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#6395 - 04/10/07 08:02 PM TOOO Deep?
nashfireman Offline

Registered: 04/03/07
Posts: 26
Loc: Nashville TN
Looks like my pond will be 15 to 20 ft deep, on one end. Its about 1 acre total in size. This is not what I had planned. But, because we used alot of the clay lining the driveway they are having to scrape deep to get enough clay to make the dam. So,,,,is this to deep? I have alot of top soil I could push in the bottom after the dam is finished but wanted to ask your opinions. I worry the dam will not hold this much water force due to the way they made it. They pushed clay up about 3 or 4 ft and ran over the top of it with the dozer once or twice. Then pushed more and did the same. I questioned them about this and they said this is the way they did it all the time that it would be ok. Getting nervous because this is not the way that I thought dams were made. Should I calm down or stop the show?

#6396 - 04/10/07 08:32 PM Re: TOOO Deep?
Dave Davidson1 Offline

Registered: 01/04/06
Posts: 13600
Loc: Hurst & Bowie, Texas
Lots of discussions on here on just how poorly a dozer packs dirt. I think I would also worry. However, if these guys are local, they may know what they are talking about. The best way to pack is with a sheeps foot roller.

Too deep? Good question. I'm in an arid area and can't ever figure on impounding too much water. In a typical pond, the fish will usually live in the top 10 ft. I would be hard put to fill in a pond just to make it shallower.
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

#6397 - 04/10/07 08:53 PM Re: TOOO Deep?
zhkent Offline

Registered: 03/18/04
Posts: 229
Loc: Burlington, Kansas
I have + 20 feet of depth. I would only go 10 or 12 in the area we swim in next time. Otherwise the depth is no problem except I hit a coal seam down there and it leaks a little.
A big dozer will get compaction, a tiny one won't. Intermediate sizes can in good conditions. And if the dirt is moist it helps the compaction considerably whatever you pack with. I would suggest that if they do it all the time go look at their past projects in the area. If the past work is good you probably shouldn't have any worries.
Make it look easy,

#6398 - 04/10/07 09:33 PM Re: TOOO Deep?
Michael Gray Offline

Registered: 12/28/06
Posts: 52
Loc: Tennessee
I'm in the Nashville area and i build alot of ponds.The two things i always push are cores and compactors,when it comes to pond building.Dozers are not designed to pack ground they bridge there self over it.

#6399 - 04/10/07 10:12 PM Re: TOOO Deep?
zhkent Offline

Registered: 03/18/04
Posts: 229
Loc: Burlington, Kansas
I haven't packed any dirt in Tennessee or a lot of other places. But I have passed compaction tests with just a large dozer.
Make it look easy,

#6400 - 04/10/07 10:23 PM Re: TOOO Deep?
Michael Gray Offline

Registered: 12/28/06
Posts: 52
Loc: Tennessee
It's true if you place the dirt in very small lifts it will pack with a dozer.But alot of people will put a 3 or 4 foot lift out and then run over it with a dozer and call it packed.

#6401 - 04/10/07 10:32 PM Re: TOOO Deep?
davatsa Offline

Registered: 04/14/03
Posts: 1256
Loc: San Antonio, TX
I think DD1 has some good advice wrt depth. Our biggest pond is about 20 ft deep. Even though the fish won't often utilize the deeper water, especially in the heat of the summer, having a pond that deep is necessary where we're located.

The pond is not always full given our propensity for severe droughts, and that last 10 ft of unused water has ended up being all the water we've had for a few months at a time. I'll take some "wasted" water for part of the year to have the peace of mind in knowing that our fish will survive a drought. Depending on how much rain you can expect, you may want to keep the pond that deep, unless you are using a well or the pond is spring-fed.

Last summer, all of our neighbor's ponds were completely dry. Granted, most were "tanks" used solely for cattle with a max depth of maybe 6 ft., but I'll still take 20 ft any day. Nothing is worse than a pond full of beautiful fish getting too low. Not only do you risk morts, but having confined fish without the proper structure and cover can throw your balanced fish populations out of whack. Just my 2 cents. Keep us posted on your progress!
"Only after sorrow's hand has bowed your head will life become truly real to you; then you will acquire the noble spirituality which intensifies the reality of life. I go to an all-powerful God. Beyond that I have no knowledge--no fear--only faith."

#6402 - 04/11/07 08:54 AM Re: TOOO Deep?
eddie_walker Offline

Registered: 11/23/05
Posts: 773
Loc: Just North of Tyler, Texas
I think that in a few years and you start getting some sediment and silt working it's way into your pond, the 20 foot depth will change on it's own. From what I've read, most fish will spend most of there time in the top 4 feet of water anyway. Have some good structure for them along the shorline down to 6 feet and you should be perfect.

Compaction with a dozer is very difficult because the tracks spread the load over a large area. It's not so much the size of the dozer, but the amount of preasure per square inch that you have. In my case, it's not very much. I have 24 inch tracks and they do a decent job of letting me float over soft material. For that reason, I build up material in lifts of just a few inches. Idealy a sheeps foot is what you need, but most dams are not built with one and it's rarely a problem. I don't think compaction for a dam is nearly as important as a building a home or road. If you got 90% on a dam, it would be fine, but you realy need to be at 98 to 99% for a house. That is a HUGE difference.

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3/4 and 4 acre ponds.


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