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#340208 - 06/20/13 08:06 PM New Project
1812 Offline


Registered: 06/20/13
Posts: 8
Loc: GA
Great to find this site.

I'm planning to construct a new pond and need all the advice I can get since I've never done this before.

My land lays well with a ravine directly down the center. The soil is primarily a thin layer of topsoil over Kaolin and red clay. The sides of the ravine are approximately 30deg so I plan to remove the trees/stumps, topsoil and then compact and build a dam.

With regards to the water overflow, my father constructed a pond about 30 years ago and used the method where a horizontal corrugated pipe is laid under the dam with a vertical leg that sets the water level and drains overflow. The pond had an emergency overflow with riprap for flooding conditions.

Since I want to use my dam as a road to access the other side of the ravine I was thinking about the same system except with concrete pipe and a manhole configuration for establishing the overflow/ water level. I can't say I have ever seen this done. Has anyone on this forum installed or seen this type system. Much of what I have seen here and surfing the net is a more active overflow spillway where I am not sure how that works when the dam is also a road.

I have found a good source on Craiglist for projects with extra 24" concrete storm water pipe and manhole unit for the horizontal to vertical transition. I figured I'd weld a cage over the top to insure any floating debris wouldn't clog the drainage.

Any thoughts on where I am heading? I have my own track equipment and since my property was a clay mine I have plenty of material onsite for the dam. Does anyone know if Koalin clay is better to seal or should I use red clay?

Thanks,

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#340784 - 06/25/13 12:50 PM Re: New Project [Re: 1812]
Stacy Offline


Registered: 01/06/13
Posts: 32
Loc: NCMO
I don't have any experience with a concrete overflow, but I'm sure it can be made to work. But, why would you want to use concrete instead of smooth wall steel or PVC? The concrete looks like a lot more work and dollars.

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#340795 - 06/25/13 02:30 PM Re: New Project [Re: 1812]
gully washer Offline


Registered: 01/07/13
Posts: 345
Loc: Texas
It sounds like your location is similar to mine, with the ravine and soil types. I have a 4' layer of red clay on top of a 4' layer of white clay, which in turn sits atop a sand seam. I initially excavated some of the sand and covered the bottom with whatever clay was handy, and used the red clay that was already in place for the top half of the pond.

It turns out, the red clay was too granular and promoted wicking, which led to a water loss of 2" per day. I ended up relining the entire pond with the higher quality white clay, which seems to have done the trick.

I suggest you do some bucket tests to determine which clay may work best. Either one may be fine, but I'd use the best, if practical.

I know absolutely nothing about installing concrete pipe. Maybe someone else will chime in. It sounds feasible to use it as an overflow. It would certainly outlast steel, and maybe even plastic. There's millions of miles of it under city streets all over the world. However, I think it would probably require some serious compaction of the underlying soil, to prevent buckling, and separation of joints. Also, I think it would require substantial support on both ends, such as, a hefty concrete apron. And, I'm sure there's probably some issues I'm not aware of.

Oh yeah, welcome to the forum, and be sure to post pictures of your project.

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#340847 - 06/25/13 08:59 PM Re: New Project [Re: 1812]
1812 Offline


Registered: 06/20/13
Posts: 8
Loc: GA
The reason for concrete is because my father used steel and 20 years later it rusted out from the inside and was a mess to replace. I believe his was corrugated galvanized culvert pipe. I hadn't thought about plastic. I need to do some homework to get pricing and establish the required size.

I will do the bucket test with my material but based on the mounds of white clay on another property I own and how it turns nearly to concrete when wet I expect the white clay will work better. When I clear the trees and strip the top soil I hope to find a vein of good stuff under the pond area.

I have dealt with heavy construction for 30 years and got the idea overseeing storm water management pond construction. Although these are for flooding and short term water retention the mechanics seem to be designed for permanent ponds or at least it seems that way. When I went searching for the concrete pipe I was amazed how much is out there at excavator yards where I assume they accumulate extra pieces due to redesigns and misorders.

The main concern is if I can stack this pipe vertically to 12' for the overflow, can the seams be sealed and what I need to do at the base so there is little to no settlement. One thought is to embed as much as possible within the dam where the top few feet is all that is not supported or in open water.

