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Working on a pond, slow process but getting closer. Initially thought we would have a thick enough seam of clay to line the pond with, but after digging found that there was not really very much clay (2-3' thick clay ~10-12' down but not present in many areas).

Strongly leaning towards a pond liner at this point. I do have a source about 10 miles away with free clay, but with the cost of hauling and working the clay I am worried I would spend half the price of the liner on the clay and then have it leak and end up buying a liner after all. The bulk of the dirt is straight sand.

Borrowing a D8 Dozer and pretty good sized excavator from family. Hired operators (they usually work for the family I am borrowing the equipment from) to run the equipment, they did most of the digging but don't really have pond construction experience. Before completion they quit the project and it sat undone for quite awhile. I decided to learn how to run the heavy equipment and am working on finishing the dirt work myself.

I need to take measurements again, but last I checked it is 13.5' deep on the north side (wider side) and 11' deep on the south side. ~100 yards long and 50-70 yards wide.

I am planning on putting an 8" dual wall corrugated culvert in for overflow on the north dam that will drain to a ditch alongside the road (the natural drainage for the property. I will also make a 20ft spillway on the west side of the north dam that will be 6" below the dam. The overflow pipe and am planning to be 1' below the dam. Run off is probably 4:1, but with the very sandy soil the runoff is minimal unless very heavy rain. I doubt it will fill on its on, I am planning on putting in a sand point driven well to the water table which about 10-15ft deep. The pond consultant we talked to said we did not need any spillway or overflow pipe. But, I am putting them in anyways, even though I doubt it will ever overflow I do not want to take any chances on it. The pond liner with go 1' of elevation over the full pond level. Most of the pond is about 3:1, with a beach around 30' or so that is probably 5:1 and slowly transitions back to 3:1.

I am battling the water table while digging the two ends of the pond. I have finally been able to dry out the north end enough to work on the pond bottom by pumping the water table down frequently. I have bought a second trash pump to dewater the south side as well but haven't done that yet. Some parts of the banks were over excavated and 2:1 slope and I have been working to add soil back to those to get them to 3:1.

Will also plan on adding a floating dock, aeration, boat ramp, stock with LMB and BG. Haven't figured out all the fish habitat and aquatic plants we will need, but planning on some large rock mounds, and other habitats.

Picture attached from when the project was on hold

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Last edited by NinjaB; 10/03/21 11:46 AM.
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restarted project working on pond bottom, trash pump in background

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Should look good when you're done.
What kind of pricing are you getting on a liner that big?
Have you considered using some Soilfloc with the clay?


Bob


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I sent really rough measurements for a quote last January and they quoted $20k. Rechecked pricing a few weeks ago and they went up to 25k (said there was a price increase in April). Pricing from western liners. I am pretty sure I overestimated those initial measurements, I wanted to get a maximum possible price to help decide. I need to take some really accurate measurements soon for a better quote and to actually having it made. Also have to decide if I am going to install it myself, or they would charge about 10k to install the liner with a full team, less if they just sent one person to supervise my own people install it. They said they can do multiple pieces with field seems or one giant piece which would require an excavator to move.

Considered bentonite, didn't really consider soilfloc. The majority of the soil on site is pure sand, like almost beach sand in places. I don't think I want to spend thousands on additives with risk it may not work. Also the water situation requires as minimal water loss as possible with low runoff and likely a slow water table well.

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Hi Ninja welcome to the forum. Feel free to reach out anytime on your pond project-I deal with pond building/rehab/repair all over the country and am happy to chat. If you're dealing with pure sand, you're correct no additive alone [bentonite or polymer] will seal it - must work with clay. Further, you're dealing with a water table pond which makes things even more challenging. My time is free to my Pond Boss forum family if you want to connect I can help outline some options and help you speculate budget. 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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I 2nd talking to TJ, if you are still interested in a liner after talking to him, look at Bend Tarp Liners. Specifically the AquaArmor line of liners. MUCH lighter and tougher than a EDPM liner. https://www.btlliners.com/aquaarmor


www.hoosierpondpros.com


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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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The liner material seemed quite similar between western liners and BTL, I think I talked with BTL about a quote some time ago. When I was looking at liners in January I wanted a company that did the install and I do not think BTL installs in my area. I am considering installing myself now so I will ask them for a quote when I get updated measurements.

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Western liner quote was for pond size 200' x 330' x 15' depth, Aqua30 which is their 30mil RPE

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Took detailed measurements and got new quotes from Western Liner and BTL.

The pond depth measures
a. 14.4’ at the north bottom to the top of pond liner (13.3’ to water line)
b. 13.2’ in the middle bottom to the top pond liner
c. 13.7’ at the south bottom to the top of the pond liner

Measurements are taken with a 300’ measuring tape and going from planned trench site on one side to planned trench site on the other side and letting the tape fall to the bottom of the pond in-between. (So, measurements already take into account pond depth). The water line will be 1' of elevation below the tarp, 3-4' away from the anchor trench.

The North South length of the pond (including the depth) measures 341’ in the middle.

The East West length of the pond (including the depth) varies from 220’ to 142’ going from the north to south.

I calculate this to be approximate 1 acre surface area.

-----------------------------------------------------------

Western Liners Aqua 30 RPE (warranty 10yr exposed, 20yr buried)

One piece Liner delivered (7500lbs): $29021
Geotextile 15' width around entire pond bank: $3069 (shipping included with the liner)

Installation options, for these options they would make the liner in 3 pieces and field seem
Edit: both of these options would be $3500 lower liner cost due to less material wasted with 3 panels.
Full install: $12,165
Supervisor only (he will supervise and do all field seems): $8,115

------------------------------------------------------------

BTL Aqua Armor 30 RPE (rated for 15yr exposed, I do not see any warranty)

One piece Liner delivered (7300lbs): $33,090
They did not send quotes for geotextile.

