It will dry quicker if you will dump it out of the bucket, spread it out a little, then wait till the top of it whites off indicating drying. You want it moist enough you can make a ball but not so wet it works like play dough. When it is field dry about right, pack it into the bucket.
If it has too much organic matter and not enough clay it will loosen somewhat when you carefully place water in the bucket and leak. If it is going to make good pond liner material the bowl in the bucket will hold water quite a while. If you fill the bucket completely full, water may follow the plastic sides down. So just make a mini pond in the bucket (bowl shape) and fill to full pool of the mini pond bowl.
I was able to start my bucket test yesterday.I packed about 2" of dirt give or take a little in the bucket and added water.After about 15 hours later,this morning when I went to work it was dry under the bucket,and I didn't notice any water level drop.So it looks like I'm off to a good start.I also read about the truck door test on here and tried that and it passed,but I didn't use my truck.lol!I used a tank and a cabinet.
After 48 hours it's still holding pretty good with just a few drops of water under the bucket.I found and old email that the MCD sent me back when we first started looking at the land.It had a link to a soil map of our property.I didn't think it was of much help before,but when I looked at things this time I found more links giving a break down on the soil.I have 2 types of soil in my pond area,both are in Hydrologic Group D,which I think is good.Soil #1 the biggest area has soil that is at 0"-3" 13% clay,79% silt,8% sand.At 3"-11" 16% clay,80% silt,4% sand.11"-32" 33% clay,64% silt,3% sand.32"-68" 25% clay,67% silt,8% sand.68"-80" 24% clay,60% silt,16% sand.Soil #2 the smallest area is 0"-3" 14% clay,71% silt,15% sand.3"-9" 12% clay,72% silt,16% sand.9"-79" 68% clay,17% silt,15% sand.Soil #2 has a lot more clay but has way way way more rock and much larger ones.Am I right thinking that Soil #1 would be better than Soil #2?By the way my bucket test is with Soil #1 and would from the top 11".
The most "Good" clay in the Ozarks is often found on the eastern side of hills running north and south. For the best possible compaction, get a vibratory sheepsfoot or roller sheepsfoot and lay a 2' thick clay blanket in 6" lifts in the entire pool area, and a foot or two above the "full pool" mark. Be sure to have your pond builder save the top soils to lay back down over the disturbed areas just below, and all around the full pool area and seed as soon as possible....on the movers last pass, if possible. Seeding the entire pool area with annual rye, wheat and buck oats will really help reduce erosion and jump start the base of your food chain also.
Consider 2 books available on the site's main page...Bob Lusk's "Perfect Pond...Want One?" and Mike Otto's, "Just Add Water" Dig and build things right the first time may cost 10-20% more sometimes, but I can guarantee trying to fix a leak after water has entered, will cost triple or more the original costs.
Last edited by Bill Cody; 03/18/1708:45 AM. Reason: spell edit
Thanks Rainman,I've been considering getting one of those books and probably will.The hill side with the cleaner clay (less rocks) is a east side,maybe a little bit north east.I'm hoping the rain holds off so he can get back out and finish clearing.The pond area is about 75% cleared but I'm sure it will be awhile before the pond will get started.After he gets it cleared so he can see what it will take to build the pond,they have to work on a plan and price.He also has a big job he has to start after he gets our clearing done.That will give me a chance to get some of the trees cut up and the brush piles burned so he has more room to work.
Well we got rained out last week and not looking much better for this week for getting them out to shoot the grade.The company I'm using is a small family owned business with the husband running the construction side and the wife running the excavating side with a guy or two doing the excavating.When talking to her last week to confirm that we was rained out,I asked her if the soil map and soil info I sent to her helped any.She said no,she really didn't know what it all ment.She also said you never have enough good dirt on site and you always have to bring in some or all of the dirt.I told her from what I've been reading,you want at least 20% clay and don't want 100% clay and that 30% clay is what you want.I asked what percent of clay does she like to use and she told me they don't get that technical,they just look at it.Well all of this is not making me feel real good about how well they know what their doing.I think they know how to build a pond but I think if it don't look like almost pure clay they just have you buy some.I may have to keep an open mind about finding someone else to build my pond.I orderd the book Just Add Water last night.I figure I better learn all I can.lol!
Well they still haven't been out to shoot the grade.They've been rained out and last week it was food poisoning.They said they would try for this week and I told them to call me when they knew.The next day I went down to my local NRCS office and got some info including a contractor list.I'm giving them to Wednesday and I will start calling others.The soil scientist was not in last week when I was there but I got to talk to him today on the phone.He said he knows my soil types well and that they should work good,even the rockier stuff that I was worried about.So that sounds great.But he also told me he would only build a pond in January-March so it fills up before the dirt can crack.I've had others tell me they like it to take longer to fill so you can get grass to grow first.Has anyone had trouble with building a pond because the didn't do it January-March?I really don't want to wait almost a year to build it!lol!
After going through my pictures to post here,I realized that I didn't take any pictures after his last day of clearing.I will take a few more and get them posted,now that I figured out how to do it.lol!
<snip> But he also told me he would only build a pond in January-March so it fills up before the dirt can crack.I've had others tell me they like it to take longer to fill so you can get grass to grow first.Has anyone had trouble with building a pond because the didn't do it January-March?I really don't want to wait almost a year to build it!lol!
Most ponds around here are built in late summer or early fall, when the ground is driest. It's usually too muddy to work in January-March. We got our latest one done in mid December, during the bad drought we had. The renovation of our old pond was done in August 2015, during a dry spell. It started filling within a few days.
If you build in the warmer months you can get grass going faster and avoid erosion of the dam easier. With my December build, I had to use a lot of rocks and hay to block possible erosion channels, but still got a few mild ones.
I finished mine in Sept, and caught great fall rains to get it 3/4 filled. Also gave me enough rain to get grass started everywhere. I was a bit on the lucky side though. Not sure we've had enough rain since then to get it half full. On another note, I had a lot more rock in the soil/clay than it looks like you do. I've got a small leak, which bothers me, but not much. Hope you get your contractor situation resolved. My builder wasn't a soils expert. He knew enough to know I had marginal soil with too much rock. When he found good stuff he did his best to get it in the righ places. I did make them use a sheeps foot roller. They didn't want to, and really had to fight it. Glad I did though, as I think my leak would probably be worse.
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.
Thanks guys!Them and I both felt it would need to be during a dry time to get it in.It took them near 4 weeks just to get in 7 days of clearing,and only 2-3 days of it was in the pond area,the rest was on the hill top where it was drier.The soil guy at the NRCS told me that you can use dirt up to 50% rock,as long as the rocks aren't real big.I have 2 types of soil that meet in my pond site.The one you can see in the pictures has less rock but also has a lower percent of clay.The other has a lot more rock but lot more clay too.I will try to take some better pictures of my dirt.They did call me yesterday and plan to be out tomorrow,but they are calling for rain,so I won't count on them.
Yep, forecast says 90-100% chance. Up to an inch. Starts in the morning. (St Louis area.) I'm thinking I'll get .1" up at our pond. Spread out over 12 hrs. At least you know you aren't in the driest county in the state. I've already got that locked in..