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#486655 - 02/27/18 01:44 PM Re: New Pond Construction In Jefferson Co, Mo. [Re: Bobbss]
John Fitzgerald Offline


Registered: 10/27/15
Posts: 2226
Loc: S. end of Elkins, Arkansas
Drive in a few stakes running up the bank and mark them with a black paint pen in inches so you can accurately measure water loss. I made a gauge for mine out of a 48" aluminum ruler fastened to a pipe driven into the bottom. The top of the ruler at 48" is level with the edge of the spillway. Since first filling, through two droughts, I have measured as low as 9". Right now, it's just below 47". I have almost daily readings for a couple years recorded, so I can see if my small leak is getting better or worse.
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#486661 - 02/27/18 03:22 PM Re: New Pond Construction In Jefferson Co, Mo. [Re: Bobbss]
Bobbss Offline


Registered: 10/27/16
Posts: 461
Loc: Jefferson County Missouri
Thanks John,I was planning to do something like your saying with the aluminum ruler when it was full.I was hoping it would fill so fast that it wouldn't be worth messing with anything till it was full.lol!
They say we might get a 1/2 inch or so of rain over the next few days.Not much,but I'll take what I can get.lol!
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#486677 - 02/28/18 12:27 PM Re: New Pond Construction In Jefferson Co, Mo. [Re: Bobbss]
John Fitzgerald Offline


Registered: 10/27/15
Posts: 2226
Loc: S. end of Elkins, Arkansas
I hope you guys get some more of this rain. We received about 0.9 inches rain since yesterday afternoon. The ponds had receded a little bit, but are now spilling over the grassy spillways again. We have received a little over 7" of rain locally so far this month and it is lightly raining now.
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#486679 - 02/28/18 01:05 PM Re: New Pond Construction In Jefferson Co, Mo. [Re: Bobbss]
Bobbss Offline


Registered: 10/27/16
Posts: 461
Loc: Jefferson County Missouri
John,I seen there was a pretty good rain going on down your way.I only got a heavy mist this moring,and it's dry now.We have a chance for more this evening,but it doesn't sound like much.I think I'm only a little over 5" so far this month,but I could be wrong.
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#486764 - 03/02/18 11:56 PM Re: New Pond Construction In Jefferson Co, Mo. [Re: Bobbss]
Bobbss Offline


Registered: 10/27/16
Posts: 461
Loc: Jefferson County Missouri
Well nothing good to report.lol!
John,I never got the rain you did.All we got was about .15" over 2 days.We have a chance for more Monday, but it doesn't sound like much.
Pond is still dropping.I've been updating my pond builder with texts and pictures.He called me yesterday and told me he didn't expect it to soak up as much as it has but still thinks it is do to the drought.He said he don't remember ever having one this bad and never had a new pond go straight into a drought for 6 months after building.He also said he thinks another reason it has soaked up so much is he used a lot of a kind of gravelly top soil to fill in some areas at the bottom on the sides (where he was taking out clay) so he could run the high lift safer on the sides to do the finish grading.
At this point I'll just be happy if it stops dropping before it gets as low as it was before we got the rain.lol!


Edited by Bobbss (03/02/18 11:57 PM)
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#486770 - 03/03/18 09:17 AM Re: New Pond Construction In Jefferson Co, Mo. [Re: Bobbss]
SetterGuy Offline


Registered: 10/30/13
Posts: 1542
Loc: NE Missouri
Bob,
Any idea on how fast it's still dropping? 1" in 24 hrs etc..
I'm up at our place and it appears we got a little runoff. My pond is still down 4' from full, but it looks like everyone around me is down 2-3'. They may get better runoff than I do, and I may still have a small leak. The good news is, that the ice that had been very thick for two months is gone. No dead fish around, and throwing a handful of Optima fish food out caused the water to explode. Looks like my fish survived the winter and ice.
I hope you don't have a leak. It's gut wrenching for sure. Hopefully we will get some good rains in the next few months and you can get a clear picture on it.
There's some really experienced folks here on the forum. Maybe you want to put some soilfloc down now? I don't know if you can work it in to dry ground before rains come.
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5 yr old pond, 1 ac, 15' deep.
RES, YP, GS, FHM (no longer), HBG (way too many), SMB, and HSB (rumored..)
I think that's about all I should put in my little pond.

