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#506613 - 05/29/19 10:48 AM Buying this pond. What should I be looking for?
The New Jerry Offline


Registered: 05/29/19
Posts: 21
Loc: PA
Hi all. Potential very small pond owner here.

I'm under contract on a house and property that I love. It also has a small pond that is beautiful, but I don't know a dang thing about it.

I'm going back tomorrow for the inspection. I'm wondering what I should look for or what questions need to be brought up.

Thanks in advance for any guidance.

Here's what I know:

It's got a concrete thingy on one end.

It has a large(ish) pipe in the shallow(er) end.

The concrete thingy (Monk tower?) is about 90 feet from a small stream behind the house that is a designated wetland. I believe it's called a riverine".

This is also the lowest lot in the neighborhood (200ft lower in elevation than the highest point).

It is NOT in a flood plain according to FEMA. Closest is about .25 mile away.

The stream is fed by a larger creek that spans MD & PA

The pond is "stocked" according to the owner

Some pictures If I can get that to work.(There's no shot of the shallow end pipe)



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Lots to learn. ~4200sqft pond LMB BG.

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#506614 - 05/29/19 11:07 AM Re: Buying pond. What should I be looking for? [Re: The New Jerry]
Pat Williamson Offline


Registered: 08/08/14
Posts: 2938
Loc: Oakwood,Texas
Firstly welcome to the family. Beautiful place. I would ask how deep is pond,does it go dry in summer. Some of the smart ones will come along and get you fixed up

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#506626 - 05/29/19 04:25 PM Re: Buying pond. What should I be looking for? [Re: The New Jerry]
anthropic Online   content


Registered: 05/03/14
Posts: 2062
Loc: East Texas, USA
Pat's right. If it goes dry every summer, you need to know!

You need to know what fish are there, too. Easiest & cheapest way is to fish using a small hook with a red wiggler worm two or three feet deep. See what species exist & check size.


Edited by anthropic (05/29/19 04:26 PM)
_________________________
8ac E Tx, full 3/16. CNBG, RES, FHM 10/15; TP 5/16; FLMB 6/16. 100 12" NLMB & 1k GSH 10/17. 150# TP & 70 HSB 5/18. 1k PK 11/18. 100# TP 4/19, 200# RBT 12/19





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#506631 - 05/29/19 05:04 PM Re: Buying pond. What should I be looking for? [Re: The New Jerry]
Joey Quarry Offline


Registered: 11/04/17
Posts: 161
Loc: Wisconsin
I would test the water. The easiest and cheapest way to do that is to buy a pond test kit for about $25 that will test pH, ammonia, phosphates, nitrites and nitrates at minimum.

For about $50 you can test Dissolved Oxygen. Since it doesn't appear to have aeration, I would think this to be critical.

Although there are several other parameters you can and should test for, those will give you the most insight into the viability of the pond.
_________________________
2.5 acres, 87' Deep, Previously a Quarry

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#506684 - 05/30/19 08:49 PM Re: Buying this pond. What should I be looking for? [Re: The New Jerry]
The New Jerry Offline


Registered: 05/29/19
Posts: 21
Loc: PA
Went back today for the inspection and poked around some more while the inspector.. inspected things. I really thought I took pictures of the inlet this time, but I'm not sure what happened there. Regardless, I think I've discovered the water source. This house (and pond) are located below the cul de sac at the end of the neighborhood. I walked up to the cul de sac and found three very large, very deep storm drains that connect and then dump into a drain that looks very much like it runs to the inlet of the pond. I think the pond is nothing more than the neighborhood sediment basin.



I'm not sure if this is a good thing, it doesn't seem like it would be a good thing.
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Lots to learn. ~4200sqft pond LMB BG.

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#506690 - 05/30/19 10:14 PM Re: Buying this pond. What should I be looking for? [Re: The New Jerry]
Matzilla Offline


Registered: 08/12/16
Posts: 401
Loc: Iowa
I would not want to be responsible for those drains!!!! Are they shared by the HOA?
_________________________
Mat Peirce
1.25 acre southeast Iowa pond
LMB, BG, YP, WE, HSB, RES, BCP

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#506693 - 05/30/19 10:28 PM Re: Buying this pond. What should I be looking for? [Re: Matzilla]
Pat Williamson Offline


Registered: 08/08/14
Posts: 2938
Loc: Oakwood,Texas
Me either especially if some moron dumps something nasty in there to get rid of it

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#506698 - 05/31/19 05:52 AM Re: Buying this pond. What should I be looking for? [Re: Matzilla]
The New Jerry Offline


Registered: 05/29/19
Posts: 21
Loc: PA
There isn't an HOA
_________________________
Lots to learn. ~4200sqft pond LMB BG.

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#506704 - 05/31/19 07:21 AM Re: Buying this pond. What should I be looking for? [Re: The New Jerry]
gehajake Offline


Registered: 12/31/18
Posts: 167
Loc: Central MO
One bad thing about the storm, street drains is, more then likely, in PA MD area you will have salt or other melting agents pretty heavy in the winter months running off straight into your pond. Good Luck, beautiful this time of year at least.
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All the really good ideas I've ever had came to me while I was milking a cow.

