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While it's dry...
#529449 01/05/21 02:50 PM
Joined: Mar 2019
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So my 1/2 acre pond has completely dried out this fall.

I don't have an excavator but I do haver a FEL and I thought I might clean out the bottom.
The bottom has cracks a foot deep. Is that an indication of how far down I can dig it out?
Any suggestions of things I should do now before the rains hopefully return in the spring?
Will digging it deeper help with evaporation?

Thanks, Art

Re: While it's dry...
GAPRanch #529450 01/05/21 03:23 PM
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Sealing the bottom and sides might be good too. Did most of the water evaporate or seep out?

Re: While it's dry...
GAPRanch #529451 01/05/21 03:43 PM
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pretty sure it was all evap.

Re: While it's dry...
GAPRanch #529453 01/05/21 04:16 PM
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I sympathize with you living in an area that dry. We had a very very dry summer and my biggest drop in 3 different ponds was 2 feet.

Re: While it's dry...
GAPRanch #529454 01/05/21 04:16 PM
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The cracks are just an indicator of how far down the soil has dried out. My concern with using a FEL to dig it out is getting it stuck.....

Tractors with a FEL seem to go up a hill better in FWD than R. Even the ones with 4WD. If you take a scoop and load the bucket, will you back up to get out of the pond or continue forward and make a semi-circle to get out?

Since you are not changing the surface area (greatly) the amount of water evaporated won't change if the conditions are the same next year, BUT you might still have water in the pond, depending on how much deeper you dig and the evap rate in 2021.


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Re: While it's dry...
GAPRanch #529457 01/05/21 05:04 PM
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It's a 4wd 25hp that I've added 600lb of liquid ballast to the rear tires but your point is well made. This might be a job to hire out to a dozer or excavator.

Re: While it's dry...
GAPRanch #529472 01/06/21 09:50 AM
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It can be done, but it will take a long time with a machine that size.

Take a look at my renovation thread to get a taste of what you're in for if you try it.

https://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=500175#Post500175

Re: While it's dry...
GAPRanch #529497 01/07/21 10:43 AM
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The first step is to go out with your shovel and determine how much material you need to remove from the pond.

The infilled sediment and organic matter should look quite a bit different than the bottom of your pond.

Dig at the deepest "quiet water" portion of your pond (when it had water), which will probably be near the front of the dam. That should give you a figure for your deepest fill. Also dig on a gentle slope where the prevailing wind typically moves your pond water. That should give you a figure for you shallowest fill.

After you evaluate the size of the job, then you can more easily pick the best tool for the job.

Re: While it's dry...
GAPRanch #529498 01/07/21 10:50 AM
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"Will digging it deeper help with evaporation?"

I assume you mean will "digging it deeper" help retain enough water for my fish to survive dry spells?

If you increase the surface area for a given volume, then that will always increase the evaporation losses (with all other factors being held the same). If you do not increase the area of your pond while digging out the fill, then the evaporation losses will remain the same.

Does your pond pass through excess water during the rainy periods? If so, then increasing the depth of your pond will capture and retain some of this water. Therefore, your pond (and your fish) will do better during subsequent dry spells. (I think that was your intent in the question quoted at the top of this post?)

Re: While it's dry...
GAPRanch #529505 01/07/21 11:53 PM
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If you deepen it, your summer water temps remain lower on average and with this said, your evaporative loss is less. It's not going to keep your pond full, it's strictly a conservative measure.

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Re: While it's dry...
GAPRanch #529515 01/08/21 11:36 AM
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Im with Snipe on the theory that deeper water will avoid as much evaporation, a shallow pond will have the water pretty hot all the way thru to the bottom whereas a deeper hole will have cooler water and as far as my theory goes even the top three feet will not get as hot and evaporate as fast, but I have been wrong before.


All the really good ideas I've ever had came to me while I was milking a cow.
Re: While it's dry...
gehajake #529534 01/09/21 05:35 AM
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You are not wrong. Warmer water evaporates faster. Dry air and wind also increase evaporation.


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