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#486788 - 03/03/18 09:12 PM Re: New Pond Construction In Jefferson Co, Mo. [Re: Bobbss]
Bobbss Offline


Registered: 10/27/16
Posts: 461
Loc: Jefferson County Missouri
Thanks Jeff,I wish it was only 1".It was around 3",before my measuring stake went dry the other day.I got a new one in today and got it farther out and will go check it out tomorrow.
I looked into the Soilfloc and it says you need at least 4' of water,it works from the head pressure.It's not cheap either.lol!I think I'll have to wait till we get a few good rains to see what is going on.
Glad to hear your fish are doing good!
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#486792 - 03/04/18 07:39 AM Re: New Pond Construction In Jefferson Co, Mo. [Re: Bobbss]
Rainman Offline
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Bob, is there any extra wetness or flow below your dam? Check to about yards below....
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#486815 - 03/04/18 10:39 AM Re: New Pond Construction In Jefferson Co, Mo. [Re: Bobbss]
Bobbss Offline


Registered: 10/27/16
Posts: 461
Loc: Jefferson County Missouri
Rex,I haven't seen anything yet.I will look again today.It really sucks not knowing what is going on yet.I was hoping to be talking to you again very soon about a possible fish order.
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#486820 - 03/04/18 12:53 PM Re: New Pond Construction In Jefferson Co, Mo. [Re: Bobbss]
John Fitzgerald Offline


Registered: 10/27/15
Posts: 2226
Loc: S. end of Elkins, Arkansas
Bob, judging from my experiences with other ponds, I will say you probably have a leak. It may get better with settlement if compaction was inadequate, as long as it is a seep and not an actively flowing leak.
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#486838 - 03/04/18 08:25 PM Re: New Pond Construction In Jefferson Co, Mo. [Re: Bobbss]
Bobbss Offline


Registered: 10/27/16
Posts: 461
Loc: Jefferson County Missouri
John,your probably right.I haven't given up all hope,but I find it hard to believe that it is just soaking in.Then on the other hand I still see cracks in the ground from the drought.I know the last couple of days things started getting real dry and they started running out of better dirt.By that time they was pretty much just working on the spillway,toping off the dam above the spillway and finish grading,cleaning things up.It looked to me like a lot of the dry loose dirt made it's way down the front of the dam as well.I guess it could be soaking thing up some too.I would also say the front of the dam probably didn't get the compaction the core did and could be soaking more in than it should.
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#486934 - 03/07/18 11:17 PM Re: New Pond Construction In Jefferson Co, Mo. [Re: Bobbss]
Bobbss Offline


Registered: 10/27/16
Posts: 461
Loc: Jefferson County Missouri
Still nothing good here,pond is still dropping.My pond builder did come look at things today.He said he thought the dam looked good and didn't think the water was getting past it and didn't see anything above the water that looked like it would leak.He does think it's leaking some and not just soaking it up.He isn't sure why,and said he didn't see anything during the build that would concern him.He said the drought might of opened a big crack,and the crack may of even opened up to a gravel vain,but he didn't see any gravel during the build.He said it may seal on it's own with time,but thinks while it is low I should try to pen point where the water is flowing by using a powder that floats or maybe food coloring,and work a half pallet or more of Bentonite in if I can get a good idea where it is flowing.He also said if I pump it out he would come back out and look for a smoking gun problem.I'm going to at least try to find the water flow tomorrow after work.
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#486935 - 03/08/18 03:13 AM Re: New Pond Construction In Jefferson Co, Mo. [Re: Bobbss]
Rainman Offline
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Bobbss....don't waste your time or money trying bentonite....it will not seal unless it's worked into the soil and compacted properly. IIRC, you were in a drought when building the pond, and if the clay was dry then, it could not be compacted well. Best and lowest priced "fix" would be to get a self driven sheepsfoot in there and compact it well while the clay has moisture....it will need to be drained and allowed to dry some to get excess moisture out...
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#486951 - 03/08/18 01:03 PM Re: New Pond Construction In Jefferson Co, Mo. [Re: Bobbss]
Bobbss Offline


Registered: 10/27/16
Posts: 461
Loc: Jefferson County Missouri
Thanks Rex,to do something like that I might have to wait for the spring rains to be over so it can dry up enough.Do you know how steep of a grade the self driven sheepsfoot can run on or at least go up and down?I would hate to get one down in the bottom of the pond and get it stuck in the mud?lol!This sure takes the fun out of a new pond.lol!


