Pond Boss Magazine
https://www.pondboss.com/images/userfiles/image/20130301193901_6_150by50orangewhyshouldsubscribejpeg.jpg
Advertisment
Newest Members
BabbRust, Mitch Hollar, Heysel, Ashmiller1518, amekounglee5
17276 Registered Users
Forum Statistics
Forums36
Topics38,922
Posts528,663
Members17,277
Most Online3,583
Jan 15th, 2020
Top Posters
esshup 25,416
ewest 20,622
Cecil Baird1 20,043
Bill Cody 13,752
Who's Online Now
14 members (RStringer, Scalebuster, DrLuke, BrianL, rjackson, Quarter Acre, Bobbss, Bill Cody, nvcdl, Augie, aguita, DChap, Lyn, Pat Williamson), 344 guests, and 442 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Planning a pond
#129887 08/19/08 10:25 PM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 9
C
Chris4 Offline OP
Fingerling
OP Offline
Fingerling
C
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 9
Hey all... new to the site.
I live in North Central Iowa on an aprx. 5 acres of land.
I am planning a small pond 1/4 - 1/2 acre.
The plan is to have the pond 10ft deep at it's deepest.

While Iowa is relatively flat (at least where we live) we live in a slightly elevated area. There is about 1/2 mile of slight elevation (corn/bean field) to the north of us but then to the east and west and south a slight drop in elevation. I've had two people out to give estimates. We plan on mostly filling the pond with a geothermal pump and dump (6 gallons per minute).

The guy today says there is about 2 ft drop from the back (north) side of the planned pond to the front (south) side of the pond. His cost for pond installation is $305 per hour (two heavy machines) which would take about a week to create the pond. He talks about removing the top soil, digging a 10ft trench all the way around the proposed area, filling it with clay, packing it down and then digging the pond, lining it with clay. He says he ALWAYS builds the pond with this 'double' layer of clay (one lining the pond and one in the 10ft trench which 'encircles' the pond). The pond would end up with an elevated dike/ridge around it (especialy toward the south/east/west). Total cost around $15,000 (basic pond construction).
The other guy says he would come in remove the topsoil, dig the pond, line it with clay. This pond also would end up with an elevated dike/ridge around it. His cost is $160 an hour (one large machine) and says it would take a 4-5 days or a total cost of around $6000 (basic pond construction).
Questions:
1) Is the 'double' clay lined construction necessary or over kill?
2) Will the pump and dump keep the pond full? I plan of course a spillway to make sure it is not too full. Both contractors think the pond will stay full if "you can get it full" -- neither one is too familiar with a 'pump and dump' system and how that works with filling or keeping a pond full.
3) I don't want too much 'seepage' because I don't want water in the basement... is this a problem. Our soil is called Franklin soil... with plenty of clay under the top soil. What methods are for reducing seepage or evaporation?
4) Other than creating the dike/ridge with the clay or hauling it away (NOT CHEAP) what can you do with it. I'd sorta like to keep the dike/ridge as low as possible so we can see the pond from lawn/fire ring/road/etc. {It will be seen from the house}
Thanks!!

Re: Planning a pond
Chris4 #129888 08/19/08 11:27 PM
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,895
C
Moderator
Lunker
Offline
Moderator
Lunker
C
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,895
Welcome Chris.

I think that the geothermal pump would keep the pond full based on an average of 1/4 inch of evaporation loss per day and a half acre pond.

325828 Gallons/acre foot divided by 12 inches/ foot x .25 inch= 6788 gallons of evaporation loss per day

The pump would add 6gpm x 60 minutes x 24 hours= 8640 gallons/ day

I have never heard of the "Double" clay method. As long as you have two foot of compacted clay in the pond bottom that should be enough.

Re: Planning a pond
Chris Steelman #129895 08/20/08 07:38 AM
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 13,033
Likes: 49
Moderator
Lunker
Offline
Moderator
Lunker
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 13,033
Likes: 49
Howdy, Chris4.

