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#496110 - 09/10/18 09:00 AM Leak repair?
DonoBBD Offline


Registered: 06/13/12
Posts: 1956
Loc: Ontario, Canada, Eh.
So we found a leak in our pond that we didn't know we really had. When we built the pond it was super dry and we never need to pump any water even digging the pond 16 feet deep. It was so dry that at some point we dug through an old 4" clay drain tile.

After some interesting things happening we managed to find the drain tile that was leaking our pond down. A week ago we dug up 25 feet of this tile and plugged it with a large rubber plug on both ends. I hand dug back after we had the tile open to a full tile and placed the plug in the next tile with undisturbed dirt around it.

Three days later the water pressure is now working its way up through the joints in the clay tile to the surface of the pond bank. This is about 30 feet from the pond with about 3 feet of elevation on the surface and the tile is 4 feet down. The water is pushing out on the surface at the level of the pond at full pool.

The leak is now at about half the rate is was. I don't think the leak is going to slow down even with a couple years of settling. The pressure has found a way out and will keep using it.

My thoughts are to dig through the tile in two more spots. Right on top of the pond bank and dig through the tile about 20 feet from the top of the pond bank. Digging after we let the pond go down as low as it can go naturally before we try digging. My thoughts are that the hole will fill to the ponds level as soon as we break through the tile. Digging through the tile at 20 feet down stream to make an outlet for the water letting the level drop after dropping in heavy clay as a plug.

The thoughts are that we cut through and plug the tile with two clay plugs with the hope these will help slow or stop the leak farther down stream allowing us to have our full pool level were we would like.

Anyone have any other thoughts? I would plug the tile with a can of spray foam but the water pressure will not allow me to. Is my thoughts on digging two more holes and packing them to plug the tile sound? If I can plug the tile next to the pond with another rubber stopped I will too but I do not want to make the hole to big next to the pond nor get into it.

Cheers Don.
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#496298 - 09/13/18 11:23 AM Re: Leak repair? [Re: DonoBBD]
DonoBBD Offline


Registered: 06/13/12
Posts: 1956
Loc: Ontario, Canada, Eh.
No one has any thoughts on this?

The leak now has us down about 12"s from our over flow and has slowed down dramatically.

Would punching two holes in the tile closer to the pond be more of a problem then good?
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#496299 - 09/13/18 11:39 AM Re: Leak repair? [Re: DonoBBD]
ewest Offline
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Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 19586
Loc: Miss.
This sounds like a complicated situation. I am not sure exactly how tiles work. Pics might help. If you could stop the leak temporally could you fix the problem without digging? If so would a balloon plug work to temporarily stop the flow. Is it to big to used bentonite?
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#496301 - 09/13/18 11:59 AM Re: Leak repair? [Re: DonoBBD]
Quarter Acre Offline


Registered: 06/10/16
Posts: 841
Loc: West Central Missouri
I agree about a picture of some sort. How about a pencil sketch maybe. I tried to think about your situation, but gave up because I am not familiar with tiles and did not want to steer you wrong. The only thing I can add at this point is... around here clay tile is OLD which means it's failed, failing, or going to fail any moment. I think they stopped using clay tile around her in the 60's. I would not be surprised if every clay joint is a leaker especially in a flooded situation like I image you are in.
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#496312 - 09/13/18 01:56 PM Re: Leak repair? [Re: DonoBBD]
nehunter Offline


Registered: 07/20/15
Posts: 92
Loc: NE
I have no idea if this could work. But could you rent a concrete pump and pump the tile full? May still leak some but I would think muck would seal it up someday.

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#496314 - 09/13/18 02:08 PM Re: Leak repair? [Re: DonoBBD]
Redonthehead Offline
Fingerling

Registered: 04/03/07
Posts: 190
Loc: Missouri
I have helped my FIL install new drain tile (plastic) in farm fields when we have run into old clay tile lines installed in maybe the 1950's. For anyone who is unfamiliar, they are round clay tubes 3-4" in diameter and about 12" long. They were laid end to end in a trench without the ends sealed. This allows water to trickle from the soil into the tubes and be carried out of the field. Thus turning a wet spot into a place corn/beans/etc could be grown. Certainly not what one wants near his pond.

So you could seal the end of one 12" tube, but water would get in 12" further down. It sounds like Dono did the right thing by digging up 25 feet and resealing the trench, but perhaps it was not enough OR there is yet another tile in the area that hasn't been found yet.


Edited by Redonthehead (09/13/18 02:08 PM)
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#496345 - 09/14/18 08:17 AM Re: Leak repair? [Re: DonoBBD]
DonoBBD Offline


Registered: 06/13/12
Posts: 1956
Loc: Ontario, Canada, Eh.
Yes you are correct. I will see if I can put together a picture.

When we built the pond this old clay tile was there but we didn't know. It now runs right through the middle of our pond. The top end is not a problem as it runs water down hill into the pond. The bottom end is the problem. It acts like a drain.

When we took out the 25 feet of tile the 4" was running full. I mean we thought that the end must be wide open in the pond it was running water so well.