Edited by Bobbss (03/08/18 02:02 PM)
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#486955 - 03/08/18 06:08 PM Re: New Pond Construction In Jefferson Co, Mo. [Re: Bobbss]
John Fitzgerald Offline


Registered: 10/27/15
Posts: 2226
Loc: S. end of Elkins, Arkansas
Mine is now in the third year and still leaking due to either roots left in the dam or poor compaction. I have been told that a sheepsfoot roller won't do any good on a finished dam. I understand it has to be compacted in small lifts. Would a vibratory sheepsfoot be better on a finished dam? If the vibrations would go deep enough, then the dam could be made to settle.
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#486956 - 03/08/18 07:05 PM Re: New Pond Construction In Jefferson Co, Mo. [Re: Bobbss]
RAH Offline
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Registered: 05/17/09
Posts: 4442
Loc: Indiana, Boone County, 25 mile...
If my pond, I would have a properly constructed dam constructed behind the existing dam built. This from someone who has made every mistake possible. I finally built my own pond last year. I am bewildered that pond builders are so rare. Clearly quality does not build a business in this area.

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#486959 - 03/08/18 07:45 PM Re: New Pond Construction In Jefferson Co, Mo. [Re: Bobbss]
canyoncreek Offline


Registered: 05/07/13
Posts: 2093
Loc: West Michigan
I second that RAH. It boggles my mind that dirt movers snap up contracts to build ponds left and right and maybe out of 50 projects 1 doesn't leak and there doesn't seem to be any recourse for the home owner and no means to slow down the dirt mover from doing it again. There doesn't seem to be any better business bureau or incentive to do quality work to get additional business down the road in the pond building trade.

I've suggested that this forum should maintain a list of builders who will do it right the first time or if not will hold to their word that they will return until the problem is fixed. They advantage to the pond builder is that they will have guaranteed advertising, for free, that is nationwide (even worldwide). The promise to the PB forum owners is that for once we have happy construction companies AND happy customers and a system that works together in a positive way. The quality control simply comes from the feedback from the PB users and the pondbuilder's clients that is openly shared on this forum without quid pro quo (we have to say good things about them because they paid for advertising on the forum).

It should be very simple to create such a list and it would not have to be groomed by the mods. Just simply let people tell their experiences about the company and when there is a negative experience posted, see how well the company fixes it. The list initially will be extremely short, maybe less than 10 companies that could withstand the simple test of letting their customers vote by simply sharing their stories.

As time went by other companies will catch on that if you take care of the customers you can join a very select company of pondbuilders who are ethical, and it didn't cost them a dime of advertising, just do it properly or do it over till it is right.

Recall the same thing process worked well when a mislabeled batch of feed went out this past year. The feedback of the end user and the help of the forum brought a solution and everyone benefits in the process.

just my $.02

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#486960 - 03/08/18 08:51 PM Re: New Pond Construction In Jefferson Co, Mo. [Re: Bobbss]
Bobbss Offline


Registered: 10/27/16
Posts: 461
Loc: Jefferson County Missouri
Thanks guys!I think or at least thought Rex was talking about the bottom of my pond needing compacted.My pond builder says that the problem has to be in the bottom,maybe a gravel seem opened up do to the drought.He says he knows the dam is packed good and holding.I can't find any water behind the dam.


Edited by Bobbss (03/08/18 10:20 PM)
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#486989 - 03/09/18 02:28 PM Re: New Pond Construction In Jefferson Co, Mo. [Re: Bobbss]
Bobbss Offline


Registered: 10/27/16
Posts: 461
Loc: Jefferson County Missouri
Anyone ever heard of or used Aquablock Pondseal?
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#487019 - 03/10/18 10:50 AM Re: New Pond Construction In Jefferson Co, Mo. [Re: Bobbss]
SetterGuy Offline


Registered: 10/30/13
Posts: 1542
Loc: NE Missouri
I have not heard of it. Pond leaks are always going to be a mystery. I always have a wet spot behind my dam. It sits right in the original ditch bottom. It never has any current, and has weird orange algae growing in it. It does collect water from the back of the dam and hillsides when it rains, so it's very hard to tell if it's from the leak.
As I mentioned earlier, after soilfloc, my leak slowed to 1/4" a day. I'll live with that, as evaporation must be al least half that.
Maybe wait until it full, maybe even a second time full. Try the soilfloc after the second fill, unless the leak is just crazy fast, as in inches per day.
I think I've also had some self sealing from sediment settling on the bottom. This winter I had four inches of ice for two months. I watched it to see if the water below the ice would drop, it didn't seem like it was..
Don't lose hope, if you don't see water running out the behind the dam somewhere, maybe it'll slow down.
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5 yr old pond, 1 ac, 15' deep.
RES, YP, GS, FHM (no longer), HBG (way too many), SMB, and HSB (rumored..)
I think that's about all I should put in my little pond.