With only 2 ft of elevation change across the width of the pond, you will be removing a LOT of dirt for a half acre pond. Last year I built a 0.45 acre pond with a 5 foot drop in elevation; we went down 12 1/2 feet vs. your planned 10 feet, so the amount of excavated material is probably pretty similar. I had a pile of topsoil (which was up to 4 feet thick in the basin) 6 feet high, 20 feet wide, and about 50 yards long which we distributed on 3 fields next to the pond to improve them, and a pile of clay roughly to same size which we placed out of the way in the woods and left there.

The best situtation for you would of course be if someone nearby wants to buy your excess topsoil and clay; second best if you can give it to someone who will pay to have it hauled right out of the pond while under construction (that would hold your costs on moving the dirt down). If you will be keeping it on your property, remember that the farther it is moved, the more it will cost. I AM worried that your $ estimates may not adequately adress taking care of this removed material in a manner that pleases you (i.e. spread out or placed attractively on your 5 acres vs. piled very close to the pond). Have you ever wanted your own hill for sledding in the Winter?

Anyway, since the pond will be excavated, a core trench all the way around it should prevent lateral water loss in any direction, including towards the house. If there is good clay throughout the entire basin (which you won't actually know 100% for sure until it is excavated), packing the bottom with clay would not IMHO be needed. Any leakage-prone areas encountered, like a vein of sand, gravel, or organic material, should be packed off with 2 feet of clay to prevent serious water loss.

Taking Young Blood's math and considering the water level problem, I have two questions:
1) Will the pump and dump be running 100% of the time?
2) What is a good figure for Iowa summertime evaporation loss? It might be higher than 1/4" (maybe up to 1/2"???). Some of the Iowa members like Matt Clark should have a good idea - better than a Texan or an Ahian.


"Live like you'll die tomorrow, but manage your grass like you'll live forever."
-S. M. Stirling
[Linked Image from i582.photobucket.com]
Re: Planning a pond
Theo Gallus #129916 08/20/08 10:38 AM
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 27
H
Lunker
Offline
Lunker
H
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 27
Welcome to the site! Nice to see more Iowans. I'm in Spencer and have gotten GREAT info here. Good luck!

Re: Planning a pond
Theo Gallus #129917 08/20/08 10:42 AM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 9
C
Chris4 Offline OP
Fingerling
OP Offline
Fingerling
C
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 9
Morning. Thanks for the posts!
First to answer the questions posed by Theo:
1) I would expect that the geothermal won't run all the time, it would be dependent upon heat/cooling required on any given day.

2) I'm not exactly sure of the evaporation rate in IA -- the book the DNR gave me listed the same formula that Chris S' (Young Blood?) quoted. An online site (www.outdoorelementsPA) lists evap. rate for moderate climates like IA as a couple inches a week (so about the same).
Initially, looking at the rate of geothermal inflow and evap. rate I get nervous that there won't be enough water (only 1852 gals per day left over based upon the calculations -- but the same site listed above states evap. occurring ONLY Spring/Summer). SO.. even if the geothermal ran 1/3 of the time that is aprx 1,200,000 gals into the pond a year -minus- the aprx 326,000 evap a year (spring/summer) leaves 874,000 left over to fill the pond (which estimates show needs about 500,000 to fill). So without considering rainfall there is about 374,000 gallons to exit through the spillway. {Average rainfall here is 34" so an additional 936,000 gallons (aprx.) more than needed to run to the ditch via the spillway. Plus there is the 37" of avg snowfall to consider (equivalent to about 4" more in rain)}. Is this TOO MUCH water for this size pond? Might the dike/ridge be a good idea with the spillway out-take 2' below the top so if a heavy rain comes there is a 2' rise in water level available to handle the rain while the spillway drains it out? So much to consider and I AM WAY GREEN in this arena.

