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Joined: Oct 2012
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I tried 12 tons or bentonite that didn't work
My problem was that I never payed much attention to the bottom of the pond
Also my neighbor who is an excellent excavator operator but knew nothing about building ponds did not core half of the dam when I left home alone
I cored the first half
I knew right away it was not holding, it would get a little water then drain right out
So I tried the bentonite it helped a little but would still not hold past half full
A few weekends it filled and ran out the overflow pipe but would drop 14" a week until the halfway mark
I had a good idea what the problem was from the start

1) the dam was not cored correctly
2) the bottom in one section was not cleared or one large stump and a rock formation
3) the bottom was not compacted

It turns out there was an underground stream where the water was running through
It was finding its way through the large stump and rocks and running under the dam

My solution was to rent the excavator and dozer again with the addition of a sheep's foot compactor
1) I cored the front of the dam down 15' down filled and compacted
2) ripped out that stump that bothered me from day one
3) ripped out all the rock around the stump
4) ripped up the whole bottom removing all large rocks
5) core trenched around the whole pond
6) compacted the hell out of it

I knew right away it was holding when I got a foot of water and it held
I redid it in September and it's now about 3/4 full and holding
With all the snow we are having it's going to be a great spring

One last thing I believe I achieved was
I core trenched the top of the pond where the water runoff enters the pond,
By doing that I believe I created an under ground dam forcing the water up and into the pond instead of running under .......

So my advice is to follow the advice from all the knowledgeable experts on the forum

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14 inches a week. Wow. Lol. I dont have anything near that drastic going on. Nor can i core around the whole pond. Thats a little much. Lol. Ive been holding pretty steady all winter. Definately hasn been draining down like it used to. It just slowly keeps getting a little better.

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Originally Posted By: snrub
I have heard of putting bales of hay in will help with the clarity and add some nutrients to a new pond that might be void of nutrients.

In an old pond I renovated it was chocolate milk brown from the native clay so I put a big loader scoop of some hay/manure mixture that came from an area hay was fed to cattle for quite a while. I imagine it was 90% hay and 10% manure, well composted. My thinking was the hay might help clear up the water and the manure help with an algae bloom. Hard to tell for sure but I think it might be helping. I also limed and added crushed rock around the shore line to stop shore erosion which was also adding to the problem.

Just some thoughts. Some of those with lots more experience than me can say if what I did was a good idea or not. Water is still muddy but it has gotten a little better.

In our big pond we dug new I lined it back with topsoil saved from the excavation and it made all the difference in the world. Our new pond has excellent clarity only limited by the algae level. NRCS had suggested we do that if we wanted clear water as the silt particles (from topsoil) are larger than clay particles and will settle out. The type of clay we have, well some of it does and some does not settle out depending on the particular type of clay hit during the excavation. Old ponds that eventually get enough silt will clear up. Otherwise most local ponds that are relatively new are muddy looking.


Update on clay turbidity: I saw the pond about a week ago and much to my surprise the old pond is now almost as clear as my big pond. It also has a nice green cast to it. A couple warm days took about half the ice cover off and the water looked like maybe 18" vis and light green with algae. grin

I think the lime, crushed limestone rock on the banks, and the hay/manure did the trick. Or some combination thereof.

Last edited by snrub; 02/06/14 06:28 PM.

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Thats good to hear. I hope to have a full pond someday so that that can be my next worry! I can only hope. Lol

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And here we are now. Still goin about the same. Gonna try db200 I'm thinking just to see what happens. It's a pond,but also not a pond.

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Sorry to hear it is not holding water like you hoped.


John

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Wow, this entire thread has been a interesting read. I am where you were on page one. I've just cleared two beautiful acres of woods to build the pond I've been dreaming about for years.
I was trying to avoid every problem you've encountered. I had the USDA pond expert out,then I had a guy come out with a back hoe to dig test holes, then I had the USDA guy come back, and he brought his soils expert. They all gave me the go ahead, even though there were some rocks in the test holes. The clay was very good (ribbon test etc.)
Then we took out all the trees, and started dozing. We found even more rocks.. Not good. I paid a pond expert/consultant to come in and help with advice etc..
I almost shut down the project due to finding more rock, but decided I was already in pretty deep $$ wise.
Got it completed, and now I'm in the waiting phase to see if it will fill, and hold water. We found rocky sections with some 6 to 8" rocks in the clay. They tried to excavate below them, but they didn't end.. So they just ran the Sheepsfoot roller over them again and again.
Walking it the other day I think I've found one pretty big rock, about three feet across that is visible in the clay. It must have been scraped over near the end. Will it leak around that, it is in a shallower part of the pond, but will still be in 8' of water.
Oh well, it is what it is. All I can do now is wait. I'm not investing any more in fishing structure, until I see if it holds water.
Your pics look a lot like mine .. Hope you get this solved. I figure mine will be a huge two acre food plot if it doesn't hold water..

Last edited by SetterGuy; 09/08/14 06:34 AM.

9 yr old pond, 1 ac, 15' deep.
RES, YP, GS, FHM (no longer), HBG (going away), SMB, and HSB (only one seen in 5 yrs) Restocked HSB (2020) Have seen one of these.
I think that's about all I should put in my little pond.
Otter attack in 2023
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So, ive not done anything but wait till now. Waiting is getting old. Im not getting any better results it seems than what i already have. BUT ,i still have the same depth of pond through this whole time. Thinking of just draining it down and getting it packed properly first and see if that helps over this winter.

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Just my 2 cents....I would send TJ a PM and explain my problem. He might be able to help with a more cost effective solution or a suggestion.


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I agree with contacting TJ here on the forum. This pond sounds like the perfect storm for the soil floc.



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Im not familiar with a tj? And are cattails an indication of anything? I have a couple clumps growing but only in 2 spots.

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Here you go Bottle. He's doing some tests with the stuff. Maybe this thread will help.
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=422113#Post422113


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teehjaeh57 (TJ for short) that posts here often and does pond consulting professionally. He has been experimenting with a polymer sealer that he has been having success with. He lives in Nebraska (was typing same time as Cisco above)

Last edited by snrub; 08/25/15 02:11 PM.

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Originally Posted By: bottledgt
Im not familiar with a tj?


Get thee behind me, temptation.

Put me down as another vote for the polymer product.


"Forget pounds and ounces, I'm figuring displacement!"

If we accept that: MBG(+)FGSF(=)HBG(F1)
And we surmise that: BG(>)HBG(F1) while GSF(<)HBG(F1)
Would it hold true that: HBG(F1)(+)AM500(x)q.d.(=)1.5lbGRWT?
PB answer: It depends.
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HMm...call me crazy,but i just dont have much faith in something simple as that sounds...lol. I never did try any bentonite,db200 or any such thing because its just so much money thrown into a hole with no guarantee....and i have to wonder about it holding up long term if in case it did work?

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Not crazy at all. From a mechanic's standpoint, I'm not a big believer of "bottle" fixes either. Still, this polymer product is racking up some impressive results.


"Forget pounds and ounces, I'm figuring displacement!"

If we accept that: MBG(+)FGSF(=)HBG(F1)
And we surmise that: BG(>)HBG(F1) while GSF(<)HBG(F1)
Would it hold true that: HBG(F1)(+)AM500(x)q.d.(=)1.5lbGRWT?
PB answer: It depends.
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As big as this is ,it just appears it would be a huge cost to gamble on really. It basicall holds like a bathtub where its at now. Come springtime,im probably gonna be a pig farmer. At least thats not a loss if it doesnt work...lol

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