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#505501 - 05/08/19 11:57 AM On a 'U' shaped pond, do you core trench
David Shaw Offline


Registered: 04/15/19
Posts: 3
Loc: Southeast Missouri
On a 'U' shaped pond, do you core trench the entire dam?

I'm planning to hire this out, but I want to know what I'm talking about so that I can properly convey the message (without sounding like an idiot) to the contractor.

The property slopes gently from north to south, so everything except the northern shoreline will essentially be a dam.

Should all 600 feet of the dam be core trenched, or just the portion at the southern end that has 16 foot deep water pushing against it?


Side notes:

I'm planning to dig a 2:1 slope starting at the northern shoreline to a depth of 6 feet, and then the southern shoreline (dam) will have a 3:1 slope and it will be dug out enough to achieve a water depth of 16 feet.


Attachments
'U' Shaped dam.png (110 downloads)


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#505506 - 05/08/19 01:24 PM Re: On a 'U' shaped pond, do you core trench [Re: David Shaw]
Bobbss Offline


Registered: 10/27/16
Posts: 457
Loc: Jefferson County Missouri
I'm no pro, but I would say yes.
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#505522 - 05/08/19 05:44 PM Re: On a 'U' shaped pond, do you core trench [Re: David Shaw]
teehjaeh57 Offline
Chairman, Pond Boss Legacy award; Moderator; field correspondent
Lunker

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 8164
Loc: Lincoln, NE
Hi David:

I'd try to engineer the pond with the smallest dam possible, might mean losing some pond size, but you save significant $$ as that size dam will be expensive. If you're committed to a 600' dam, per Bobbss, I strongly recommend having a core trench installed in it's entirety.

I'd ask for an estimate regrading the land and digging a pit pond or something with a much smaller dam. I'm curious if it may be less expensive than core trench install. Whatever you do, strongly encourage installing a high plasticity clay liner in 4-6" lifts from 18-24" to ensure your investment is successful. I work with leaking ponds every week and they end up costing far more to address than the original cost of engineering the pond correctly with a clay liner. You won't know you needed it until it's too late, sadly.
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#505637 - 05/10/19 07:03 AM Re: On a 'U' shaped pond, do you core trench [Re: David Shaw]
Dave Davidson1 Offline
Moderator
Lunker

Registered: 01/04/06
Posts: 14021
Loc: Hurst & Bowie, Texas
I would trench everywhere that I donít water to leak under
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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.

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#505651 - 05/10/19 09:23 AM Re: On a 'U' shaped pond, do you core trench [Re: David Shaw]
Quarter Acre Offline


Registered: 06/10/16
Posts: 1492
Loc: West Central Missouri
In my inexperienced mind...coring a dam does a couple basic things...

1.) It allows for exploring the unknown of what type of earth is beneath the dam's location. If it's all good solid clay then there was less of a need to go there, but you'd never know otherwise. If you find sand/gravel veins or less desirable water holding materials...see #2.

2.) Coring allow the excavation of less desirable materials that can be replaced with good clay. Once layered and packed in, this ties the water holding clay "bowl" to the dam.

Some folks that live on the clay pans out here near the Midwest can often get away with scrapping off the topsoil, digging a hole and piling/packing good clay to form the dam. As Clint would say..."do you feel lucky...?".
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#506499 - 05/25/19 08:45 PM Re: On a 'U' shaped pond, do you core trench [Re: David Shaw]
Hogfan Offline


Registered: 04/11/13
Posts: 38
Loc: Texas
If you get a hand auger and bore holes in the natural ground, and you have heavy clay from as deep as you can auger, up to the surface, thereís no reason to make coring a requirement. You are essentially replacing good clay with good clay. Dig holes along the centerline of the proposed dam and save some money. You can get a hand auger from Ben meadows or Foresty Supplier.

On the other hand, if you hit questionable material several feet down, then core it.

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#506500 - 05/25/19 09:42 PM Re: On a 'U' shaped pond, do you core trench [Re: David Shaw]
Dave Davidson1 Offline
Moderator
Lunker

Registered: 01/04/06
Posts: 14021
Loc: Hurst & Bowie, Texas
Donít agree. Assure that you get a good core trench the first time.
_________________________
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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#506504 - 05/25/19 10:27 PM Re: On a 'U' shaped pond, do you core trench [Re: David Shaw]
SWMO 2 Offline


Registered: 05/01/19
Posts: 49
Loc: Missouri
I am not a dirt expert in any means but I have a pond like you described down to the ammount of dam there is. Only difference is mine is all dam excpt for the south side. I will say this though if you get it cored get the entire thing done. Mine has no leaks in the long dam part but there is a small leak in one of the side dams near where it comes back and molds into the hill. I have no clue if mine is cored or not though.


Edited by SWMO 2 (05/25/19 10:28 PM)
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#506515 - 05/26/19 10:38 AM Re: On a 'U' shaped pond, do you core trench [Re: Quarter Acre]
Theo Gallus Offline
Moderator
Lunker

Registered: 05/14/04
Posts: 12461
Loc: Central Ohio
Originally Posted By: Quarter Acre
In my inexperienced mind...coring a dam does a couple basic things...

1.) It allows for exploring the unknown of what type of earth is beneath the dam's location. If it's all good solid clay then there was less of a need to go there, but you'd never know otherwise. If you find sand/gravel veins or less desirable water holding materials...see #2.

2.) Coring allow the excavation of less desirable materials that can be replaced with good clay. Once layered and packed in, this ties the water holding clay "bowl" to the dam.

Some folks that live on the clay pans out here near the Midwest can often get away with scrapping off the topsoil, digging a hole and piling/packing good clay to form the dam. As Clint would say..."do you feel lucky...?".


Adding:
3.) A properly compacted clay core, starting well below ground level and continuing to above water level, acts as a key to help hold the mass of the dam in place against the pressure of (16 ft?) of water attempting to push it downhill.
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