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#2912 10/14/02 11:16 PM
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Hey all,

I have a problem. I have a small pond shoot maybe 1/4 acre and the poor little girl is a leaker. I spoke with at gentleman today about it and he recommended I put a "key" in the pond. He's stated that if I dug around the pond sides deeper than the pond itself and then just put the spoils right back in that I should be alright and that shoudl take care of the leak. My question is do other here do it or have or even heard of it? And maybe more details as to why this might work. Thanks everyone.

Darin

#2913 10/15/02 09:35 AM
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How much water are you losing and how quickly? Do you lose the water for sure throught the banks or could it be from evaporation?


Owner/Builder of Ottawa Canada's first official off-grid home.

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#2914 10/15/02 10:08 AM
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Also how old is the pond?

#2915 10/15/02 12:31 PM
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A "key" is a trench dug through porous soils, "keyed" into clay or bedrock, then backfilled with mixed, processed, nonporous soils, compacted to the top of the trench, essentially building an underground "wall", impervious to escaping water. Also called a "core trench", a "key'" or "keyway", this trench is placed strategically, where water tries to make its escape. Remember, we only borrow water for a time. Water always wants to leave, by seeking its path of least resistance, whether seeping through leaky dirt, or making its way to clouds via evaporation or sublimation, or through the digestive system of a creature. So, if you want to build a key, talk to local earthmovers, people who know your soils. Talk to the NRCS...they seem to know all the best earthmoving contractors. Here's the answer to your question...find an earthmover who knows your soils, how to build a keyway, and how to decide whether or not that's the answer to your problem. If your lake leaks to a certain level, then stops, a keyway certainly could be the answer. Find a pro you are confident in, and let him help you.


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#2916 10/15/02 01:56 PM
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Pottsy- I would say that after a good rain when the makeup is really running it looses about 1.5' in about a week with low makeup rates sometimes.

Bob- The pond is about 5yrs old with the latest modifications done this spring.

Bob Lusk- Thanks for that description for you have helped me try to understand it. I know I shoudl find the local pro but sometimes just try to get by with what I got and from answers I get from groups like this awesome bunch. \:\)

It seems to have stopped or at least slowed down alot because the seepage would leave a small stream down the dam or retention wall(?????) Now there is no leak stream or wet spots and the level has maintained now for a while. Hmmmmmmm??

Darin

#2917 10/15/02 02:26 PM
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1.5" a week doesn't seem too awful bad to me if it has been wamr and sunny, runoff and direct rain may not be enough to match evaporation some times. With recent modifications you may see the level drop a few times before everything seals up.


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#2918 10/15/02 05:59 PM
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O.K. thanks for the help. I have a question though- without really knowing whats going on do you think that if I take my excavator Cat E110B 25,000lb and basically just dig blindly on the sides of my existing pond and put the spoils off to the side until digging the whole wall and then just push the spoils back in and packing it again with the stick and bucket that it would have a better chance of being leak free than just seeing if it stops on it own?

There are so many things that I have to modify on this pond to make it even a glimps of what alot of you have here that I could go on for a long time with my questions. ha,ha. I have been reading here for some time and have gathered allot of info from this place but still haven't transferred that into productive work. \:\( To reiterate (sp?) who are some agencies that offer advise on these subjects (water management or wildlife something)

#2919 10/15/02 06:50 PM
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DarinRay,
You have the right tool to do the job. The spoils must be processed (mixed) and have at least 30% clay content, then replaced into the trench and compacted. Two thoughts here. One...if you are dealing with layered, fractured formations underground, the spoils, when mixed, are excellent to backfill the trench. But, if you are strictly dealing with porous soils, sand, loam, that sort of thing, you will need to mix clay or bentonite with your spoils before backfilling and compacting.
There's an excellent publication for you...USDA's publication #520, distributed by the NRCS. It's all about pond construction and has excellent engineering data about core trenches and their requirements.


Teach a man to grow fish...
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#2920 10/15/02 06:53 PM
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One other thing...your core trench needs to be continuous, and as straight as possible, beyond where the water line starts, and where the water line ends, parallel to the pond. Downstream areas are usually the best to work first. If the leak doesn't cease, then you need to trench the sides....read the soils underneath, they will tell you. Tie your trenches together, if you need more than one.


Teach a man to grow fish...
He can teach to catch fish...
#2921 10/16/02 08:10 AM
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DarinRay I have the USDA publication linked on my website. It is pub 590 so it either an updated 520 or a new one, 90 plus pages of great information in PDF format. Bob

#2922 10/16/02 08:51 AM
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Thanks Bob Lusk for all your help. You see before I made the pond a little larger I last year had put drain tile down about 4feet away from the pond because it had a leaker and made the yard a swamp so I took that water away from the yard to the ditch. But now I will be ripping all that stone and tile up to make a good core trench but removing the stone first and maybe grabbing some muck I took out of the bottom of the pond to mix. Another bummer is that I have a willow tree at one end of the pond that may be a cause of the problem too but really can't remove it becuase it's close to the power lines and the roots are exposed in the water. Well at least I get some equipment time which I enjoy anyway. To get all this excellent info right I need to clarify that you are saying make the trenches in a rectangle shape instead of the oval shape that the pond is right. I mean it does make sense for retaining properties and pressures but need to be sure.


Bob Koerber thanks for the links and your homepage. Wow what a place you have there. I may be on my own here but am wonderign if you have any equipment pics working the pond like your track hoe that you mentioned and rollers or etc that you could share maybe on your website. Just a thought and I know alot to ask but hey don't we all like to play show and tell? I would love to post some pics but haven't even started to learn how. \:\( I got teh publication and will be reading this for some time and thanks for the link because I actaully tried finding teh publication last night and didn't have much luck with the time that I spent. Although not toooo much. Talk to you all later

Darin

#2923 10/16/02 02:31 PM
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We've created a simple basic site to help answer the problems associated with leaking check out pondseal.com see if perhaps there is some advise local to your needs


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