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#487020 - 03/10/18 11:47 AM Re: New Pond Construction In Jefferson Co, Mo. [Re: John Fitzgerald]
Rainman Offline
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Registered: 06/06/07
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Loc: St Louis, MO area
Originally Posted By: John Fitzgerald
Mine is now in the third year and still leaking due to either roots left in the dam or poor compaction. I have been told that a sheepsfoot roller won't do any good on a finished dam. I understand it has to be compacted in small lifts. Would a vibratory sheepsfoot be better on a finished dam? If the vibrations would go deep enough, then the dam could be made to settle.


If clay content, depth and the elastic quality ot he clay are good, a 36000 pound vibratory sheepsfoot can compact as much as 3 feet deep. To "properly construct an original dam and pond bottom, it should be done in 6" lifts...but we are now talking repair, not an original build. Sealing the entire pool area, and compacting it well with good clay will work. It is also the most cost effective way unless you know exactly where a leak is...
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#487021 - 03/10/18 11:50 AM Re: New Pond Construction In Jefferson Co, Mo. [Re: Bobbss]
Rainman Offline
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Registered: 06/06/07
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Loc: St Louis, MO area
Originally Posted By: Bobbss
Thanks guys!I think or at least thought Rex was talking about the bottom of my pond needing compacted.My pond builder says that the problem has to be in the bottom,maybe a gravel seem opened up do to the drought.He says he knows the dam is packed good and holding.I can't find any water behind the dam.


I mean the entire pond's pool area. if the dam WAS properly constructed and compacted, and the leak is in the bottom, then the core of the dam was not deep enough to block off water flow upstream. A LOT of ponds leak out the sides and go around the dam because again, the core was never built into the sides to block lateral flow. Leaking ponds can be a nightmare!
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#487041 - 03/10/18 11:39 PM Re: New Pond Construction In Jefferson Co, Mo. [Re: Bobbss]
Bobbss Offline


Registered: 10/27/16
Posts: 461
Loc: Jefferson County Missouri
Thanks Guys!I knew it would probably be a waist of time and money,but I decided to go ahead and do what my pond builder said.I figured what do I have to loose other than a few hundred bucks and some hard work,and hard work it has been so far.lol!I pumped it down today and started raking the leaves which turned out to have a lot of muck mixed in with the leaves.I couldn't believe how much muck was in the bottom already,in some areas it was trying to come over my 18" rubber boots.I didn't find a lot but in one area,probably just a little below the lowest water line that it's held fairly steady,there was some water seeping back in with a few tiny little jets of water just strong enough to make the water gurgle up a little.I don't know if that area is my problem and I don't know if it will help,but I plan to dig it out a little and pack that area with bentonite the best I can.
I've been wanting more rain and now they are calling for rain and snow here tomorrow,and now I'm hoping it don't so I can work on it.lol!
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#487056 - 03/11/18 10:16 AM Re: New Pond Construction In Jefferson Co, Mo. [Re: Bobbss]
SetterGuy Offline


Registered: 10/30/13
Posts: 1542
Loc: NE Missouri
3-5" of snow, but should be gone soon as tomorrow is close to 50*. Then the next rain is Friday. Hope you get it done. Good luck.
_________________________
5 yr old pond, 1 ac, 15' deep.
RES, YP, GS, FHM (no longer), HBG (way too many), SMB, and HSB (rumored..)
I think that's about all I should put in my little pond.

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#487063 - 03/11/18 12:37 PM Re: New Pond Construction In Jefferson Co, Mo. [Re: Bobbss]
John Fitzgerald Offline


Registered: 10/27/15
Posts: 2226
Loc: S. end of Elkins, Arkansas
No precip here. Big thunderstorms passed about 35 miles south of here late yesterday. We have been missed by a lot of rains. I fear another drought coming.
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