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Joined: Dec 2014
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I have a 48 year old pond that I have owned for 18 years I have tried to dig up and recore the dam I have been dredging muck out with a trash pump for years. Now thanks to the California drought it has dried up for the first time. It's about 330' by 110' and 20' deep six feet of muck so I should have at least 26' of depth when done. I have discovered that so far I think that they didn't do a layer of clay on the pond bowl.

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I will probably ask for advice along the way right now I am trying to reach out and create a low sport so I can pump the water held in the muck to better let the muck dry out and make it easier to deal with. So far when I get down through the muck I find nothing but layers of gravel

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That's why it's leaking.

If you want to use clay, bring in enough to line the pond bowl 6" thick, pack with a sheepsfoot roller until it is compacted enough that the roller starts to "walk out" of the clay, then add another 6" until you have a minimum of 18" of packed clay and 24" of packed clay is best.


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3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).
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Thanks for the reply. I have worked my way through the muck to a solid bottom in spots before but with the pond full of water I didn't realize what the bottom looked like. It's going to be difficult to do a perfect compaction job I am miles from the nearest water source and there's almost no moisture in the soil I guess I could clean it out and stockpile clay and wait for rain and hope that it comes a little at a time

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Unfortunately the cost of the equipment to do it properly is prohibitive. I would need a compactor, water truck .loader, dump truck and dozer to do it right. That would be a lot of money for a hobby farm. The wife thinks I spend too much money on it already

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Rather than a clay lining could you use bentonite. Bentonite is an expansive clay that I have seen used here to line dams without compacting. It seems to work its way into the porous soil and expand when it gets wet and seals the leaking soil. This may be an oversimplification but I have seen it work.


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I will check on bulk bentonite and trucking costs

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Hey CB

When you get a quote on bentonite contact me for an estimate on polymer. I suspect it’s far cheaper and is automatic when incorporated into the pond basin. Happy to help anytime!


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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TJ thanks for the reply I am not sure where I can get bulk bentonite here in California. It's not like Texas. Have some decent clay figure I would compact the hell out of the the basin then put a layer of clay then do a treated layer or should I do the treated layer first?

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I’m traveling but back next week. I am happy to chat my time is free to the forum. Contact me at tj@hudlandmgmt.com and I can walk you through the clay liner install steps. Happy to help.


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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