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On a 'U' shaped pond, do you core trench
#505501 05/08/19 10:57 AM
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On a 'U' shaped pond, do you core trench the entire dam?

I'm planning to hire this out, but I want to know what I'm talking about so that I can properly convey the message (without sounding like an idiot) to the contractor.

The property slopes gently from north to south, so everything except the northern shoreline will essentially be a dam.

Should all 600 feet of the dam be core trenched, or just the portion at the southern end that has 16 foot deep water pushing against it?


Side notes:

I'm planning to dig a 2:1 slope starting at the northern shoreline to a depth of 6 feet, and then the southern shoreline (dam) will have a 3:1 slope and it will be dug out enough to achieve a water depth of 16 feet.

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'U' Shaped dam.png (1.4 MB, 171 downloads)
Re: On a 'U' shaped pond, do you core trench
David Shaw #505506 05/08/19 12:24 PM
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I'm no pro, but I would say yes.


Bob


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Re: On a 'U' shaped pond, do you core trench
David Shaw #505522 05/08/19 04:44 PM
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Hi David:

I'd try to engineer the pond with the smallest dam possible, might mean losing some pond size, but you save significant $$ as that size dam will be expensive. If you're committed to a 600' dam, per Bobbss, I strongly recommend having a core trench installed in it's entirety.

I'd ask for an estimate regrading the land and digging a pit pond or something with a much smaller dam. I'm curious if it may be less expensive than core trench install. Whatever you do, strongly encourage installing a high plasticity clay liner in 4-6" lifts from 18-24" to ensure your investment is successful. I work with leaking ponds every week and they end up costing far more to address than the original cost of engineering the pond correctly with a clay liner. You won't know you needed it until it's too late, sadly.


Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Re: On a 'U' shaped pond, do you core trench
David Shaw #505637 05/10/19 06:03 AM
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I would trench everywhere that I donít water to leak under


It's not about the fish. It's about the pond. Take care of the pond and the fish will be fine. PB subscriber since before it was in color.

Without a sense of urgency, Nothing ever gets done.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP
Re: On a 'U' shaped pond, do you core trench
David Shaw #505651 05/10/19 08:23 AM
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In my inexperienced mind...coring a dam does a couple basic things...

1.) It allows for exploring the unknown of what type of earth is beneath the dam's location. If it's all good solid clay then there was less of a need to go there, but you'd never know otherwise. If you find sand/gravel veins or less desirable water holding materials...see #2.

2.) Coring allow the excavation of less desirable materials that can be replaced with good clay. Once layered and packed in, this ties the water holding clay "bowl" to the dam.

Some folks that live on the clay pans out here near the Midwest can often get away with scrapping off the topsoil, digging a hole and piling/packing good clay to form the dam. As Clint would say..."do you feel lucky...?".


Fish on!,
Noel
Re: On a 'U' shaped pond, do you core trench
David Shaw #506499 05/25/19 07:45 PM
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If you get a hand auger and bore holes in the natural ground, and you have heavy clay from as deep as you can auger, up to the surface, thereís no reason to make coring a requirement. You are essentially replacing good clay with good clay. Dig holes along the centerline of the proposed dam and save some money. You can get a hand auger from Ben meadows or Foresty Supplier.

On the other hand, if you hit questionable material several feet down, then core it.

Re: On a 'U' shaped pond, do you core trench
David Shaw #506500 05/25/19 08:42 PM
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Donít agree. Assure that you get a good core trench the first time.


It's not about the fish. It's about the pond. Take care of the pond and the fish will be fine. PB subscriber since before it was in color.

Without a sense of urgency, Nothing ever gets done.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP
Re: On a 'U' shaped pond, do you core trench
David Shaw #506504 05/25/19 09:27 PM
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I am not a dirt expert in any means but I have a pond like you described down to the ammount of dam there is. Only difference is mine is all dam excpt for the south side. I will say this though if you get it cored get the entire thing done. Mine has no leaks in the long dam part but there is a small leak in one of the side dams near where it comes back and molds into the hill. I have no clue if mine is cored or not though.

Last edited by SWMO 2; 05/25/19 09:28 PM.

bucket stock......anything
Re: On a 'U' shaped pond, do you core trench
Quarter Acre #506515 05/26/19 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted By: Quarter Acre
In my inexperienced mind...coring a dam does a couple basic things...

1.) It allows for exploring the unknown of what type of earth is beneath the dam's location. If it's all good solid clay then there was less of a need to go there, but you'd never know otherwise. If you find sand/gravel veins or less desirable water holding materials...see #2.

2.) Coring allow the excavation of less desirable materials that can be replaced with good clay. Once layered and packed in, this ties the water holding clay "bowl" to the dam.

Some folks that live on the clay pans out here near the Midwest can often get away with scrapping off the topsoil, digging a hole and piling/packing good clay to form the dam. As Clint would say..."do you feel lucky...?".


Adding:
3.) A properly compacted clay core, starting well below ground level and continuing to above water level, acts as a key to help hold the mass of the dam in place against the pressure of (16 ft?) of water attempting to push it downhill.


"Live like you'll die tomorrow, but manage your grass like you'll live forever."
-S. M. Stirling
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