Installation option, for this options they would make the liner in multiple pieces and field seem
Supervisor only (he will supervise and do all field seems): $6,500 for expected 1 day install, $1,500/day each additional day.

------------------------------------------------------------

I also sent a request to GSI for a quote but have not received a reply.
------------------------------------------------------------


I am strongly leaning towards liner+15ft geotextile, that would give me about 9' of geotextile underwater to protect liner and prevent the overfill from sliding down. Another option would be a 18' geotextile that Western said they could make for me by seeming 12' liners together (12+6). That would be 12' of coverage but obviously be an added cost.

This project has gotten a lot more expensive than originally planned. I think I have $10k in dirt work, in additional to quite a few hours of my own time doing dirt work. I was originally thinking 1/2 acre and $20k build cost.
I assume I will also need an aeration system (2k?). Plus dock, boat ramp, landscape work, fish structure, fish stocking, well, the list goes on and on!

Last edited by NinjaB; 10/04/21 10:12 AM.
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Pond drawing for those interested

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I feel your pain. The price goes up the more we want to do to them. The price for the supervisor seems crazy to me. Correct me if I'm wrong but for a one day job getting over 8000 throws me off. Iv always know I'm in the right line of work but holy smokes that's good money.


The people who say I can't do it can just sit the @^#% down and watch me. Friends call me Rusto I also subscribe to pond boss mag. http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=504716#Post504716
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The field supervisor probably is for 3 days, plus travel expenses, hotel and food. 1 day on-site, 2 days travel.


www.hoosierpondpros.com


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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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I feel your pain on materials pricing, it has been a super pita this past year, any materials, I got a rough verbal quote on a 4'x 30' metal culvert for a driveway and by the time the homeowner made up his mind to go ahead with the price and a week or so before I could get to the project,the price damn near doubled. keeping ahead of them has been virtually impossible. tbh, I am surprised the prices didnt fluctuate for you worse then they did. Good Luck!


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Originally Posted by RStringer
I feel your pain. The price goes up the more we want to do to them. The price for the supervisor seems crazy to me. Correct me if I'm wrong but for a one day job getting over 8000 throws me off. Iv always know I'm in the right line of work but holy smokes that's good money.

Yea I was hoping it would be like $2,000 for the supervisor, I would probably do it for that price. Leaning towards one piece fabrication and installing myself.

Originally Posted by esshup
The field supervisor probably is for 3 days, plus travel expenses, hotel and food. 1 day on-site, 2 days travel.

That's correct. BTL pricing on this is $1500/ day + flights and hotel, so 1500x3= 4500 and looks like they have $2000 for travel costs. Western must be $2000/day x3days + travel.

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You are probably also seeing the "someone doesn't really want to do it, but will at the right price" tax.

Last edited by liquidsquid; 10/04/21 09:44 AM.
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Talked to TJ for quite awhile on all sorts of helpful pond building topics. Certainly recommend setting up a call with him if you are building or repairing.

I am probably going with a liner. 2 foot of clay + sealant, would probably be a little cheaper than the liner, but certainly would take a lot more time to get done and I am pretty much ready dirt work wise now to drop the liner in. Just need to dig the anchor trench.

Likely going with Western Liner for the 30 mil RPE liner and L&M supply for the geotextile (they are much cheaper shipping than from Western Liner).

Looking at $31,401 for Liner + Supervisor to help install and do the field seems for 3 pieces of liner.
Also $3150 shipped for 15' geotextile strip all the way around the pond, which will take 4 300ft rolls.

Prices without tax, I am guessing I will need to pay sales tax as well, 7%.

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Hi Ninja,

I've spent a year and a half rebuilding my pond twice. Contractor #1 was just a guy who could move dirt, albeit slowly. He didn't "fix" the existing issue with the 1/2 acre pond we started with, only made a larger 1-acre pond worse than we had before (holds no water). Poor soil conditions and terrible pond building skills resulted in a mudhole. It sounds like your site material and mine are very similar.

In August of 21', I found another contractor to fix the problem we had. I was ready to spend 50k for a liner and was talked out of it even with my less than ideal soil (almost no zero good clay) and is sandy loam. We have lots of sandstone in my region of Ohio. Aside from the liner/ installation cost, you will need to cover the liner with another 1ft of material if you want to get any life out of it, which also requires more gentle slopes. Even with a "warranty", what happens if there is an issue and you have to drain, excavate, reline and refill?

With lots of consulting from various resources, including hours with TJ smile , we dug out the problem (old pond dam garbage) and repacked a new core trench. As we built up to the final depth, I applied 20 Units of soil floc and covered it with another packed 6 inches of soil. That is 2-3x the recommended dosage, but I wanted to be sure it would seal.

The depth is now over 4 ft since August and we haven't lost any water other than minimal evaporation (less than 1/2"). I believe it is now sealed well, and just waiting on mother nature to fill it. We don't get a lot of rain, so I've been assisting it with the garden hose and pump from a nearby creek.

Consider ALL of the variables before pulling the trigger on a liner. Yes they do work, obviously, but there is a lot more to think about unless you have an endless supply of $$. Just my $.02

Ryan-

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Ryan,

Did you have a borrow pit for some clay somewhere on your property to repack the core trench and make pond repairs, or did you seal your sandy loam soils with soil floc alone?

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We did use a borrow pit that was better material that we found digging some test holes. It was mostly clay /silt loam and still not anywhere near pure clay. It packed really tight but that was in large part because of the big rock truck that was used. Between the truck and load estimated 100,000 lbs of weight every trip. Lifts were 6-12" at a time. We estimated 1000 yards of material were packed in.

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