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Joined: Aug 2015
Posts: 12
ABandJB Offline OP
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Joined: Aug 2015
Posts: 12
I'm a first time user. I just bought 6.3 acres, and I'm looking to build a pond. Building a pond is a pretty important thing for me. When people talk about "buying their dream home" my dream home consist of having a pond on my property.

I am located in Texas, and we do not receive a lot of rain each year. Most rain is in the form of thunderstorms that dump a half inch to an inch of rain at a time, with the occasional 2-3 in rain that gets everyone talking! Our total rainfall average is around 21 inches per year.

I would like to build a pond that is realistic for this size of land (including runoff from neighbors). My hopes, are to have a minimum of 50ft x 50ft of standing water when the pond is full. The property is in a housing development that is outside of city limits. I used the elevation data in Google Earth to make my own crude topo map of the area (imported the data into Sketchup). Each line of the map doesn't represent an exact 1 ft or 6 inch drop or anything like that. The important thing in the map is that following a line anywhere on the map means you are traveling on a line that is of the same elevation as the starting point.

My goals are to build a caliche road on the southern and eastern property lines (represented by RED on the map). This caliche road would double as a culvert to direct the water from ALL of the land, to the pond site.

In general, the map shows pretty well what area of land will catch water for me to use. I cropped off areas of land that slope towards the north and would never benefit my pond, so if you don't see it on the map,assume that I don't get any water from it.

My questions, are first, does it look like this can be done? In other words, does it look like I can catch enough water. I'm not concerned right now about the pond holding water, I just want to make sure I'm not spinning my wheels here trying to cathc something that isn't there.

Please take the time to read each of the captions on my pictures as well. They will help to clarify things. Thanks!

Here is an Album containing the pictures.
https://imgur.com/a/UnoKd

http://i.imgur.com/yccd8Rr.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/bb1zv3G.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/ZoygpK5.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/1Ip62o0.jpg

Attached Images
manuallydonetopo.jpg manuallydonetopo_calicheroad.jpg manuallydonetopo_calicheroad_dam_water.jpg manuallydonetopo_calicheroad_dam_water_13elevation_map_points.jpg
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 227
T
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Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 227
This is almost the exact same scenario that I went through when I built my 1 acre pond and I had less watershed area. I however had 2 other options. I have a stream below that I can pump from and I have the option to drill a well.

I would say your project is a go and mother nature will be your biggest adversary. Do you have a place that you can bury all of your stumps? Keep us in the loop.

Joined: Aug 2015
Posts: 12
ABandJB Offline OP
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Joined: Aug 2015
Posts: 12
Thanks for the reply. Was the slope of your land similar? I'm dealing with an average 1-2% slope. I'd used an online calculator for the slope of the land, soil type, etc, to calculate the runoff I would get from ONLY my 6.3ac, and that looked promising. Assuming I can capture alot of the runoff from the neighbors directly connected to my parcel, then we are now talking closer to 13 or 14ac of area that can collect water. That calculation is what sparked my interest in buying the land.

I have yet to ask anyone in the neighborhood if they have had any luck finding water, or if the water table is too deep, but the land developer told me that the deed restrictions prevent owners of 1acre lots or less from drilling a well. 1 acre lots make up about 80% of this development. If I decide to drill a well, at least there won't be alot of other owners fighting for the same water. We don't have easily accessible ground water EVERYWHERE here. It would be amazing to just poke a hole in the ground about 30 feet deep and find water like some parts of the country, but we just don't have that luxury.

Are you asking about the stumps that would be pulled out when building the pond? If so, then yes, we will be clearing about 1 acre dead center in the middle of our land where our nice lawn and house would be, leaving the remaining 5 acres wooded (Mesquite trees) with no development of any kind planned. I can just pick a spot anywhere in the wooded area and bury them.


Last edited by ABandJB; 08/18/15 01:17 PM.
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 196
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mpc Offline
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Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 196
Hi ABandJB, welcome to PB and you found the right place to get answers. My statements are only OPINIONS for the most part. The pros will pitch in here for you soon. I will pitch in to give food for thought.
There are several book offered on PB to get you going the BEST pond possible, if you want to go that route.

