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Cleaning out my pond- Overflow pipe questions
#518510 03/27/20 09:56 PM
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I have been searching this forum a lot over the last few months and figured it was time for me to finally make a post and try to get a few of my questions answered. I purchased property with a small 1/4 acre spring fed pond on it about a year ago. Currently the pond does not have an overflow pipe and just flows over the dam. The pond also has filled in alot over the years and needs cleaned out.

There aren't any contractors in my area that specialize in biulding ponds but I have found someone who feels pretty confident about cleaning it out and putting in my drain. He has cleaned out a good bit of ponds in the last few years. I plan to have him dig out a spot in the dam to install 4" PVC and turn it up to my desired water level and cut it off. I have read on this forum about people using anti-seep collars on the pipe but I do not know anything about them. I have asked a few people with ponds that live around me and noone has used one. Most recommended just using bentonite clay.

I am going to talk this over with the guy doing my excavation work but wanted to get some of your opinions on what route I should go with the overflow pipe. I am currently draining the pond with a siphon I made and a trash pump. Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks in Advance!

I

Re: Cleaning out my pond- Overflow pipe questions
tshelton1 #518516 03/28/20 04:24 AM
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Having 4" pipe in 2 of my wetlands, I will never use less than 6" pipe again. I have 3 pig ponds and 5 wetlands with overflow pipes. The 4" pipes are just too prone to clogging. A number of folks here advocate for siphon spillway pipes which may allow you to place the pipe over your existing dam and then cover it with the material removed while cleaning out your pond. Of course, that stuff will be pretty mucky until it dries out. Good luck!

Re: Cleaning out my pond- Overflow pipe questions
RAH #518520 03/28/20 08:02 AM
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Thanks for the reply. If I use a siphon style overflow would I still need to use anti seep collars? Also, would it be a good idea to put in a traditional style overflow pipe for backup in case it gets clogged ect? I like the idea of a siphon style so I would not have to dig much of the dam.

Re: Cleaning out my pond- Overflow pipe questions
tshelton1 #518521 03/28/20 08:29 AM
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tshelton1, welcome to the forum. As you have figured, you are in the right place to ask and get answers for your pond needs.

As RAH suggested, a siphon may be a good thing to consider. Unless I needed to blow a hole through my non leaking dam to bulldoze muck out, I'd prefer to install a siphon rather than a pipe through it. Understand I have not done this. My pond, like yours, simply has an overflow along one side. It is right at one end of the dam where the dam meets the undisturbed land slope coming down to the pond, and is heavily vegetated with cattails, bullrush, and shorter rush plants. There is no erosion over this spillway.

This works for me as here in the very arid south west there is not enough waterflow over the land in the heaviest of monsoonal downpours nor spring time snowmelt to overwhelm the capacity of this spillway. The primary source of water, and by this I mean about 90% of the water that fills the pond, is through our irrigation allotment. This accounts for approximately 10 acre feet, delivered during the months of April through October.

Your situation is possibly very different. More info regarding your pond will help the experts here answer more of your questions. What are your goals for your pond? How many acres of watershed are contributing to filling the pond? Are you confident the dam is properly constructed with a core trench and appropriate compaction measures were used? What sort of soils are in our area? There are many more important factors to consider; I'm not an expert, just another PondBoss sponge, as one of our members so wisely describes himself.

Once again, welcome and please enjoy the conversations you'll generate here.

Roger

Re: Cleaning out my pond- Overflow pipe questions
tshelton1 #518522 03/28/20 08:36 AM
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tshelton1, you and I were typing simultaneously, it appears.

I'd say your present overflow could become what is called your emergency spillway, provided it is not actually a part of your dam and is higher than your desired water level. The siphon would determine the normal full pond level, the emergency spillway elevation protects the dam from breaching in a severe rain event or if the siphon gets plugged.

This may mean that you must raise or relocate the emergency spillway past the end of the dam. I hope I'm making myself clear?

Last edited by 4CornersPuddle; 03/28/20 08:37 AM. Reason: misspelling
Re: Cleaning out my pond- Overflow pipe questions
4CornersPuddle #518547 03/29/20 07:55 AM
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Thanks for all the advice. I attached a picture of the pond for reference. The last 2 are pictures of the end of the dam where the water has been flowing over. Not very much does and it only happens when it rains very hard. It has made that part of the dam very thin. He plans to build it up and make it where I can mow right up to it.

My siphon didn't work very well so I started using the 3in trash pump. I will probably install a siphon style overflow. What do you think the best way to seal around the pipe will be. Will clay be enough or will I need anti seep gaurds.

-- I tried to attach the photos but it says the limit is 2MB per file. The pictures are all over 10MB a piece. What is the best way to attach them?

Re: Cleaning out my pond- Overflow pipe questions
tshelton1 #518554 03/29/20 09:15 AM
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They recommended antiseep collars in the past, but I think that currently, well packed clay is recommended. For pictures, I have a free Imgur account and post links to the pics I upload there.
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Re: Cleaning out my pond- Overflow pipe questions
RAH #519023 04/07/20 01:26 PM
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I'm still not able to get my photos to upload. After a week of pumping my pond it is empty. It has an average of 18 inches of muck which is not near as bad as I thought it would be. Hopefully can start digging it out as soon as these storms pass. I am going to pick up some 50lb bags of bentonite at my local farm supply store to put on the dam and around my new drain pipe. Should I do anything else while I have it drained? Possibly lime?

Re: Cleaning out my pond- Overflow pipe questions
tshelton1 #519109 04/08/20 10:03 PM
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Have you had a soil test done?


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: Cleaning out my pond- Overflow pipe questions
tshelton1 #519116 04/09/20 07:20 AM
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RAH seems to be right that the advice is different on anti-seep collars now.
In the for-what-it's-worth column.. since my dam failed due to seepage along the 12" smooth drain pipe.. as they apparently did not compact properly, I insisted on 2 collars when they rebuilt the dam.

Read citation below. ..bonus.. it explains why you wouldn't. But as couplings do exist in most dams.. maybe ?

US Army Corps of Engineers
EM 1110-2-2300 30 July 2004

General Design and Construction Considerations for Earth and Rock-Fill Dams

When conduits are laid in excavated trenches in soil foundations, concrete seepage collars should not be provided solely for the purpose of increasing seepage resistance since their presence often results in poorly compacted backfill around the conduit. Collars should only be included as necessary for coupling of pipe sections or to accommodate differential movement on yielding foundations. When needed for these purposes, collars with a minimum projection from the pipe surface should be used. Excavations for outlet conduits in soil foundations should be wide enough to allow for backfill compaction parallel to the conduit using heavy rolling compaction equipment. Equipment used to compact along the conduit should be free of framing that prevents its load transferring wheels or drum from working against the structure. Excavated slopes in soil for conduits should be no steeper than 1 vertical to 2 horizontal to facilitate adequate compaction and bonding of backfill with the sides of the excavation


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