3) Yeah, I've thought about a hill for snowsledding. HA -- when we lived in town I used to have them drop off 2 dump truck loads of snow in the front yard for the kids to play in/on. BUT this is more like building a ski hill. I've had two test holes dug down 10-12 ft and there is plenty of clay below the top soil! Getting rid of topsoil isn't too difficult (I could have them spread it over the yard which has always been a little bumpy or pile it up until the farmer harvests and spread it out -- it is the clay that is the problem).

It sounds that you both are saying, that either having the clay filled trench (with a nonlined pond in the center) would work OR having a pond with a 2' clay bottom would work. Is this right?
Both contractors seem to be saying that the pond itself (whether it had the trench or not) would have the 2' clay bottom AND the sides would also be clay lined. I'm thinking this would prevent lateral water loss in any direction, including towards the house. Is this correct? Is the trench AND the clay lined pond overkill -- spending more $ than need be?

Thanks again!!!

Re: Planning a pond
Chris4 #129918 08/20/08 12:28 PM
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 6,934
Ambassador
Field Correspondent
Lunker
Offline
Ambassador
Field Correspondent
Lunker
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 6,934
Hey Chris4,
Theo and Chris (yes, young blood) offer sound advice. I want to address the cost end of the deal.
Construction costs vay from region to region. In fact, when I started diggin' our project, it was the costs that brought me to this forum with my first thread on that same subject . At that time, it seemed that I was paying some of the higher prices for hourly dirt work. In retrospect, I don't regret a penny based on the return. I recently spoke with my dirt guy and asked him what he was currently charging. He said that he got up to $105 per hour per pc of equipment before diesel prices surpassed the $3 mark. As of today, he is working at $105/hr plus $15/hr fuel surcharge = $120/hr per pc of equipment. Once again, I remind both of us that prices vary by region...and....size of equipment (amount of dirt moved)...and...quality of final product. Comparing dirt-moving prices starts to get like shopping for a new mattress.
I would reach out to the county NRCS office. Matt Clark, a PB forum member (from Iowa) mentioned above, has had outstanding support by his NRCS agent and office. Share with them your plan. If nothing else, they should be able to provide a list of dirt guys that would qualify to be considered for your project. Maybe shop a little more....?

Re: Planning a pond
Brettski #129920 08/20/08 01:28 PM
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 13,033
Likes: 49
Moderator
Lunker
Offline
Moderator
Lunker
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 13,033
Likes: 49
Chris4:

A core trench has 2 main purposes that I can recall - sealing water from leaking through the dam and serving as a physical locking mechanism to prevent the weight (pressure) of the water behind the dam from shoving the whole dam downhill. In an excavated pond, the second reason wouldn't apply; sealing the entire bowl should take care of water seepage in any direction. Let's see what one of the dirt pros has to say about this.

There is rarely such a thing as "too much water for a pond" provided the primary spillway/spillpipe is adequate to handle the amount that overflows (and the emergency spillway is set up for rare, heavy precipitation events). If a pond site has a huge watershed (this is the area that rain falls on and then runs into the pond), it can cost more to build a small safe pond than a large one, becuase the large one can safely back up more water in a major rain event and does not require a huge, oversized spill system.

How big is the watershed for your pond? Topographical map assistance and advice can be providied here if you don't have even a rough idea.

Your pond may drop some (as most of them do) when it's hot and rainfall is low. That's not a problem provided it's deep enough to leave sufficient water for fish under these conditions. I don't know wrt IOWA, but 10 feet is generally considered adequate depth in Ohio (with an average 40" of rainfall). In the worst case, we figure an OHIO pond may be 2 feet low going into Winter (in a BAD drought year) and get 2 feet of ice thickness (in a horribly cold Winter); that still leaves 6 feet of water for living space for the fish.

On the bright side (for the pond, anyway), really hot times when evaporation is the worst is when you'll probably be running the pump & dump heavy to cool off the house.