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#506738 - 05/31/19 10:49 PM Re: Buying this pond. What should I be looking for? [Re: The New Jerry]
The New Jerry Offline


Registered: 05/29/19
Posts: 21
Loc: PA
Well, It looks like we're buying the house. It's the wife's favorite. I'll be doing everything I can to make the most of this runoff pond. fingers crossed.
_________________________
Lots to learn. ~4200sqft pond LMB BG.

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#506739 - 05/31/19 11:27 PM Re: Buying this pond. What should I be looking for? [Re: The New Jerry]
roundy Offline


Registered: 09/10/16
Posts: 270
Loc: Central Illinois
What are your expectations for the pond? What would you like to do with the pond?

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#506747 - 06/01/19 08:51 AM Re: Buying this pond. What should I be looking for? [Re: The New Jerry]
Joey Quarry Offline


Registered: 11/04/17
Posts: 161
Loc: Wisconsin
Originally Posted By: The New Jerry
Well, It looks like we're buying the house. It's the wife's favorite. I'll be doing everything I can to make the most of this runoff pond. fingers crossed.


Congratulations! I wouldn't be discouraged at all. The reality is, most ponds are filled via runoff but yours has an advantage, you control the point of entry for most of the water in your pond.
In the future, with a little ingenuity, you can monitor and filter all the water that enters your ecosystem. In the meantime I would buy one of those inexpensive solar fountains with led lights and a few pounds of fatheads to eat the mosquito larvae.
Consider yourself lucky.
_________________________
2.5 acres, 87' Deep, Previously a Quarry

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#506754 - 06/01/19 09:42 AM Re: Buying this pond. What should I be looking for? [Re: Joey Quarry]
The New Jerry Offline


Registered: 05/29/19
Posts: 21
Loc: PA
Originally Posted By: Joey Quarry

Congratulations! I wouldn't be discouraged at all. The reality is, most ponds are filled via runoff but yours has an advantage, you control the point of entry for most of the water in your pond.
In the future, with a little ingenuity, you can monitor and filter all the water that enters your ecosystem. In the meantime I would buy one of those inexpensive solar fountains with led lights and a few pounds of fatheads to eat the mosquito larvae.
Consider yourself lucky.


Thank you. That is encouraging. When I get back out there I'll be sure to get some pictures of the inlet pipe and concrete splash thing. Maybe some nice folks here will have an idea for filtering.

There's electric that runs out to the dock, and it looks like the red buoy is attached to a bubbler.
_________________________
Lots to learn. ~4200sqft pond LMB BG.

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#506756 - 06/01/19 10:24 AM Re: Buying this pond. What should I be looking for? [Re: The New Jerry]
canyoncreek Offline


Registered: 05/07/13
Posts: 2170
Loc: West Michigan
N.J,
I wouldn't be discouraged at all either. I have the exact same setup. I live at the end of a cul de sac and on a corner. The streets from both sides have several storm sewers that eventually drain into the pond. I had issues where the street drain had to flow aways over a rock lined ditch before finally getting into the pond. To control erosion I did end up adding more large plastic culvert sections, but it sounds like yours is covered pipe all the way till it comes in to your pond.
Yes, I'm sure we get salt run off here in MI too, but so far no signs that it has hurt anything. The dilution factor from all the street runoff when all the snow starts melting and the spring rains probably takes care of that.
I do know that after no rain for a while and then we get a heavy summer thunderstorm the water has a slight sheen on it as if some road petroleum products have washed in. I can't control that and I try not to worry about it. Our streets aren't that busy and fortunately around here no one parks on the street.
What I like about my situation is that right about when I'm ready to fire up my house well and and run it for days to bring the water up in the spring or summer, we'll get a heavy rain and I'll have a hundred thousand gallons of water in my pond in about 20 minutes. It does carry a little silt with it so I get a plume at the discharge and some sediment may build up there but to me it is a worthwhile tradeoff to have free filling several times a year.
I go around and be sure the grates are kept clear of leaves in the fall. When there was construction in the neighborhood last year I made sure they put silt traps on the storm sewer grates (and they are still there!)
You may get more silting in and for starters you may want to start out by seeing if an excavator can redig your sides (as far as arm can reach) to give you another decade of time for silt to accumulate again.
Lots of good ideas on this forum for building natural silt traps like a series of small ponds filled with vegetation in line before your pond.
Enjoy, send more pictures, and I think you will love it.
If you have questions, let us know!

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#512948 - 10/20/19 10:25 AM Re: Buying this pond. What should I be looking for? [Re: canyoncreek]
The New Jerry Offline


Registered: 05/29/19
Posts: 21
Loc: PA
It was a wild real-estate-ride, but we did buy the house and moved in September.

By the time we moved-in the pond was overrun with Lily pads and algae frown The home owner left some copper-sulfate, but I don't know enough about that to be comfortable with it.

