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Joined: Sep 2020
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Dave K Offline OP
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Hello Everyone,

I'm new here and this is my first post. I hope I'm in the right area.
I am inquiring here about the cost to repair an old spillway on a 50 acre lake. This lake was formed by a dammed up creek many years ago and the cost of construction was paid for by a group of local
outdoor enthusiasts. Unfortunately the contractor that build the dam made a mistake when building the spillway. Long story short the spillway is about 10 feet to low. The lake only fills to
a level that essentially makes it a big swamp. The local group of sportsman that funded the project lost their investment when the contractor left them high and dry. I would like to raise money to rebuild
this spillway and finally make this lake what those sportsman had dreamed of. Several of them are still around and I fish with them often. There are still hard feelings about the fiasco and they don't like to even talk about it. So I guess the question is approximately how much do you guys think it would cost to have a spillway raised?

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Last edited by Dave K; 09/19/20 09:55 PM.
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It should be a crime to offer to claim that as a dirt mover you know how to build a pond when in fact it becomes clear that ones does not. From the case reports on this forum it sounds like there are 20 or 30 dirt movers happily collecting money to make a hole in the ground that is in the wrong area, or improperly packed, or without a proper dam or improper keyway, or etc etc to every ONE dirt mover who really can build a proper pond. So many sad reports of people starting a project, messing it up, taking the money and running. It puts a black mark on many in the excavator trade.

I hate to see a licensing agency license only those who know how to do it right since that adds more layers of government or bureaucrats all wanting a cut of the profit. It sounds like we need a 'Angie's List' of some sorts that lists the few outfits that can truly get it done correctly.

I have no idea on cost, probably the main cost is what material are you going to use to raise it and is that material on site or how far does it have to be trucked in? Hundreds of dumptruck loads of dirt X so much per loaded mile is how you calculate the cost. How long and wide is the spillway now?

Last edited by canyoncreek; 09/22/20 08:23 PM.
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Dave K Offline OP
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The spillway is about 50 ft wide and 100 ft long. Materials could likely be found right on the site.

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Lots of dozer companies out there but very few know how to even dig a pond much less repair/reconstruct it. To do it right, the new loam, not just clay, will have to be knitted in with the old soils. Otherwise you will wind up with a leaky seam.


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
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20k for dirt, plus a proper drainage?????? maybe 10K, rip rap 10K..... My best guess is 40K


1.8 acre pond with CNBG, RES, HSB, and LMB
Trophy Hunter feeder.
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If I ran a lake that size I would want a Bob Lusk/Mike Otto level of professional consultation.

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There are a huge amount of variables to consider to come even close to an approximate cost for a project that size, one of the biggest ones is how many acres of drainage do you have filling up a 50 acre pond, is it 50 acres now or will it be fifty when the overflow is raised? obviously a lot of acreage would be needed to maintain the water level which means a pretty substantial spillway system to handle heavy rains thru the wet season or an extreme rain event.
Has anybody estimated the yards of dirt that would be required to reach your desired elevation?
Like Bocomo said, a professional would be well worth the money in this instance because of the enormity of the project, the original investors would have been very well advised to invest in more research and design as it appears they threw their monies pretty much into a nuisance swamp. jmo


All the really good ideas I've ever had came to me while I was milking a cow.
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One thing to remember. You can't just dump and pack soil on top of other soil. It will leave a leaky seam. Done right, the new stuff has to be mixed/knitted in with the old stuff. It's about like starting over.


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
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Dave K Offline OP
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Thank you all for the information. I appreciate you taking the time. $40,000 would be an attainable number but it sounds like I'm going to need some professional opinions.


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