I always enjoy reading others pond journeys so i thought i would share ours. We have a good draw(ravine) with plenty of run-off but not so good soil, lots of rock pea size to beach ball size. My wife and I would talk about building a pond and then decide not to. But i have been reading PB for awhile and read Mike Otto's book so armed with all that good knowledge after 14 years we decided to go ahead with it. Keep in mind that we had built a little dam across the draw already to keep from getting stuck and when it rained it would back up water but be gone the next day so its not a good site, but we thought even a seasonal pond would be better than what we had. My friend has a track loader so cost would be diesel and parts.We followed the guidelines pushed any topsoil to the back, dug keyway deep and wide,dug out the old creek channel,worked for 3 months to get enough clay for the keyway. We had to build a separator to separate the rock out of the clay and build a towable sheepsfoot. We started the pond oct.2017 and finished Mar.2018.The pond filled in oct.2018 but dropped about 3 inches a day. It filled about 3 times but still dropped.I talked to TJ about soilfloc but decided to hold off on the 1/4 acre and try it on a .10 acre caliche pit that never held water thru the summer and it worked pretty good. (see soilfloc thread).Before trying soilfloc on the 1/4 acre pond i wanted to fix a few suspect areas so we drained the pond,hauled in about 400 yards of clay, spread and packed and almost finished before the rain hit. So the deepest part did not get done. The daily water loss is now 2 inches per day. May seem funny to some of you but I never thought it would be that good, this quick, I was thinking of it as a 5 year project. After all its been 15 years already! Now with soilfloc on the way we might just have a permanent pond! .
Last edited by Tony K; 07/03/1904:31 PM. Reason: Changed dates, I had the years wrong
Soilfloc arrived Friday, we applied about 1/3 of a unit Saturday(6/22/19) at sundown to the area I think is leaking. Went over the area several times,back and forth and across. Prior to treatment the pond is 5 feet low and losing 2 inches daily. I will see what happens over the next week and post results.
We had 3.3 inches of rain last night, pond came up about 2 feet and still rising so the results of soilfloc treatment will be on hold until pond stabilizes.I am thankful for the rain, I was getting worried about making it thru the summer. Of course I couldn't wait to put fish in the pond!
After 7 days of monitoring daily vertical water loss it looks like my leak rate was cut in half by soilfloc. It was 2" daily, now it is 1" maybe a little less. We are very happy with this, I think if we tried to hire somebody to dig the pond here they would have strongly advised against it. I would like to thank TJ, we emailed him on a Thursday or Friday, got a quick response, and had the product the following Friday. I also want to thank everyone here for sharing their knowledge, I visited here for a few years and gained the confidence to start this pond journey. Thanks, Tony
Thanks Pat,I've read here about soil saturation and wicking, so I was paying close attention to that, we watched the levels for about 2 months and also pumped water from the seasonal creek until it quit flowing. Hopefully we had enough saturation of the soil to get an accurate read. I think one mistake I made was not digging the core deep enough. In the Nov./Dec.2018 issue of Pond Boss Michael Gray was talking about my exact situation, hitting clay and not going all the way to bedrock. We went all the way to solid rock on the North end of the dam, the creek channel was in the middle and the south end was clay. He was saying there can be a thin dirt layer between the clay and rock that can allow water through. I had noticed this dirt layer on top of bedrock at the place we were borrowing clay from 18' deep and that was where the water was traveling.The clay from the surface down to the dirt was dry. Amazing how water will find a way to escape.
Tony K I feel your pain regarding the rain envy, I'm 20 mins south of Waco and have seen very promising storms break apart just before reaching our areas and then pick back up when they get out east a few miles. Where did you source the materials for the sheepsfoot? I've wondered how costly it would be to make a small one.
Yes Guppy1 we must be under the same dome!We are about 40-50 miles apart I think. I had a 42" pipe section from a previous project. The I-beam and square tubing came from a good friend who had a lot of scrap metal. He also had the axle shaft, and I had some materials from a mobile home demo.If I had to buy all the materials it probably would be cheaper to rent one, there is a place in Gatesville I checked and I think it was $900 a week for a vibratory padfoot roller. But it took me 3 months to layer and pack the core so I needed something long term.
I appreciate the info. I may keep my eyes open for some large pipe sections, bbq pit type materials. I'm not sure how accurate this is but I put a bucket in the water yesterday with a tape measure and sticking out just a little to measure evaporation, I showed a 3/4" loss. The bucket was a bit of an angle so I know that will increase the measurement a little.
I'm editing this post, my bucket was weighed down by dirt which I believe was still soaking up water. After a few days the loss dropped to 3/8" but outside temperatures were still staying just over 100 for highs and close to 80 for lows for anyone's future reference.
Bob, except for one good 3" rain it has been very hot and dry here, I am losing 3/4" daily. I'm waiting for cooler weather to get a more accurate measurement, not sure how much is evaporation. Bucket test have shown a 10" loss overnight:) deer, lots of critters at night! guess I need some chicken wire. Thanks for asking Bob, how is your pond doing, any good rains? Guppy1 that 3/4" loss in your bucket test may be close, it would be interesting to know what others evaporation amounts are.
Tony, it sounds like it's getting better. Hopefully it will keep getting better. Mine is doing a little better, but I haven't had much rain the last 3 or 4 months either. I've only had a few rains that gave me more than 1"-2" in the pond, at a time. I thought I was going to get a good one today, but it never happen. At about 12:00 pm they said 1"-2", with it hitting around 4:00 pm. I checked again around 3:00 pm and they was only showing a small chance, and that never happen yet. I have a few more chances from now to Tuesday, but don't sound like much. I did get my biggest rain of the year 3 or 4 weeks ago, around 2.40". That gave me around 6" in the pond. Maybe one of these days we'll get some good rain
Tbar, I had the help of two good friends, they are fabricators and very good welders.Its good to have friends! Bob, that sounds painful, I have not watched the weather report in 2 weeks because of that.
Tony, the other night I ended up getting .07" of rain, when I got to work, less than 30 miles away, it looked like we got about 6". Then I heard about 5 miles from there, they got 9". It's enough to drive me crazy! Lol!
Tony, I edited my original post regarding evaporation because I realized my flaw. I have looked at a lot of rainfall/evap patterns and knew 3/4 seemed high and it seems that I didn't take the dirt weighing down my bucket into consideration. My tank is dropping 3/4" a day also and I have one side that is in caliche soil. 3/8" isn't good for seepage but it won't look nearly as bad in the winter months when evap is often less than .10"/day. Have you done any cation exchange tests on your soil?
Bobbss, I've seen several posts on lack of rainfall on your pond site. Do you have any geographic features around you that may be influencing the weather patterns? I live in a river valley on a fairly severe bend. The weather flows around our town as the the wind shears over and around the valley bluff on either side of us.
Most of my rain comes from the south, southwest and west. My area is the 2nd highest in the state, and I'm on the northeast side of this area. I think that has something to do with it. I do have 3 different river valleys around me that are about 3-10 miles from me. The Big River, Meramec River and the Mississippi River. They could have something to do with it.
Guppy1, not sure how or what a cation test is,I'll do some research. As far as the rain goes I don't think its our location, we live near the Leon river on a small hill, but there have been past years that we had a lot of storms go over top of us. The last 2 years most rain has been north and east of us.