Now that the water in the pond is down about 12"s from full pool the pressure is slowing the leak. See we changed the grade so much from where it was with building up the pond banks with heavy clay that the tile could be 8 feet down right next to the pond on top of the pond bank.

I will draw a picture up.
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#496524 - 09/18/18 01:43 PM Re: Leak repair? [Re: DonoBBD]
DonoBBD Offline


Registered: 06/13/12
Posts: 1956
Loc: Ontario, Canada, Eh.
Ok attached is a drawing of our old clay tile leak. So the two dig spots are shown. The one closest to the pond will be about 7-8 feet deep to the tile the other 5-6 feet to the tile.

Thinking of just digging down and cutting through the tile and putting clay right back into the hole with the hope the leak will slow. Currently the tile acts as if it is open to the pond for the amount of water and pressure on it. If the clarity of the pond was better I would try to dive down and find the open end. I expect sealing it there would be the best option but I do not know if we could find the end. It may not be open and could have 18"s of clay on it.

Would dumping in some bentonite with the clay we pack the hole with help on the next two digs or plugs on the tile?

Currently the leak has stopped but I have let the pond leak down to the ground level of the leak so the pressure is so low that it can't leak. I figure its best for the digging in these two spots to have the water as low as we can. Ideally we would like to have our water level up the extra 18"s so plugging this leak would be nice.

Cheers Don.

EDIT: the black mark on the end of the red tile line is the plug that we plugged the tile with and it did work very well. After that we dug up about 20 feet of the old tile as well then packed the trench back in. No wet spots after the plug just above the plug in the pond bank.


Attachments
Pond tile..jpg (52 downloads)



Edited by DonoBBD (09/18/18 01:45 PM)
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#496579 - 09/19/18 03:19 PM Re: Leak repair? [Re: DonoBBD]
Quarter Acre Offline


Registered: 06/10/16
Posts: 841
Loc: West Central Missouri
Now I see your situation very well and I follow your logic. I'm not a dirt man, but I think that cutting the tile (and packing in clay) in one place , but wider, might be better than cutting it twice. Either way I bet you'll have good results assuming that there are no unseen paths for water to travel in/through the dam besides the tile. I would also get the trench closest to the pond as closed to the pond as safety will allow. Tile runs may also contain soils that are not clay from the original backfilling, so I would be extra observant of the soils coming out of the trench/es and make sure you go deep enough to get back to good clay.

I don't think adding bentonite can hurt anything, but I don't know much about bentonite.
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#496590 - 09/19/18 06:50 PM Re: Leak repair? [Re: DonoBBD]
nehunter Offline


Registered: 07/20/15
Posts: 92
Loc: NE
I would think you would need to make your fist or water side trench as close if not in the key way of your dam so water will not go around your new trench. Will need to be very careful so trench dose not fall in and cover you up if you are in the hole filling pipe. There may be no key way if they did not dig down enough to find the pipe in the first place.

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#496592 - 09/19/18 07:42 PM Re: Leak repair? [Re: DonoBBD]
Rainman Offline
Ambassador
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Registered: 06/06/07
Posts: 6976
Loc: St Louis, MO area
Dono, the only way to correctly fix tiles is to cut the path off at and in the core of the dam by digging up the tile. It sounds like you have more than one drain tile run in your pond though. You can also dig up the tile section entering the pond and cover with a couple feet of compacted clay on the entry tile
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#496593 - 09/19/18 07:51 PM Re: Leak repair? [Re: nehunter]
DonoBBD Offline


Registered: 06/13/12
Posts: 1956
Loc: Ontario, Canada, Eh.
Originally Posted By: nehunter
I would think you would need to make your fist or water side trench as close if not in the key way of your dam so water will not go around your new trench. Will need to be very careful so trench dose not fall in and cover you up if you are in the hole filling pipe. There may be no key way if they did not dig down enough to find the pipe in the first place.


When we dug the pond we built up the banks what is shown is the one bank. I don't intend to go down in the hole just have a mini ex dig through the tile and pack it back in. Digging will be parallel with the shore line at both dig sites.

The built up banks are pure clay we stripped all the top soil off the pond site first then reformed all the clay packing it as we went. The top soil was then bull dozed back on to the banks and site for grass.
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#497046 - 10/01/18 08:28 AM Re: Leak repair? [Re: DonoBBD]
DonoBBD Offline


Registered: 06/13/12
Posts: 1956
Loc: Ontario, Canada, Eh.
Well we cut through the tile in two spots with the surface of the ground above the full pool height. This is with the hopes when we put pressure on that tile the water will not come up to the surface.

The hope is that the tile being cut in two more spots will hold the pressure back and the leak will seal in time.

Question is now that I let the pond leak down as much as we could. When we cut through the tile the hole filled instantly to the ponds water level. Then we had to fill the hole in and pack it just with the tracks of the miniEx.

Should I fill the pond now right after the dig or just leave it for the winter where the water level is?

Thanks Don.
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