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Joined: Feb 2018
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Joined: Feb 2018
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Hi everyone. I am hoping to get some advice on the best way to control the water level in the 2 acre pond we just dug but haven’t yet filled. The pond has minimal water shed (roughly 2 acres), and has at least 36” of free board, so I’m not worried about a big rain event. I also don’t think I need to be able to use the overflow to draw down the pond. Instead I’m trying to figure out the best way to precisely control the water level.

From the edge of the pond to a nearby slope where I can drain excess water is about a 100’ away. The soil is uniform, perfect clay. Given this my thought is to dig a trench below water level, run a 100’ of 4” PVC pipe in the bottom of the trench, add some anti seep collars, compact the clay back, and then add an inline Agri Drain system in the middle of the pipe where I can control the water level. https://www.agridrain.com/shop/c85/...1/inline-water-level-control-structures/

I’m wondering how far below water level the intake should be to protect it from ice damage. I don’t think the ice would get thicker than 18” (Southern Ontario weather, similar to Northern Michigan), so perhaps putting the bottom of the pipe at 24” below water level would be enough.

What do you all think of this? Is 24” below water level deep enough to protect from ice, or should I go lower? What are your thoughts on this approach generally? Anything you would do differently? My goals are precise water level control, easy to install, and robust.

1 member likes this: Farhaan Rahman
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Be sure to install some type of trash guard on a 4" line since they clog really easily. Even a turtle can cause a clog. I live in central Indiana and have 2 of the inlet-style AgriDrain water-control boxes on 2 different ponds and 2 inline boxes on 2 wetlands. My only problem was a colony of beavers filling the inlet box on one pond and chewing a notch in one of the plastic boards. My neighbor trapped out the beaver which solved that problem. Not sure how to handle the ice in your climate.

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Ted,

I was thinking about a similar problem - not because our ice is thick, but because it sometimes breaks up in the spring with 35 MPH winds from the south and the ice beats the h*ll out of anything in the water.

My "poor boy" solution was similar to your pipe through the clay for that section of the pipe run. However, I was going to have a vertical pipe in the pond, then a threaded elbow, and then a valve in the horizontal leg.

I can control the water level at "normal pool" by having a 24" vertical pipe. If I want to pull the pond down a foot, then I shut the valve, and swap the vertical pipe out for a 12" vertical.

Before winter, just shut the valve, remove your vertical pipe, and screw in a plug (to keep your threads clean in the elbow).

With a proper slope on your horizontal run, all of your drainage pipe will only contain air during the winter for the entire section downstream from your valve.

It should be easy to customize as needed to fit your exact needs in your pond.


*** I have not yet installed this system at any of the little ponds at our farm. Any comments pointing out an obvious stupidity in my design would be greatly appreciated prior to installation.

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Thank you both for the feedback. We decided to go with an in-line Agri Drain box. We used 6” pipe, and put the top of the intake pipe 30 inches below the pond water level. Hopefully this is more than enough to keep it out of the way of ice. FishinRod I like your solution, it seems very simple and elegant. The only advantage I see to the Agri Drain system is being able to control the water level when the ice starts to melt. We are going to install a solid dock with the underside 9 inches above the water, so having the overflow operable in the spring should allow us to keep the water level consistent during the spring melt so it doesn’t raise the ice and pop the dock off it’s piers. We will see how well that works.

The Agri Drain box we ordered is 5 feet tall, so most of the intake is at least 4.5 feet below ground level, out of the way of frost. We also put two Agri Drain anti seep collars on both sides of the box, and packed it all well. As I told the guy packing it, this is the most dangerous part of the pond, so let’s get it right. He seems to have done a good job, so we will see what happens when we bring the pond to full pool.

1 member likes this: FishinRod
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My recollection is pretty hazy, but I think almost all of the people on the forum that have used the Agri Drain system have been happy with the results.

Hopefully it will give you excellent water level control.

(I have rebuilt a dock in Canada that was destroyed by ice. It was MUCH LESS enjoyable than spending time on the water with family!)


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