would fill in a day. Without it would probably take a few days to fill. I am not sure if a pump would work unless a bulldozer could drive through the muck right after pumping it out.

We were thinking about renting an excavator. Maybe a bulldozer would be a better idea but I have no experience with running one.

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#490927 - 05/30/18 08:32 AM Re: Dealing with Sediment [Re: Theeck]
Dave Davidson1 Offline
Moderator
Lunker

Registered: 01/04/06
Posts: 13561
Loc: Hurst & Bowie, Texas
Can you divert the flow for awhile? That muck could take a LONG time to dry enough to get any type of earthmover into it.
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#490953 - 05/30/18 12:05 PM Re: Dealing with Sediment [Re: Dave Davidson1]
Theeck Offline


Registered: 05/04/17
Posts: 33
Loc: PA
not really. I am thinking an excavator is probably the only way to clear it.

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#490954 - 05/30/18 12:12 PM Re: Dealing with Sediment [Re: Theeck]
John Fitzgerald Offline


Registered: 10/27/15
Posts: 2032
Loc: S. end of Elkins, Arkansas
We cleaned out our first pond in August of 2015 the next day after we drained it with a trash pump. The dozer started at the edge and scraped down to solid clay as he went across, pushing into a breach dug into the dam. A backhoe was used to help dip out the muck as it was pushed into the breach.
The dozer was able to maintain traction by making sure the muck was all scraped away as it proceeded. The clay under the muck was undisturbed and solid. YMMV, depending on the substrate under the muck.
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#490992 - 05/30/18 06:37 PM Re: Dealing with Sediment [Re: Theeck]
catmandoo Offline
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Lunker

Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 5683
Loc: Hampshire Co., WV
Originally Posted By: Theeck
not really. I am thinking an excavator is probably the only way to clear it.


I would contact a moderate size local excavating company where the owner and at least half of the operators are over 40 years of age, with experience in this type of work.

Generally in Northern WV, Western MD, Northwestern VA, and the southwesren half of PA, the dam will probably be breached to let the the water out if there is significant inflow of water that keeps the pond at full pool. If not, it could be pumped with something like a 4-inch trash pump. However the edges, and especially thick muck, needs time to dry out.

Depending on the type of equipment used, and the depth of the muck, will determine how long it needs to be mostly water free. No experienced operator is going to want to drive a tracked or rubber-tired piece of equipment into deep muck.

Then, you or you contactor will have to do something with the multiple cubic yards of that muck. For the most part it is anerobic (devoid of oxygen). It isn't going to useful as garden or field ammendents as-is.

These are just some of the reasons I would suggest a very experienced local excavating company.

A neighbor just had a smilar job done, with a just slightly larger pond. They breached the dam. Equipment was on site for a couple of weeks, but most was only used a few hours every few days.

Good luck,
Ken
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#491006 - 05/30/18 09:39 PM Re: Dealing with Sediment [Re: catmandoo]
John Fitzgerald Offline


Registered: 10/27/15
Posts: 2032
Loc: S. end of Elkins, Arkansas
Originally Posted By: catmandoo
Originally Posted By: Theeck
not really. I am thinking an excavator is probably the only way to clear it.



Depending on the type of equipment used, and the depth of the muck, will determine how long it needs to be mostly water free. No experienced operator is going to want to drive a tracked or rubber-tired piece of equipment into deep muck.

Then, you or you contactor will have to do something with the multiple cubic yards of that muck. For the most part it is anerobic (devoid of oxygen). It isn't going to useful as garden or field ammendents as-is.



After our pond cleanout began, it was amazing to me that the dozer was driving on solid ground in the pond with no muck on one side (having already cleaned that), and up past the top of the tracks on the other side. The clay on the bottom was so impervious that it was as if he was digging a new pond. It may not be like that for other cases, but it was here.

We spread the muck roughly below one end of the pond, allowed it to dry for a year, then smothed it out with a small dozer. It is now growing hay.
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#491010 - 05/30/18 11:07 PM Re: Dealing with Sediment [Re: Theeck]
catmandoo Offline
Moderator
Ambassador
Field Correspondent

Lunker

Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 5683
Loc: Hampshire Co., WV
Here is an old thread that might provide a little bit of insight about removing muck from an old pond -- by experienced people!

Reclaiming 50 year old pond




I still recommend getting some trusted people who are familiar with your area and with pond reclamation. Make sure you have a good contract.

Good luck,
Ken
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