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#500778 - 01/17/19 01:25 AM Burying Muck
For the Family Offline


Registered: 09/07/14
Posts: 111
Loc: Shepherdsville, Kentucky
I am in the middle of a renovation of a 2 acre pond that at the dam will be close to 35ft deep. (I know) There is quite a lot of muck in the center bowl. The center still has about 2ft of water in it that is deeper than the cut I have made through the dam. My question is - Can you dozer new dirt on top of old muck and get a good result? I imagine the decaying organic material will eventually leach up and through causing havoc in the new clay. I HAVE to dig out the back of the pond to get it deeper (currently 3ft) and I will have to push or haul that soil around the rim of a 3:1 grade. I'd rather push across the ponds bottom, but no way under current condition. I figure if I use some of that soil to back fill across the bowl, lose some depth, which I can afford to, what would happen to that buried muck.

Thoughts?
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#500780 - 01/17/19 07:11 AM Re: Burying Muck [Re: For the Family]
KRM1985 Offline


Registered: 08/22/17
Posts: 95
Loc: Huron OH
I'm no expert, but I do not think it will work well or be easy to push dirt over top of existing pond muck. Depending on how deep the muck is, the pond will have to sit for quite a while before being able to solidify enough to support an excavator or dozer. My pond had 2' of muck before hitting clay and it sat 3 months in summer heat before the muck layer was hard enough to be worked and even then, it was still very difficult to work in. I think your better off just removing the muck if you can. I put muck in two large mounds (one at each end of the pond) and later spread it around in a nearby field.. makes good fertilizer.

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#500784 - 01/17/19 07:58 AM Re: Burying Muck [Re: For the Family]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5805
Loc: Boone County Illinois
IMO I wouldn't do it. Might be like creating your own little toxic waste dump. I suspect the muck would continue to decompose in the now anaerobic atmosphere releasing noxious gases to bubble their way to the surface over time.


Good news is maybe in a few million years you'll have oil!


Edited by Bill D. (01/17/19 07:59 AM)
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#500790 - 01/17/19 09:30 AM Re: Burying Muck [Re: For the Family]
Quarter Acre Offline


Registered: 06/10/16
Posts: 1032
Loc: West Central Missouri
Not an expert either...but I would think the muck would be better left alone (if you cannot get it out) rather than loosing depth by trying to bury it. Not to mention the difficulty in burying it... 2 cents and hardly worth that.

My other thoughts...

I'm having some difficulty imagining how you would successfully get a layer of clay over even 1 foot of muck especially if it is still water logged. You would have to mix in alot of dry earth to even be able to walk across it let alone drive a piece of equipment over it and then you could scoop it out.

Can you cut a road on the grade to use to move the far end dirt, or a shelf along one side below water level? If so, you could leave the remaining water and muck. Maybe it's not ideal to leave some muck behind, but the muck that's already been removed would be a great improvemennt. Let's face it, there are alot of ponds out there that are loaded with muck and are still a desirable asset. Leaving some muck behind would be a shame, but it's not terrible...it would be at the very bottom which would not contribute too much to FA, if any, you dont have to have the extera depth..just saying.

Can you pump the water out so that it dries some and at least create a path through it to get to the dam cut? Maybe back-hoe a trench through the dam cut to drain the rest of it.

Just some thoughts that you might be able to spring off of.
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#500791 - 01/17/19 09:50 AM Re: Burying Muck [Re: For the Family]
John Fitzgerald Offline


Registered: 10/27/15
Posts: 2152
Loc: S. end of Elkins, Arkansas
I have some experience with this with my pond renovation in August 2015.
A cut was made in the dam, then I pumped the remaining water out to the top of the muck. The dozer began pushing from the edges, gradually mixing dry clay with the muck.
Eventually the dozer was able to cut down to solid clay near the middle of the pond, and make pass after pass, pushing the muck into a sump that a backhoe dug, then the backhoe with a big bucket was throwing it over the dam.
Some muck was left in the sump hole, covered over with about 3-4 feet of clay. It bubbled for about two years, but was a relatively small area.

If you are renovating, I recommend you get out as much muck as possible. We spread the muck out in a flat area just out of the pond watershed, to a depth of about 2-3 feet. It dried enough in a year for a small dozer to level it out. It's grassed over now, and I cannot even notice it is there.

My pond is only a quarter acre, so yours will obviously take longer than the three days mine took.

Make sure all disturbed areas are well compacted during the completion phase, especially the cut in the dam. I am still dealing with excessive seepage due to poor compaction and failure to take out all tree roots.
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#500794 - 01/17/19 10:04 AM Re: Burying Muck [Re: For the Family]
Redonthehead Offline
Fingerling

Registered: 04/03/07
Posts: 212
Loc: Missouri
I think I would get a 2" pump and get rid of the water first, then try to determine the depth of the muck where you need a "road". Use pallets to build a footpath. Perhaps you can push muck downhill if its only a couple feet thick by slowly working in from the edge.

