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I lost all my fish and had to drain. I did manage to get some fish out including my pet koi that would eat from hand. The 18" clay liner seems to be holding good. Also the great quick fix bentonite just ended up costing way more money using the sprinkle method. It swelled up a foot deep and still ended up leaking. I hope the liner holds on. Don't know if I could go through all that again. Pond is now 3/4 way full. Very stressful time in my life.

Last edited by Jwwann; 03/26/13 05:22 AM.

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What is a 36 inch pond liner?


If pigs could fly bacon would be harder to come by and there would be a lot of damaged trees.






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18" clay liner. Thanks for catching that one Cecil.

Last edited by Jwwann; 03/26/13 05:21 AM.

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So am I understanding that trucking in traditional clay is a better alternative than trucking in bentonite and trying to work that in? The hole of my pond is 4.5' deep before the dam begins on one end and takes it up to 9'. My dam leaks right at the point where it meets the natural grade of the land right at that 4.5 -5' area and I don't see any leaks any where else. Of course I guess I could have a leak at the bottom and not no it as well. Good grief, ponds are fun, but they sure can be a pain.

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It sounds like they didn't core in the dam when it was constucted.


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I'm not sure on trucking bentonite in in large amounts. I had red clay trucked in for my repair. Turned out i had too much sand in my clay core. If you drain pond and work bentonite in you might have better luck. I just sprinkled it on top and let it sink to bottom where i thought leak was. Turned out the leak was 10 or 20 feet from where water was exiting back of damn. It had made a fisher through middle of core. Any experts have some advice?

Last edited by Jwwann; 03/26/13 09:50 AM.

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esshup, I agree that it sounds like it a proper core was left out. My neighbor built the pond for me and he builds golf courses and ponds for the likes of A Palmer and J Nichlaus. I laugh now because he told me that he has never built a pond that didn't hold water. Of course, I had to be the first. It is a shame to because he designed it to look like a very large bunker and it is a thing of beauty.

I have been calling around today and found some high plasticity clay and can get it hauled in for about $240 per 18 yard load. My other neighbor has heavy equipment and I will hire him to use his dozer to spread it around the dam and deep end of the pond and then he will roll it with a sheep's foot. I feel pretty confident that will handle the dam leak, but should I spend the extra thousands it will cost to do the entire pond? I don't think my pond leaks out of the bottom, but it has never been full before either.

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Can your neighbor cut a core into the dam and place it/compact it there? Tieing it into good soil past the ends of the dam.

If it was mine, and I couldn't re-core the dam, I would line the whole pond, carrying it up past the water line. My luck would be just doing part of it and have it seep around the clay in a year or 2. Then have to drain, remove all the fish that I bought and start from square 1 again.........


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I suggested to him that we take a track hoe and dig a trench right down the middle of the entire levee length deep enough so that it is below the natural ground level. We could then pack clay into that trench. This would essentially result in building a water tight core. If we did that, then I wouldn't have to drain my pond.

He felt like it wouldn't work. Have any of you ever tried this and what do you think my results would be?

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Originally Posted By: esshup
Can your neighbor cut a core into the dam and place it/compact it there? Tieing it into good soil past the ends of the dam.

If it was mine, and I couldn't re-core the dam, I would line the whole pond, carrying it up past the water line. My luck would be just doing part of it and have it seep around the clay in a year or 2. Then have to drain, remove all the fish that I bought and start from square 1 again.........


Can I get away with just building a core without relining the levee? If so that would be ideal as I would not have to entirely drain my pond.

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If you're sure the pond is leaking from the dam or from beneath the dam, then I think digging a trench down to good clay soil beneath the dam, filling it with clay, compacting it as you go, would work. You'd need to carry that clay out past the end of the dam, tieing it into good clay all the way on the hillside at each end of the dam, above the high water line of the pond.

If you're not sure where it's leaking then plating and compacting clay over the whole pond basin up past the high water mark is the route I'd take.

If he says "What I propose to do is what will stop the leak and if it still leaks I'll come back and fix it." then disregard what I said and go with what he says.


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The hard part is you must have sheepsfoot roller to do this without draining. Without a sheepsfoot you have to remove center and back. The wheels or tracks can't pack with just trench through center unless you have an extremely thick dam. You can pack both sides of trench,but not center. No room to move. Been there tried that. I will say drain and make your choice between redoing core or the famous 18" clay liner which still has not proved its self to me yet. Ask me again in at least 3 or 4 years. I'm at 3/4 pool with no leaks. I still worry my CC will dig in and make leak eventually. I'm going to remove them as soon as they make decent table fare.

Last edited by Jwwann; 03/28/13 01:14 AM.

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Jwwann:

I stocked CC at 9" in the spring and fed them. In the Fall they were 18"


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I can see where trying to pack inside a 3' trench in the middle of a dam would be extremely difficult. I don't know how I would do that. Suggestions?

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Originally Posted By: esshup
Jwwann:

I stocked CC at 9" in the spring and fed them. In the Fall they were 18"

I hope I can see the same results.
Originally Posted By: Reverent Horn
I can see where trying to pack inside a 3' trench in the middle of a dam would be extremely difficult. I don't know how I would do that. Suggestions?

I'm thinking clay liner would be your best bet. Does not sound like your dam is very thick. Do you have pics?

Last edited by Jwwann; 03/28/13 10:10 AM.

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Coming in late on this one but would like to add something if possible.
The core trench through the center of the dam is a good idea, but difficult to do sometimes. If the water is passing through the dam the material could be so wet it would be hard to manage. The sides will sometimes cave in and be almost impossible to get cleaned out properly.
There is a roller that will attach to a track hoe that will do a fair job of packing.
If the pond is dry and you do not know if you should plate the bottom. All you need to do is dig a hole with a pair of post hole diggers (hand held) fill it with water and see what it does that will help you make the decision.
Otto

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Originally Posted By: otto
Coming in late on this one but would like to add something if possible.
The core trench through the center of the dam is a good idea, but difficult to do sometimes. If the water is passing through the dam the material could be so wet it would be hard to manage. The sides will sometimes cave in and be almost impossible to get cleaned out properly.
There is a roller that will attach to a track hoe that will do a fair job of packing.
If the pond is dry and you do not know if you should plate the bottom. All you need to do is dig a hole with a pair of post hole diggers (hand held) fill it with water and see what it does that will help you make the decision.
Otto


Otto, thanks for the input. I called you last week to talk to you about my pond but got your answering machine. I didn't leave a message. I was interested in having you look at my pond, but then discovered that you are pretty far from Austin.

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Just wanted to say thank you to all you guys and gal that helped me get through that nightmare. After reading through this just now. Wow! I was a wreck. You guys got me through though and still no issues. The trout are doing great too. Almost time for my daughter, nieces and nephews to come have the time of their life. I believe they will be hooked on Fishing after this one. Can't wait!


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