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#511325 - 09/09/19 11:48 AM Slope Recommendation & Edge Shelf
Kris B Offline


Registered: 04/14/19
Posts: 39
Loc: Lafayette, LA
I seem to generally see recommendations for 2:1 or 3:1 slope for a pond, but I'm not sure why this is? I've heard that its difficult to get out of a pond steeper than 2:1 slope, but is the concern with steeper slopes that the sides of the pond will slough off?

As I'm renovating my pond (planned at 2:1), I'm anxious about having a wide swath of water's edge which is less than 3ft deep, because I'm sure weed growth is going to be a real challenge in S. Louisiana.

Also, I've seen a 3-4ft shelf surrounding the pond recommended for "safety," but my kids are not nearly 3-4ft tall so I'm not really sure what benefit that gives, if any.
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#511326 - 09/09/19 12:02 PM Re: Slope Recommendation & Edge Shelf [Re: Kris B]
RAH Offline
Lunker

Registered: 05/17/09
Posts: 4389
Loc: Indiana, Boone County, 25 mile...
3:1 is for safety out to about 10' from shore. This area will grow plants so I planted what I wanted - no cattails or phragmites.

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#511470 - 09/11/19 08:59 PM Re: Slope Recommendation & Edge Shelf [Re: RAH]
Kris B Offline


Registered: 04/14/19
Posts: 39
Loc: Lafayette, LA
I guess I just don't quite get it. What makes it safe?
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#511479 - 09/11/19 10:44 PM Re: Slope Recommendation & Edge Shelf [Re: Kris B]
DrWizz Offline


Registered: 06/26/13
Posts: 22
Loc: Eastern Iowa
My pond was designed by the NRCS and has several of the features you are referencing and I couldn’t be happier. The 3:1 slope is highly recommended for safety. When mowing on the back side of the levee, it is almost impossible to do it safely with a slope of less then 3:1. 4:1 would be even safer, but requires a much wider base and therefore more dirt to move and more expense. With regards to the safety on the water side, if you have a steep slope like 2:1 with no shelf, it is very difficult to get footing and climb out because you keep slipping back in. Think for example of trying to climb out of a creek with a steep muddy bank versus climbing out when there is a more gentle slope. With regard to a “shelf”, there are both safety and erosion benefits. The shelf in my pond was built to be about 6” lower than normal pool. So, there is the top of the levee, then there is a 3:1 slope down to the level of the outflow pipe resulting in 2 feet of free board. Then, 6” lower than the outflow pipe there is a 6-8 foot horizontal shelf which basically has 6” of water covering it and then the slope starts again at 3:1. If someone falls in, they can swim over to the shelf and crawl out into the shallow 6” of water and then easily climb up to dry levee. The shelf also reduces erosion from wave action because the waves break apart in the shallow water before hitting the bank. When water levels go down slightly, the shelf becomes somewhat dry and weeds are easily managed. Go with no less than 3:1 slope and also a shelf, you will be happy you did.

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#511492 - 09/12/19 10:48 AM Re: Slope Recommendation & Edge Shelf [Re: DrWizz]
Kris B Offline


Registered: 04/14/19
Posts: 39
Loc: Lafayette, LA
This whole time I've been thinking only about the water side of the equation, not the land side. That makes sense from a mowing standpoint. On the water side, since my pond will be 3/4 acre with a dock or bulkhead, I figured I wouldn't need it. But I suppose if someone falls in and wants to get out, it would be better to not have to swim across the pond back to the structure. Thanks for clarifying! I think I'll skip the 6" shelf because stuff grows way too fast down here, year-round (though I'll have a few shallows like that with Louisiana Iris and Cypress to beautify the place. Thanks again.
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