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#494895 - 08/15/18 03:24 PM Compaction
Medic828 Offline


Registered: 10/28/17
Posts: 10
Loc: Ky.
I as many others found this forum after the fact. We built a 1.2 acre pond last fall that filled quickly after many rains totaling 8-10 or more. It was full enough for a while to be emptying over the top of the dam in one corner. Almost immediately water started springing up from the behind the dam behind one corner with the pond losing 1" or more of water level a day.. As of today with the extremely dry weather we've had, and with lack of much rainfall the pond has leaked til it is almost completely dry. This has revealed several holes in the pond bottom towards one side and corner on the dam end the water has been leaking through. When the pond was built it was not packed with a roller just the dozer ran over it. I guess my next option is to have a dozer back in to clean out the sediment that has washed into the pond and then dig out a few feet deeper and put back in layers and compact with a sheepsfoot. I see everyone on here say compact 24" in layers, my question is does the dozer dig out 24" then redistribute in layers and compact or dig out enough that the compacted layer is 24" thick? The pond is between 10-12 feet deep on the dam end going to about 3-4 feet deep on opposite shallow end.

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#494900 - 08/15/18 07:01 PM Re: Compaction [Re: Medic828]
Bocomo Offline


Registered: 05/06/12
Posts: 1229
Loc: Boone County, MO (pond)
Did you dig a core trench when you built the dam?

See this from Mike Otto:

https://www.bassresource.com/fish_biology/building_bass_ponds_dam.html


Edited by Bocomo (08/15/18 07:03 PM)
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#494912 - 08/15/18 08:48 PM Re: Compaction [Re: Medic828]
Hogfan Offline


Registered: 04/11/13
Posts: 38
Loc: Texas
Hi - a dozer is usually plenty to compact clay at the right moisture content. The right moisture content is when you can get the clay to make a firm ball in your hand that resembles the consistence of play-dough. Too dry and it becomes blocky and won’t “mold” together, too wet and it be (and you get the dozer stuck!).

As far as the layered lifts, the measurement is the thickness of the UNCOMPACTED layer of soil; however, 24” seems thick to me. The specs we use call for 9” uncompacted layered lifts and then traverse that uncompacted layer with the dozer. In the end, that 9” lifts turns into 5” or so compacted. Personally, I wouldn’t go as high as 24” layers.

As Bocomo stated, if there are layers of sandy or gravelly material under the dam, then a core trench is usually needed. We have “squeaked by” without a core, but that is only when there is heavy clay from ground level down to the depth of the pond.

Good luck!👍

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#494919 - 08/15/18 10:17 PM Re: Compaction [Re: Medic828]
Medic828 Offline


Registered: 10/28/17
Posts: 10
Loc: Ky.
Hogfan I may have misled you, I was meaning dig out 24" of soil then compact back in 4 6" layers. As far as the dam, a core trench was done, however I think the water was running into the limestone Rick layer deeper on the ground then making its way back to the surface. When he cited the dam he has deep enough I could only catch a glimpse of the top of the dozer when he was making a pass.

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#494920 - 08/15/18 10:39 PM Re: Compaction [Re: Medic828]
Hogfan Offline


Registered: 04/11/13
Posts: 38
Loc: Texas
I gotcha - in that case, your compaction should be fine with the right moisture content and good clay material. I’ve not hit limestone before, but we have hit what I considered to be soil parent material that we found out was silt stone. Very blocky and couldn’t get compaction. I was worried it would leak, but the contractor ended up tracking in clay material over it and it held up just fine in the end.

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#494945 - 08/17/18 07:29 AM Re: Compaction [Re: Medic828]
Dave Davidson1 Offline
Moderator
Lunker

Registered: 01/04/06
Posts: 14046
Loc: Hurst & Bowie, Texas
I'm gonna disagree that the dozer does an adequate packing job.
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#494948 - 08/17/18 08:11 AM Re: Compaction [Re: Dave Davidson1]
jludwig Offline


Registered: 05/14/11
Posts: 1531
Loc: Central Kansas
Originally Posted By: Dave Davidson1
I'm gonna disagree that the dozer does an adequate packing job.


Textbooks say it's possible but in reality I have experienced strictly building with a dozer is likely to leak.

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#494950 - 08/17/18 08:24 AM Re: Compaction [Re: Medic828]
Quarter Acre Online   content


Registered: 06/10/16
Posts: 1598
Loc: West Central Missouri
With the exception of breaking the dam with a mini-ex, my pond was mucked out and the dam break repaired with only a track loader. I don't know the model, but it was not that big. The break in the dam was down to the original bottom of the pond and was wide enough to drive the track loader through to take muck to the back side. There is no sign of settling after almost two years where the break was.

I'm not trying to say that it's a good idea, but I must have one of those rare situations where tracks were good enough. It holds water very well. I did worry about cheaping out and not demanding a more thorough compaction method, but I got lucky.
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#494956 - 08/17/18 10:39 AM Re: Compaction [Re: Medic828]
Dave Davidson1 Offline
Moderator
Lunker

Registered: 01/04/06
Posts: 14046
Loc: Hurst & Bowie, Texas
I discussed this with Lusk and Otto quite a few years ago. A dozer is only putting downward pressure(packing) at 2 points. A sheepsfoot roller packs the its width.