Any other thoughts would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Tom

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#340956 - 06/26/13 10:53 AM Re: New Project [Re: 1812]
jsec Offline
Lunker

Registered: 05/05/04
Posts: 91
Loc: W PA
I built my standpipe using 24" concrete pipe 4 years ago. So far no issues. I formed and poured a concrete basin for the bottom of the standpipe to transition to the horizontal barrel pipe.





Laid down a butyl rubber rope type gasket and set the lower 8' standpipe section.





After the first section was set I filled the joint hub with hydraulic cement and backfilled and compacted in 8" lifts to the top.



Then I repeated the process with another 6' section. That's the top just high and right of center in the photo.



If I had to do it over the only thing I would do different is make the socket on top of the basin 4-6" deep instead of only 2".

Hope this helps.
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#340966 - 06/26/13 12:18 PM Re: New Project [Re: jsec]
fish n chips Offline


Registered: 09/06/11
Posts: 2315
Loc: Northeast Ohio
Nice photo progression there jsec. Thanks for sharing.

How big of a pond is it?... Looks deep.

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#340969 - 06/26/13 12:27 PM Re: New Project [Re: 1812]
fish n chips Offline


Registered: 09/06/11
Posts: 2315
Loc: Northeast Ohio
1812- I would give a look into siphon drains. Had I found this site soon enough, that's the way I'd have set it up. It is healthier for the pond, but I like it because the pipe that goes thru the dam is near the top surface the pond. If you have a leak in the old style pipe systems, then it becomes a real hassle to fix, as it sounds like you found out.

Are you planning on making the concrete one so you can drain the pond all the way down? You still could do that with the siphon system.

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#340973 - 06/26/13 12:58 PM Re: New Project [Re: 1812]
1812 Offline


Registered: 06/20/13
Posts: 8
Loc: GA
jsec: Thanks for the photos and advice. The form and poured transition makes alot more sense than trying to use what I had planned (a manhole transition peice). Actually, if I can get access I may try a form and pour-in-place transition. eitherway a 4-6" deep socket is great advice. Hard to see in the last picture but is that the makings of a rebar debris cage on top or did you pour an inlet later? Short of seizmic activity that thing should be there long after we are all gone.

I hadn't thought about ever having to drain mine down. I figured if it silted up I could dredge it from the banks...do people still do it that way or is that risking the seal? I'll have to look into siphon drains to understand how they work.

Thanks,

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#340995 - 06/26/13 03:57 PM Re: New Project [Re: 1812]
ewest Offline
Moderator
Hall of Fame 2014

Lunker

Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 19928
Loc: Miss.
Nice job jsec ! Here is one to see below.

Think about if you want/need the ability to siphon. Not sure you can do that with concrete (I have never seen one).
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#340997 - 06/26/13 04:03 PM Re: New Project [Re: 1812]
ewest Offline
Moderator
Hall of Fame 2014

Lunker

Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 19928
Loc: Miss.
Here is the pic for the post above

The Dam at RM

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#341058 - 06/27/13 08:09 AM Re: New Project [Re: 1812]
jsec Offline
Lunker

Registered: 05/05/04
Posts: 91
Loc: W PA
FnC - Pond is 3/4 Acre, 14' deep with 3' freeboard

1812- That's just leftover remesh I put on the standpipe to keep the dogs from falling in. I bought this bar guard online later.
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#341060 - 06/27/13 08:25 AM Re: New Project [Re: 1812]
Bill Duggan Offline
Lunker

Registered: 04/23/02
Posts: 625
Loc: Flatrock, Ga.
1812, if you have kaolin you can not be to far from Macon, there is a company based in Macon which sells all different types of drain systems for ponds. They are a great source of info.

www.ponddampiping.com

BTW I manage some family properties in Twiggs and Wilkerson Counties with kaolin mines,what a racket.


Edited by Bill Duggan (06/27/13 08:29 AM)

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#341085 - 06/27/13 11:07 AM Re: New Project [Re: 1812]
1812 Offline


Registered: 06/20/13
Posts: 8
Loc: GA
Bill: Thanks for the link, I'll check them out. I am near Gordon along the northern edge of that Kaolin vein.

jsec: That bar guard looks perfect for what I plan. Do you have a means to drain down your pond? I looked into it some and don't see the need.