I drilled a few .5" holes in the bottom of some home-depot buckets, loaded them up in a six-foot boat, took a pool net and spent a day scooping and pulling. It took about 24 bucket loads, but I managed to get about 90% of it. I added a cheapish fountain and that seems to keep the algae away, but it's also getting colder so that may be the bigger reason. Anywhere that I didn't get the HUGE lily pad roots, they started to grow back fairly quickly. They're pretty so I've cut them a little slack.

We haven't had much rain in months (it seems) and the water level has lost a foot or two, but it's still about 7' where I have the fountain anchored. I'd say the average is about 4'. The tail-end by the storm drain outlet is completely dry. I found the overflow outlet in the woods behind the pond (I should have taken a picture) it dumps directly into a a smaller creek that feeds "Big Elk Creek" in PA.

There's so much muck at the bottom. The pond is surrounded by poplars that are currently dumping leaves into the pond, so I guess the thick muck isn't suprising. Maybe one day I'll get in there with some scuba gear and a hose connected to a diaphragm trash pump...time and $$ will prevent this from occuring.

They're definitely fish. It's hard not to catch fish. They'll bite at almost everything. The first fish we caught was a sunfish. It's been nothing but smaller large-mouth bass since then. The previous owner, said the owner before him was the one who stocked it. That would have been at least twelve years ago.

I'm reading up on aerators. I think a diffuser or two might help me battle the muck, but then I've also read that it might suspend the muck and kill the fish... So I don't know what to do there just yet. Also something about super cooling the pond which sounds terrible. I'm in the DIY camp. So much so that I'll make things that are cheaper to buy, just because I'm stubborn and enjoy the learning process. So, anyone who'd made their own diffusers please drop me a line. My current thought is to build rings with PVC tubing and make pinholes when a heated sewing needle... We'll see.

Another fun fact. The home HVAC is an open loop geothermal that pulls from the well and dumps into the pond near the surface, by the dock. I haven't yet wrapped my brain around what this does for the pond ecosystem. Probably similar to whatever a spring would do for a pond.

Lots of frogs, surprisingly no turtles (that I've seen). Haven't seen any snakes yet either.

That's about all I can think of at the moment. I suppose I should start a new thread as I begin to work this pond.

Jerry.










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Lots to learn. ~4200sqft pond LMB BG.

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#512949 - 10/20/19 10:47 AM Re: Buying this pond. What should I be looking for? [Re: The New Jerry]
gehajake Offline


Registered: 12/31/18
Posts: 167
Loc: Central MO
Nice BG, this could become a fun project to work on with the kids, question on your open loop HVAC system, I have a customer that has a pond pretty much on top of a hill, very little natural runoff, he pretty much depends on the water from the ground source system to keep his pond full, but he has a bypass built into the system to where he can switch a valve in the spring and fall when the system doesn't run much and pump from the well directly into the pond to maintain the water level. I was wondering if your system has a bypass or might be able to add one and fill your pond back up to capacity that way.
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All the really good ideas I've ever had came to me while I was milking a cow.

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#512950 - 10/20/19 11:18 AM Re: Buying this pond. What should I be looking for? [Re: gehajake]
The New Jerry Offline


Registered: 05/29/19
Posts: 21
Loc: PA
Originally Posted By: gehajake
I was wondering if your system has a bypass or might be able to add one and fill your pond back up to capacity that way.



No bypass. It's also the absolute lowest point in the neighborhood. I'm pretty sure it's the runoff basin for the neighborhood that the original owner turned into a pond. It predates the geothermal. The basin would have been built in 1994, the geo was installed in 2012, and the pond was stocked sometime before 2007 (according to the previous owner).
_________________________
Lots to learn. ~4200sqft pond LMB BG.

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#512951 - 10/20/19 12:54 PM Re: Buying this pond. What should I be looking for? [Re: The New Jerry]
RAH Offline
Lunker

Registered: 05/17/09
Posts: 4616
Loc: Indiana, Boone County, 25 mile...
I recommend eradicating the phramites.

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#512953 - 10/20/19 02:59 PM Re: Buying this pond. What should I be looking for? [Re: RAH]
The New Jerry Offline


Registered: 05/29/19
Posts: 21
Loc: PA
Originally Posted By: RAH
I recommend eradicating the phramites.


Had to google. I didn't know what they were called, but I don't like them either. They're obnoxiously tall.

Will just pulling them out be enough, or do I need to involve chemicals?
_________________________
Lots to learn. ~4200sqft pond LMB BG.

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#512959 - 10/20/19 05:33 PM Re: Buying this pond. What should I be looking for? [Re: The New Jerry]
RAH Offline
Lunker

Registered: 05/17/09
Posts: 4616
Loc: Indiana, Boone County, 25 mile...
Suggest an aquatic formulation of glyphosate, but perhaps other members have better recommendations.

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#512964 - 10/20/19 07:57 PM Re: Buying this pond. What should I be looking for? [Re: The New Jerry]
Zep Online   content
Hall of Fame 2014


Registered: 07/27/10
Posts: 3449
Loc: Dallas & Wills Point, Tx
The New Jerry...congrats it looks like a beautiful place you just bought. I wouldn't worry too much...pretty much all ponds have their own set of "issues". Love the color lighted fountain. Pretty bass. Enjoy the journey.
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Fishing has never been about the fish....


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