It would take a lot of passes with a dozer to get the job done. And it needs to be done in, measured, maybe 18 inch, lifts. However, with a small pond it might be cost prohibitive to bring in the roller and the additional piece of equipment to pull it.
_________________________
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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#494958 - 08/17/18 10:41 AM Re: Compaction [Re: Medic828]
RAH Offline
Lunker

Registered: 05/17/09
Posts: 4427
Loc: Indiana, Boone County, 25 mile...
Not compacting at all can work under the right conditions as well, but why take such a risk? Tracks are designed to distribute weight and float (opposite of compact). A car or truck creates more PSI of compaction than most track machines. I have also heard self-proclaimed pond builder say they disagree with coring a dam.

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#494960 - 08/17/18 11:25 AM Re: Compaction [Re: Quarter Acre]
snrub Offline


Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 5489
Loc: SE Kansas
Originally Posted By: Quarter Acre
With the exception of breaking the dam with a mini-ex, my pond was mucked out and the dam break repaired with only a track loader. I don't know the model, but it was not that big. The break in the dam was down to the original bottom of the pond and was wide enough to drive the track loader through to take muck to the back side. There is no sign of settling after almost two years where the break was.

I'm not trying to say that it's a good idea, but I must have one of those rare situations where tracks were good enough. It holds water very well. I did worry about cheaping out and not demanding a more thorough compaction method, but I got lucky.


QA you may be in the infamous "clay pan" soils of certain parts of SE Ks and parts of western Mo. Great for building ponds, not so great for farming because we only have a shallow topsoil over a subsoil of clay. I just dug a small area of my RES pond out that when I raised the water level (by putting an elbow on my overflow pipe) was going to be more shallow water than I wanted (maybe 1/20th of an acre area). I just dug it down about 6' (water will be almost 8' at deepest point when pond refills) first with the scraper then with the dozer as close to the water line of the pond without causing pond water to gush in on me. A few days later I might have had twenty gallon leak in from the pond with a shear side wall right up against water on one side and none on the other side of the cut where I left a bump in between, The side with a little water that leaked in from the pond I had hit a tiny amount of patchy coal or shale. Our clay pan subsoil measure percolation rates on the order of a few hundredths of an inch per hour. There is an ACME brick plant a few miles away that mines this clay for bricks.

On the dam portion in our soils I compact with a rubber tire 12 yard scraper. But in the bottom of the pond, unless I run into shale or sandstone, I just go crazy with the dozer making humps and dips for structure with no consideration of any compaction. But being able to do that is very specific to the type of soil and subsoil we have and not recommended for others.

Pictures below. The standard Pond Boss reply to nearly everything and in this case compaction, "it depends".


Attachments
20180807_143013.jpg (214 downloads)
Description: The amount of water leaked in from the pond after a few days into an un-compacted cut next to the pond,

20180807_142933.jpg (221 downloads)
Description: new pond area deepened so I would not have all this new area as shallow water.




Edited by snrub (08/17/18 11:33 AM)
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#494961 - 08/17/18 12:14 PM Re: Compaction [Re: snrub]
Quarter Acre Online   content


Registered: 06/10/16
Posts: 1598
Loc: West Central Missouri
Originally Posted By: snrub
QA you may be in the infamous "clay pan" soils of certain parts of SE Ks and parts of western Mo. Great for building ponds, not so great for farming because we only have a shallow topsoil over a subsoil of clay.


snrub - you are likely right on the money. If you dig down 10 inches almost anywhere on the place you hit clay and if it is in the summer time...forget auger'n through it with a post hole digger (skid steer or tractor mounted). It will just sit there and spin and make steam.
_________________________
Fish on!,
Noel

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#494985 - 08/17/18 11:03 PM Re: Compaction [Re: Medic828]
Hogfan Offline


Registered: 04/11/13
Posts: 38
Loc: Texas
Hi guys,

Good point - a wheeled vehicle compacts better than a dozer, its all about the dispersion of weight over the wide tracks. However, it has been my experience that compacting with a dozer is sufficient with the correct moisture content, good clay, and, as I stated above - 9” layered lifts. The NRCS embankment pond specs that I have seen specify compaction by “controlled operation of the earthmoving and spreading equipment over the fill so that the entire surface of each layer or lift is traversed by not less than one tread track of the equipment”. This may not work for everyone, but this method has yet to let me down! smile

Having said that, I won’t design a pond on even “marginal” clay, and I don’t do large “lake-ish” sized ponds. Most are between 0.25 to 1.5 acres in size, usually only a 10 to 12 ft tall dam. The water pressures are much less on these small dams (around 5psi at the deepest). If I went any larger, I would consider going with a higher compaction such as those y’all have mentioned.

Have a good one!


Edited by Hogfan (08/18/18 07:28 AM)

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#494989 - 08/18/18 08:20 AM Re: Compaction [Re: Medic828]
RAH Offline
Lunker

Registered: 05/17/09
Posts: 4427
Loc: Indiana, Boone County, 25 mile...
Different strokes for different folks


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#495026 - 08/19/18 09:50 AM Re: Compaction [Re: Medic828]
Dave Davidson1 Offline
Moderator
Lunker

Registered: 01/04/06
Posts: 14046
Loc: Hurst & Bowie, Texas
No question about that working.
_________________________
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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#495027 - 08/19/18 09:51 AM Re: Compaction [Re: Medic828]
Hogfan Offline


Registered: 04/11/13
Posts: 38
Loc: Texas
RAH - I like it!

I know I’m not helping my arguement, but it is interesting that the ground pressure for a typical D6 is only about 5psi, which is about the same compaction that my 200lb frame will compact when I stand on 1 foot. Lol.


Edited by Hogfan (08/19/18 10:12 AM)
Edit Reason: Because I can’t spell.

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