P.S. Calculations and facts like local evaporation rates and spillpipe sizes are often available for free from your local NRCS/Soil and Water/County Extension Service office. Check them out and they may be a big help (mine are!).

Last edited by Theo Gallus; 08/20/08 01:30 PM.

"Live like you'll die tomorrow, but manage your grass like you'll live forever."
-S. M. Stirling
[Linked Image from i582.photobucket.com]
Re: Planning a pond
Brettski #129922 08/20/08 02:19 PM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 9
C
Chris4 Offline OP
Fingerling
OP Offline
Fingerling
C
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 9
Brettski, Thanks for the post and advice. Actually... I just talked to the second guy who spoke of $160 an hour cost. He has two machines that will be out here to work... so I'm thinking that is pretty reasonable. What I like about the two 'dirt movers' I've got estimates from is that the both have experience in pond construction. The first guy more experience with large ponds and the second guy more experience with shallow 'duck ponds' for the DNR.
What type of construction does your pond have? Is it damn or dugout... if dugout how deep and does it have a trench surrounding it or just the clay-lined design alone?
Thanks!

Re: Planning a pond
Theo Gallus #129923 08/20/08 02:41 PM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 9
C
Chris4 Offline OP
Fingerling
OP Offline
Fingerling
C
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 9
Okay Theo!! You are making my mind think!
A primary spillway and an emergency spillway!!

Primary set to handle overflow from the pump and dump excess and the emergency one set higher in the dike/ridge to handle rain excess. Gotcha... am I right? Can they both go to the same ditch? I'm thinking so since initially the geothermal guy said that all of the pump and dump water could go to the ditch (we've had several heavy floods since we've lived here the most recent - if you've followed the news - this year without any of our ditches filling with water -- just slightly soggy for a day or so).

What size pipe should suffice for each spillway?

And yeah on the bright side for the POND (not our electric bill \:D ) the geothermal should run during peak evap. periods -- plus I have M.S. so keeping it cool is a necissity in the hot times -- though I will probably not be able to drop the temp. down to 68 degrees in the winter anymore when I'm home alone since geothermal is most efficient when kept at a constant temp. -- ah well I suppose I can always wear shorts and a tee shirt).
Thanks!
I love this site!

Re: Planning a pond
Chris4 #129929 08/20/08 03:12 PM
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 6,934
Ambassador
Field Correspondent
Lunker
Offline
Ambassador
Field Correspondent
Lunker
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 6,934
I believe it is safe to say that most pond projects represented on this forum are dammed, or an embankment pond. This is a pond that utilizes existing topography to be some portion of the bowl that holds the water. Any balance of the pond perimeter that needs to be created to complete the "bowl" is the dam. The dam size can vary, both in height and length. We were fortunate. We needed a 325 ft long dam to back up 5 surface acres. There are other projects that require 3 times that dam length to get the same.
If you have the thick clay band beneath you topsoil that you believe, there should be no need to pack any portion of that area that is dug out. Any areas that are compromised with pervious soils or aggregate will have to be mitigated with proper excavation and packed clay borrowed from elsewhere. It happens and is normal.
Any portions of the pond that will require placing clay soils to build up a dam need to be considered carefully. There are differing mindsets as to proper construction. Instead of detailing these processes, I will direct you to this thread . Also, if you want a really strong dose of pond construction craziness, pop open a box of wine, prop the laptop up in front of an electric fireplace, and unwind with this thread

Re: Planning a pond
Brettski #129955 08/20/08 05:48 PM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 9
C
Chris4 Offline OP
Fingerling
OP Offline
Fingerling
C
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 9
Calling all dirt pros...

In an excavated pond is lining the bowl of the pond with clay enough to take care of water seepage in any direction?

Thanks!