I live in East TX and have a pond and although TX. is large, you told on yourself when you saidmesquite, so you are central to west TX. I will assume.

As you may or may not know, we Texans have been in a drought for some years and this year, as you and I know, is boom and bust so far.

That said, if you build you small pond 50'X50' feet, then you will have flooding events when it does rain hard which does happen out west TX most years. That small of a pond and say up to about a 3 acre pond would most likely have significant runoff in major rains even if your pond was pretty low, with the large runoff and water diversion you speak of. Not that that is so bad but you will need to calculate the diversion of runoff or control of the water when it does come.

The rest of the time you will be struggling with water level unless you have a well(you talked about it). I live in east TX and we have the queen city aquafier in my area at 40 to 80 ft and then the corriso/wilcox that starts at 100 to 120 ft Bla, Bla bLa. Wells are not cheap, but for pond management in east tx. and I assume where you live out west of us, you would need on too, IMHO. There of course are exceptions in every case, such as if you dig a 25 to 40 ft. deep pond, then it might not dry up and would have enough water for fish to survive our hot(evaporation)summers.

I have a 7/10th acre pond, 14 ft deep and had to drill a well to have decent water level year round. You would most likely need it more than I do.

I do not know if you are in the black dirt, rocky, or a red dirt iron ore rocky area, but you will need to have a core sample or two in the pond area to help you decide if the land will hold water, unless you plan on running several lifts of good clay over whatever your bottom and sides of the pond will look like. You did not say you were planning a liner so that is an option too.

You said in the end you are not worried about holding water but catching it, so if you divert all the runoff your pictures show, you will fill your pond very quickly with one good storm in the spring or fall. Then you may very well have an empty hole if it leaks or no rain events for several months.

All my opinion, and please let us know what you do and how it turns out. It should be fun anyway.

Have you thought of stocking(s),aeration,feeding and other aspects of what you plan for your pond?


Life is more fun with a pole in your hand.
Joined: Aug 2015
Posts: 12
ABandJB Offline OP
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Joined: Aug 2015
Posts: 12
Thanks for the detailed reply. You're right, I'm in west/central texas. I'm actually glad to hear that you think the runoff would be significant in relation to the amount of water that I would like to store would be. Ideally, I would LOVE to have a nice big 100' x 100' pond. My plan is to go ahead and dam up enough dirt to ensure that I could do a pond of that size. If I get a big rain, great. A full pond. In the event of a long periods with no rain (I've lived here my whole life and know first hand that 1-2months with 0 rainfall in 100 heat can happen), that's when I hope to still have a decent amount of water in it to keep any fish going throughout the summer. I didn't mention those things in the original post, but yes, I would want to eventually aerate and keep fish. If I could make a sandy beach area, then that would be amazing so that the family could swim and hangout there.

As far as holding water, I was way to vague. What I meant by saying I wasn't concerned about it holding water, was that from an advice standpoint on these forums, I first just wanted to know if what I had researched seemed to be true as far as runoff goes. I do, however, want to hold water and make sure that it does not leak too much. I saw a soil report for some neighboring lots in this area and here is what it says. It says there is a clay loam layer 0-6 inches deep, followed by either a clay, clay loam or silty clay 6-18 inches deep. A cemented hardpan exists 18-21 inches deep. The hardpan is underlaid by a loam, clay loam or gravely clay loam from 21-80 inches deep. Soil clay content is 30-45%. Gravel content ranges from 10-25%. If anyone can chime in on this, it would be awesome if I did not have to haul in clay to seal up the pond. I also understand that a test would need to done on MY land, since there are alot of inconsistencies in soil type.

I'm hoping to get some more information from someone out there in this development, who has drilled a well before I dive headfirst into this project. I guess you could say that this is just my feasibility study, with hopes to break ground in October/November when the weather is more comfortable.




Last edited by ABandJB; 08/18/15 02:41 PM.

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