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#341194 - 06/27/13 09:35 PM Re: New Project [Re: 1812]
1812 Offline


Registered: 06/20/13
Posts: 8
Loc: GA
jsec: Did you use your trackhoe and Kubota to grade/compact your soil and build the damn or did you use other equipment? What about a core in the damn or did you just build up the soil and compact in 8" lifts? I'm trying to keep the cost down by using what I have and happen to own a Kubota about the size shown in your picture (less the backhoe) and a track loader.

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#341251 - 06/28/13 08:25 AM Re: New Project [Re: 1812]
jsec Offline
Lunker

Registered: 05/05/04
Posts: 91
Loc: W PA
1812

I don't foresee a need to drain the pond. If the need does arise I can always use a hose siphon.

I used a dozer to cut the core down to about 5' below the bottom of the pond basin.



Then backfilled and compacted with a vibratory roller.





Here's the roller I used. It's a rental unit. I would have perfered a sheepsfoot roller but I couldn't get one onsite in a reasonable time.

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#341328 - 06/28/13 02:31 PM Re: New Project [Re: 1812]
1812 Offline


Registered: 06/20/13
Posts: 8
Loc: GA
Sounds like good advice and agree I won't need a built-in means to drain mine either. I think the equipment I have will do everything except the core compaction and will plan to rent a sheeps foot.

Based on your posts your pond is complete...do you have finished pictures?

Thanks,

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#341656 - 07/01/13 10:15 AM Re: New Project [Re: 1812]
jsec Offline
Lunker

Registered: 05/05/04
Posts: 91
Loc: W PA
Here are a couple.



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#341942 - 07/02/13 09:42 PM Re: New Project [Re: 1812]
1812 Offline


Registered: 06/20/13
Posts: 8
Loc: GA
jsec: it looks great! Thanks for the tips and sharing the construction method.

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#344053 - 07/17/13 06:48 PM Re: New Project [Re: 1812]
gully washer Offline


Registered: 01/07/13
Posts: 345
Loc: Texas
jsec, I really like your rock island/dock. That's cool.

*****************************************
1812,

Just a hypothetical thought, but, I wonder how well it would work if you were to install a concrete overflow pipe through the top portion of the dam, at water level, and eliminate the riser altogether.

If you install it horizontally level you'll have an erosion issue on the backside of the dam, which would require a concrete apron to prevent the erosion. But, if you install it on a diagonal slope you would eliminate the erosion issue.

Also, a poured concrete anti-seep collar around the first joint would hold this joint tight, anchoring the pipe, allowing it to extend outwards from the face of the dam, thus preventing it from snapping off.

If nothing else, this may be a good option for a secondary overflow, thereby eliminating the need for a primary spillway, which would allow you to build a road on top of the dam.

Also, it may be better to place these pipes on the ends of the dam, where you can excavate into the undisturbed soil of the ravine's banks, giving the pipe a solid base to rest on, reducing the possibility of settling.

One more thing. It seems to me, that water draining into the diagonally sloped pipe would have an increased velocity, much like a siphon overflow. Especially when the intake side is completely submerged.

Like I said, it's just a thought. I'm sure there are some issues I'm not seeing.

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#344056 - 07/17/13 07:18 PM Re: New Project [Re: gully washer]
esshup Offline
Moderator
Ambassador
Field Correspondent

Lunker

Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 24033
Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
One thing to think about if you ever might have beavers in the pond. They will plug up a system that bleeds water off of the top of the pond, but they leave alone a siphon that sucks water from under the surface.
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#344084 - 07/17/13 10:40 PM Re: New Project [Re: 1812]
1812 Offline


Registered: 06/20/13
Posts: 8
Loc: GA
Gully Washer: I was thinking about your first drawing and putting a few pipes I could set-up like a culvert system and thought about the dam erosion too. The diagonal in your second drawing would be tough to install with compacting the soil and the flow could be so fast I would need a huge slab or I'd end up with an eroded hole at the end behind the dam. I definitely need the dam to act as a road to access land I want to clear and access.

For the time being and due to so much rain (nearly everyday for the last 5 weeks) I am starting to clear paths with my small tractor around the area to see the lay of the land. The area is extremely overgrown and I'm not sure what is natural grade and what is remnants from the clay mining operation 125+ years ago on this property. I'm trying to save any oaks over 18" diameter but all the rest are gum, pines and dense overgrowth that have to go and burn.

