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Fixing a leak ?
#523620 07/15/20 11:44 AM
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we have a small pond we build 3-4 years ago it is 40 yards wide by 70 yards long. Average depth is 3-4 ft with the deepest are being 7.5-8 ft. It sits about 150 yards south of a larger pond we have that is around 1.5 acres. No visible signs of massive water loss but there are 2 green areas at the bases of the dam but when I drive my 7000# tractor over them I don't sink in or pick up any moisture on the tires. this pond was dug down until we hit rock and then the core trench was dug, our excavation company used a hoe ram to dig one spot on the dam down to get an even color rock then clay was tracked in with a bulldozer. everything was done by a company who builds tons of ponds and good clay was used for the core trench. Currently we lose around 2-3 inches per day and right now we are down 3.5 ft. so the pond is now 30 yards wide by 40 yards. I think it is leaking through one of the seems in the rock below the water. In our big pond we found one hole by letting the pond leak down then filled a couple holes with bags of concrete now it is holding good. This one is stocked with Bluegill and a few bass. we use the bluegill as a breeding ground for the big pond and raise them then release them into the larger pond. My options are to chase the leak with a excavator or pump most of the water down and see if I can find out where the leak is coming from. There is a product called aquablok it comes in 2400 pound sacks rated at 7 pounds per square foot, it is a stone covered in bentonite that is supposed to be a good sealing mechanism. I don't know how shallow we could go with all the fish in there probably somewhere between 400- 800 bluegill if I had to guess including the babies. What approach would you all do if you were in my position? I can pump the water into the lower larger pond and can fill it back up by pumping the water back up the hill if I need to drain it. i really don't want to lose our fish but worst case we move them all down into the larger pond if we can catch them all with nets. Just looking for the best approach to try and fix the leak. Was hoping to pump it down then try and identify the general area where the leak was located then broadcast the bentonite rocks and hope they seal the leak. Any suggestions ? thanks

Re: Fixing a leak ?
Tigershark #523657 07/16/20 11:06 AM
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I"ve heard Mike Otto talk about similar problems he's encountered over his 45+ years as an earthmover/pond builder. His advice is to drain the pond and then line it with clay or "patch" the holes. When a pond leaks as much as this one, there are probably several places where water escapes.


Teach a man to grow fish...
He can teach to catch fish...
Re: Fixing a leak ?
Tigershark #524261 08/03/20 11:02 AM
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Bob,
we dropped 4 ft and my daughter found a hole in the shallow end. it went straight through the clay and down through the rock. It was almost 3 inches in diameter. Filled and packed the hole with 2 bags of concrete and surrounded the dry concrete the next day with more and then we got 4 inches of rain so the pond raised 2.5 feet in 3 days and is holding steady. Looking for a nice break from the rain to make sure it holds but so far so good. I flagged 8 locations a long the shore line and the 2 days before it rained the water moved 1/4 of an inch from the flags in the shallow end which could easily have been from evaporation since it windy and was in the mid 90s before the rain came . Really hoping we got lucky and this was the only hole and the pond will hold now. Never had any water at the base of the dam and I'm glad I didn't buy anything to try and seal something because I would have been way off

Re: Fixing a leak ?
Tigershark #525209 08/26/20 06:56 AM
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My friends 1/2 acre pond has dropped 5ft. We tried dye to locate the leak but no luck. The thought is to drain it while we are in a drought condition here in Western PA, but I would like to have an idea on where to start looking. Does anyone have some guidance/steps on how to isolate the location of the leak? We do not have the money to put in a liner. As always your help is greatly appreciated.

Also, if there is any guidance on how to go about repairs, after draining, and what recommendations on updating while drained are also appreciated.

Re: Fixing a leak ?
Tigershark #525223 08/26/20 02:01 PM
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Jerry I live in Missouri and I have tried everything you can imagine to locate my leak on my 3/4 acre pond with no luck. The only thing i found luck with was using a couple coat hangers. Cut up two metal coat hangers and bend them 90 deg. Hold them in each hand like you would be stirring something and walk along your damn. The current from the water that is leaking should make the coat hangers move towards each other. To test this first do it over a water line and you will fell then pull together. I am sure there are plenty of videos on line about this.
Once i found the spot that caused concern I applied about 2500 lbs of bentonite over it with no luck. Then just recently I found a product called soilfloc that I applied. I was impressed with the results for the first week but then the leak came back I would like to try another application on that spot but its not cheap. So now I run my well to keep it looking filled.
Unless you got some friends with heavy equipment its not going to be cheap to fix. Had an excavator est me about 20k to fix it and have clay hauled in but still no guarantee. A pond liner was about 40k. Or I fig i could do about 50 dollars a month on my electric bill so right now I am going that route. But I do still plan on putting a another coat of soilfoc on it.
Let me know if you have any luck

Re: Fixing a leak ?
Tigershark #525247 08/27/20 02:44 AM
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I remember Lusk saying that Otto jumped his butt about advice on preventing leaks at dam building time. Mike told him that dirt is porous and you just never know. I know where my leak is. It's at a point on the end where the dam is tied into the bank on one side. A couple of years ago we had a serious drought and the water got below the leak. I had honorable intentions of fixing it then but just didn't get around to it before a big rain. One spot behind the dam has an always wet spot where the hogs like to roll around.

My area of Texas isn't known for getting a lot of rain. Yep, we do, on occasion get a huge downpour but that's about it. When I first met Bob a LONG time ago, I told him where my place is. He said that he had noticed for years that clouds often split and avoided my place. Right now, I'm about 2.5 inches low and always looking for clouds.


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: Fixing a leak ?
Jerry Stephenson #525256 08/27/20 09:30 AM
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Jerry I have some experience with this feel free to reach out and we can chat. Tj@hudlandmgmt.com


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: Fixing a leak ?
Tigershark #527062 10/25/20 11:04 AM
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I have a pond built in 1928 that has a leak in the spillway. I am looking for suggestions on how I can plug up these leaks. I have tried bentonite but because of the location of the pond I can only use buckets of the stuff, which shortly either washes out or the water works its way around.....I'm game to try anything. The spillway is about three feet wide, two feet deep and has a concrete bottom which has cracks in it which the water has managed to work its way through.
Thanks for any suggestions
Rick

Re: Fixing a leak ?
Tigershark #527065 10/25/20 12:14 PM
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Briarwood, is there any way you can get a gasoline powered semi trash pump in there to pump the pond water down? That would allow you to clean the cracks in the spillway and then fix them with hydraulic cement that can be mixed in 5 gal buckets or use the inside of a Basketball cut in half.


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Re: Fixing a leak ?
Tigershark #527095 10/26/20 05:49 AM
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A couple of thoughts. Mike Otto has been building ponds for MANY years and knows soil/dirt.

Mike Otto: If you want a leaking pond, just let me build it. All ponds leak. Dirt is porous. Building a leaking pond is something you find out about after it rains .If you question whether your soil has enough clay, let one of the grandkids make a ball of it and throw it at the side of your pickup. If it sticks, fire up the dozer.

Otto to Lusk: Quit telling people that properly built ponds don’t leak. All do to some extent.


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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