I would not try to push soil over muck - you'll likely fall though it at some point. I've seen a dozer stuck in muck - it took two other dozers to pull it out.
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#500795 - 01/17/19 10:22 AM Re: Burying Muck [Re: For the Family]
Journeyman Offline


Registered: 08/10/17
Posts: 27
Loc: wisconsin
Another non-expert here, but in my understanding, 'muck" is partially decomposed organic matter that will continue to desolve naturally if the right conditions are present. Assuming good water quality, the key missing component is oxygen, it's vital to help keep muck consuming bacteria thriving. Oxygen content is usually low at the bottom mucky pond due in part to good bacteria consumes and replaces it with toxic gasses as part of the decomposition process.

If you add good aeration, and boost the process by introducing beneficial bacteria (Muck bacteria pellets). Nature will take of the rest.

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#500796 - 01/17/19 11:24 AM Re: Burying Muck [Re: For the Family]
cb100 Offline


Registered: 12/19/14
Posts: 151
Loc: lake co calif
I'm trying to deal with the muck in my pond but I don't want to drain the pond right now. I tried leaving some muck in my bait fish pond I mixed it with some Sandy material and pushed it to the shallow end of the pond.the intention is to allow some of the nutrients in the muck to keep an algae bloom going we will see if it works.I just posted another thread about trying to mix water into the muck and use a bottom siphon to remove some.

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#500815 - 01/17/19 09:07 PM Re: Burying Muck [Re: For the Family]
John Fitzgerald Offline


Registered: 10/27/15
Posts: 2152
Loc: S. end of Elkins, Arkansas
The muck in my pond was not all organic materials. I estimate that it was more than 50% clay and soil from years of washing in from the watershed.
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#500825 - 01/18/19 02:07 AM Re: Burying Muck [Re: For the Family]
For the Family Offline


Registered: 09/07/14
Posts: 111
Loc: Shepherdsville, Kentucky
I'll try to answer all the suggestions and questions about possibilities, or attempts -

Pics BTW are in a lower post in this same sub-section (Soil Questions) labeled Dark Loose Clay

Muck is about 2-3ft deep along the edge of the pond I'd say....I cant say what it is in the middle because I have never dug in the middle of the bowl.

Water has always been muddy.

I can cut a ledge around the bowl to move the back earth to the dam. I have an abundance of clay in my area and inside my pond. I have a plan to re-core, but the terrain does not lend to a scraper of any sorts riding easily around it. Edges are wooded and the grade is pretty steep.

Any other equipment/job is going to add to the expense and I am currently 8K into trying to seal a leaking core. Looking at another who knows how much $$$$. (Been taken to the cleaners by some "DIRT" guys that know how to build ponds). I am leery at adding expense by adding more to a job that I JUST WANT TO SEE COMPLETED! 4 years in the making.

John Fitzgerald - What are you calling a sump? Just a deep well type holding hole? What's the benefit in collecting it that way rather than pushing it over the dam the first time? Just gathering info.
ALSO - " Make sure all disturbed areas are well compacted during the completion phase, especially the cut in the dam. I am still dealing with excessive seepage due to poor compaction and failure to take out all tree roots" this is kind of what I am renovating for. Core is leaking through stumps grown on the backside of the damn..and I believe muskrat holes. Combine that with a 50-60 year pond...and the decay is extensive.

Journeyman - I have read about muck away and the cost scares me to get a 2 - 2.5 acre 50-60 year old pond under control.
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#500860 - 01/18/19 06:53 PM Re: Burying Muck [Re: For the Family]
John Fitzgerald Offline


Registered: 10/27/15
Posts: 2152
Loc: S. end of Elkins, Arkansas
Originally Posted By: For the Family


John Fitzgerald - What are you calling a sump? Just a deep well type holding hole? What's the benefit in collecting it that way rather than pushing it over the dam the first time? Just gathering info.
ALSO - " Make sure all disturbed areas are well compacted during the completion phase, especially the cut in the dam. I am still dealing with excessive seepage due to poor compaction and failure to take out all tree roots" this is kind of what I am renovating for. Core is leaking through stumps grown on the backside of the damn..and I believe muskrat holes. Combine that with a 50-60 year pond...and the decay is extensive.


The direction the muck needed to be pushed was over a solid, non compromised part of the dam. What I am calling a "sump" was a big round hole.
The dozer couldn't push the muck uphill that far without losing both traction and some of the muck. We dug that big round hole with the large Case backhoe to make the lip of the hole even with the bottom of the pond. The dozer pushed the muck into the hole, and the backhoe dipped it out. After the muck was out of the pond, the hole was filled with good clay. I had trees on the backside of the pond and on the dam.
The roots were not removed, only the upper root ball was pushed out from the trees on the dam, so I have extensive seeping starting when the pond is within about 30 inches of full pool. The two large elm trees and one locust behind the dam died from flooding the roots, and they had to be cut.
I suspect those roots, plus roots from some trumpet vines that used to be there, are causing the seeps.
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#500862 - 01/18/19 07:59 PM Re: Burying Muck [Re: For the Family]
poppy65 Offline


Registered: 04/15/13
Posts: 273
Loc: illinois
Muck is dense in nutrients. Some farmers around here will pay $12 a ton for it to enrich their soil. But put it on sparingly. It is "hot" enough to burn about any plant for a couple years if put on too heavily. I learned that in my garden. The nutrients will leach out and it a few years it just turns into plain dirt. I had a huge area of it piled up after my pond cleanout. Dark black in color and thought I had a lifetime supply of fertilizer but now when I scoop into it with the tractor bucket it is just clay color.

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