The condition is very confusing: The valley is about a quarter mile long with about 80' drop and 30deg slopes on both sides. Water is running about 1/3 the way down at the top, then it goes away and reappears for the last 1/3 and then in goes through a 5' culvert under train tracks and off my property. I want to build the pond at about 1/2 way down the valley where much is dry. I assume I have some underground cavern where no water flows at the surface. The areas where water runs is a 4'deep by 3' wide trench worn from the water flowing over years. There is no trench where water doesn't flow of which most would be at the bottom of the pond. I'm thinking I will need to excavate the valley under the pond site to the elevation at the bottom of the trench and I'll open the cavern.

The train track itself is about 20' above the 5' culvert at the bottom of the valley which is another interesting situation. In essence the track structure is on a dam but with the huge masonry culvert at the base. I expect if my dam ever breaks the land would flood but their culvert would drain it down pretty quick and the land on the other side is vacant.

I shot elevations the other day to see where a waterline would be at the perimeter of my proposed pond site. Looks like for a 1/2 acre pond and with the excavation the water would be 16' deep at the dam. The other option for 1 acre it would be 24'+ deep at the dam.

The water flow is about 2-3 gallons a minute now (its been running consistent for the past 6 months or more) but in droughts it doesn't run so I am counting on runoff to keep it full. I have about 20 acres of runoff land that would flow to the pond site so that is an unknown how much rain we'll get and how consistent it will be but expect that is always a risk.

For now it looks like I need to just clear trees, brush and roots until I open up the area and then re-think the dam/overflow design based on findings. I can't get the big equipment down there until it dries out some. With all this rain I wish I was further along and the darn thing would be full.

Esshup: I don't think I have any beaver in the area but am concerned with tree branches clogging the open top inlet. My fathers pond did that a few times after big storms and it was a fight to hurry and untangle the mess from a boat. His was literally out in the water though and I was considering burying most of the riser in the dam face and putting a ramp to it from the dam. I am still researching and every method is open at the moment.

I'll get pictures when this progresses but have to clear other land and fence it for pastures first and I have a day job that seems to always get in the way.

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#501874 - 02/11/19 02:48 PM Re: New Project [Re: 1812]
Magshine Offline


Registered: 01/04/19
Posts: 28
Loc: Illinois
I kind of have the same scenario with my dam build. My dam will serve as road also across a deep ravine and I have zero place for an emergency spill way. My dam is going to be 25ft tall. I'm going to set my main overflow pipe to drain at 22ft. And set the second over flow pipe at 23 maybe 24ft. In case the first pipe can't handle the water volume in a big storm or the main gets clogged the second will drain.

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#501875 - 02/11/19 02:48 PM Re: New Project [Re: 1812]
Magshine Offline


Registered: 01/04/19
Posts: 28
Loc: Illinois
I kind of have the same scenario with my dam build. My dam will serve as road also across a deep ravine and I have zero place for an emergency spill way. My dam is going to be 25ft tall. I'm going to set my main overflow pipe to drain at 22ft. And set the second over flow pipe at 23 maybe 24ft. In case the first pipe can't handle the water volume in a big storm or the main gets clogged the second will drain.

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#501876 - 02/11/19 02:48 PM Re: New Project [Re: 1812]
Magshine Offline


Registered: 01/04/19
Posts: 28
Loc: Illinois
I kind of have the same scenario with my dam build. My dam will serve as road also across a deep ravine and I have zero place for an emergency spill way. My dam is going to be 25ft tall. I'm going to set my main overflow pipe to drain at 22ft. And set the second over flow pipe at 23 maybe 24ft. In case the first pipe can't handle the water volume in a big storm or the main gets clogged the second will drain.

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#501877 - 02/11/19 02:49 PM Re: New Project [Re: 1812]
Magshine Offline


Registered: 01/04/19
Posts: 28
Loc: Illinois
I kind of have the same scenario with my dam build. My dam will serve as road also across a deep ravine and I have zero place for an emergency spill way. My dam is going to be 25ft tall. I'm going to set my main overflow pipe to drain at 22ft. And set the second over flow pipe at 23 maybe 24ft. In case the first pipe can't handle the water volume in a big storm or the main gets clogged the second will drain.

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