Re: Planning a pond
Chris4 #129963 08/20/08 07:06 PM
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 182
S
Lunker
Offline
Lunker
S
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 182
there are many questions to ask.The only way to answer is if someone with knowledge is at your site and can see the pond with a set of trained eyes. As for seepage the operator that entrains the clay will know how far and to what point he or she has to knit the material for a seal is there a dam or a below terrain pond people will need more info to give you a possible remedy

Good Luck


Scott Trava
Catskill Pond
http://catskillpond.com
scott@catskillpond.com
Returning Catskill Waters To A Simpler Time
EST. 1923
Re: Planning a pond
Scott Trava #129975 08/20/08 08:26 PM
Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 1,074
O
Lunker
Offline
Lunker
O
Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 1,074
Chris4

Welcome to the forum.
You really got things going today,, I had to work and just got here.

Only one question to start, Below the topsoil you said you have clay, How do you know that?

If there is solid clay you will not need a core trench around the pond.

Keep us posted.
You are going to nave some fun.
OTTO

Re: Planning a pond
otto #129988 08/20/08 09:39 PM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 9
C
Chris4 Offline OP
Fingerling
OP Offline
Fingerling
C
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 9
Otto,
I have had 2 test holes dug that went down 10-12 ft. and there was clay starting around 2ft down with thicker clay down further. The guy who dug the clay and the second guy who came out to give a second quote both said that having clay was not a problem... plenty there. It was pretty much solid clay at a certain level.
I spent part of the day trying to find a 'home' for the left over clay so that the dike/ridge around the pond can be minimized and thus allow the pond to be pretty much at the same level as the surrounding ground. The town we live near lost a portion of a damn during this years Iowa flood. I called city hall and they contacted the engineer in charge of the project and then called me back to say "yeah he definitely is interested". That was an idea from Theo (thanks Theo) and it seems to have paid off! I may in fact talk with the engineer to see the time frame they have for the damn repair/construction... and say "hey if you can build the pond for me you can have the clay AND set your own timetable for when to do it" -- but even if they can take the clay... I'll feel great! There have been lots of ponds built recently along the 'Avenue of the Saints' highway and I'm thinking an engineer would have a pretty good idea how to build one.
Any other questions for me to answer? I really appreciate the wealth informationa and exertise and willingness to help/educate.

Re: Planning a pond
Chris4 #130074 08/21/08 07:04 PM
Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 1,074
O
Lunker
Offline
Lunker
O
Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 1,074
chris4
Good work on finding that unwanted clay a home. That does not happen very often around here.
It sounds like you are well on your way.
Please keep us posted.
Otto


Link Copied to Clipboard
Today's Birthdays
DClayton, Nicebass
Recent Posts
Winter kill 2021
by DrLuke - 06/17/21 02:40 PM
HSB died.....again
by aguita - 06/17/21 02:02 PM
Wood duck camera house
by DrLuke - 06/17/21 01:35 PM
help only other option is electrofishing
by Pat Williamson - 06/17/21 01:20 PM
Stocking A New Pond North Of Abilene Tx.
by ewest - 06/17/21 12:59 PM
Finally stocking today
by Quarter Acre - 06/17/21 10:20 AM
What did you do at your pond today?
by Theo Gallus - 06/17/21 09:52 AM
bushy pond weed exploding
by Quarter Acre - 06/17/21 07:56 AM
Preliminary estimates
by Dave Davidson1 - 06/17/21 06:09 AM
Solar Charger for Trolling Motor
by BabbRust - 06/17/21 02:10 AM
Thoughts on a new 2.7 acre pond stocking
by Heppy - 06/16/21 09:57 PM
Does pondweed contribute to algae?
by Bill Cody - 06/16/21 08:02 PM
Newly Uploaded Images
RES vs PS
RES vs PS
by crimsondave, June 4
Gravid?
Gravid?
by Shorty, May 28
Blue on Black
Blue on Black
by Shorty, May 27
Syphon System
Syphon System
by Deancutler, May 19
Fungus on Bluegill
Fungus on Bluegill
by Hunter_59, May 7

� 2014 POND BOSS INC. all rights reserved USA and Worldwide

Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.4