New member here and was searching the forum but couldn't find what I was looking for. I had a pond dug due to some water issues. To make a long story short, my land is dead flat! I have a seasonal creek on the side of my property that goes out to a ditch under the road. The ditch/culvert is messed up and I have been fighting with VDOT on it for 2 years. They claim it isn't their problem. Basically the water can't get through so it builds up through my pasture/yard until it is high enough to go across the top of the road (as seen in the pictures).
Anyways, I dug a small retainment pond so I could take the dirt and pile it along my property line as a quick fix. The pond held water really good even though it was always muddy. So I figured it was time to do it right by making it bigger, adding an overflow, and grading things towards the pond since nothing feeds it but rain water. When they finish grading tomorrow my plan is to go put out a contractors mix which has rye grass and fescue. My concern is in the pond though. Should I plant that with something else? I am thinking that it will take a while for it to fill up and I am a little concerned about erosion if we have a big rain.
First off, WELCOME TO PONDBOSS and welcome to the forum!
Foolish question here.. I can't see where the culvert is but now it sounds like it is too your advantage to keep it plugged (or finish plugging it somehow) Or at least use it to your advantage. If the street runoff can be directed via this culvert to your pond great. Or if hampering the culvert's success adds more surface runoff of the street to your pond, then take it. I'm in a similar way that any road or surface run off I can capture is hundred of thousands of gallons of free, mostly clean water that comes into my pond. Once the streets are cleaned with a couple downpours the water rushing over the asphalt into the pond is pretty clean.
If you aren't sure about soil composition or how much clay is in the retention pond you may consider a small investment into a single unit (2 bags) of a 2 part polymer called soilfloc. Lots of good info and threads on PB forum with a local expert willing to advise. The beauty of using it now is that you have a freshly dug pond with no vegetation or leaf matter in the soil. You can till the dry soilfloc polymer (mixing part A and B) and scatter over the dirt and then till it under with rototiller or even with landscape rake. Or you can wait till it is mostly full or full and apply on the water and let it sink. This polymer will help clear the water, capture the suspended dirt/clay and pull to the bottom. Then the water pressure above and the moving 'silt' and polymer will find its way traveling into any cracks or veins and embed itself. It then expands and helps fill the cracks.
You don't have to decide now, you certainly can let it fill naturally with rain and runoff and then gauge how much it will lose through the ground and through evaporation and apply it next season. IT does seem to work a little better in warm water rather than cold water conditions. It is a fairly cheap product and adds good 'insurance' that you will seal the bottom better from the beginning and not lose so much water in between rain spells and to evaporation. Ground water ponds that rely on run off or rain are tricky and levels fluctuate widely. If it does fluctuate, at some point you may want to add a pond-side stab well or shallow well if water table is not too far down to help you add water when needed.
I'm sorry I can't be of much help with planting grass IN the pond bowl. My concern would be that anything that takes off in the bottom of the pond soon will be under water and will immediately die. Thinking positive for you hopefully with some fall rains you only will have to worry about seeding the edges and maybe the top few feet of the banks and the underwater portion of the pond?
Last edited by canyoncreek; 09/13/2109:41 PM. Reason: poor manners, forgot to give a hearty welcome first!
Canyon, thank you for your input and you had some great ideas. I definitely missed a few things in my information above. The run off is supposed to go away from the property so no real way to use it. It was backflowing into my property since my property was lower than the road. That big tree in picture one and two is where the culvert is. The seasonal creek comes out right next to the tree and should ideally just go under the road. So with that said, all the dirt that we pulled out of the pond has been used to raise the height of my pasture higher than the height of the road. Then they are grading the land towards the pond. So if all goes well my pasture shouldn't get wet anymore.
I did mention above that I don't really have anything feeding my pond and now that I think about it that is kind of wrong. One part of the pond is in a really high water table so even during a drought it should hold some water but I am sure it will fluctuate quite a bit. 9 months out of the year it should stay full due to our rains I would think. Thanks again for your knowledge.
Thanks esshup! That is great to know. I was going to plant some japanese millet in there but then when I started looking at photos it seemed it could get a little wild and we do plan to swim in it some.
Yes, I didn't follow exactly where the water was or which way you wanted it to go. I understand that you made a dirt berm to keep water from going into your pasture, but on the other hand, I look at all that water in your pictures like a very precious resource and if you could just direct it now somehow to go into your pond but not into your pasture that would be a win win situation everytime a run off event happened.