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#543085 01/17/22 08:53 AM
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New 8 acrea pond being built. Started thinking it would be amazing to be able to drain it when needed. I have someone digging it for the dirt so dam won’t be but 6foot high. Supposed to be 8-15 deep in parts. My question is what the best type of Maintanace free drain system to install. We will have an overflow and emergency spillway also. Thanks.

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If the bottom drain is just for maintenance later (not for drainage during construction), then perhaps a siphon system for your primary drain could serve double duty?

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Who did you go with for a contractor to dig the pond? (just curious is all)

If you have enough fall, you could use a siphon system. I know of none that are truly maintenance free. If I had a drain system that incorporated a valve, I'd want to exercise the valve at least annually.


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esshup - I have a bottom drain in my first pond for which the plastic valve has never been opened and it worries me... What type of maintenance is recommended on a siphon drain?

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I don’t have a lot of fall behind where the dam is as it’s mainly going to be a dug out. Just wondering what most people use. Primary function would be to drain down later to build a dock install cover etc….

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If you excavate your pond to an elevation deeper than the fall behind your dam, then you will not be able to "drain" your pond below that level.

However, you could use a trash pump in that situation. Therefore, you might design your system to partially pull down your water (as your elevations allow) and also use materials that allow you to attach a pump as needed if you desire to completely drain your pond.

Another option for rare draining with no nearby low spot - is to use 4" or 6" corrugated plastic drain tile pipe. This is by far the cheapest type of pipe in those dimensions and can be used to set up a temporary siphon that reaches several hundred feet downslope of the pond to reach a suitably low elevation.

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I hear ya on the water level and fall behind the dam. There is some fall and eventually the water would go into a creek. So I’m just trying to think ahead of what I would like to have in place while it is being built. Just thought in the unlikely event I need to drop water level significantly what is the best option.Being it’s being dug I maybe limited on options.

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If the pond is already constructed, then some type of siphon system is almost certainly your best option.

You could make either a temporary or a permanent siphon.

Here is a link to a basic system than some members on the forum have used:

http://www.ponddampiping.com/syphon.html


You can also do a search on the forum for siphon systems and find some discussions that match your own conditions.

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Originally Posted by RAH
esshup - I have a bottom drain in my first pond for which the plastic valve has never been opened and it worries me... What type of maintenance is recommended on a siphon drain?

The only thing I would do with a siphon system is check it to make sure it isn't clogged or won't start siphoning when needed. I would recommend starting the siphon once a year before the "rainy season" (if there is such a thing anymore) just to make sure that it is working properly, then you can break the siphon to shut it down. Better to find out that there is a problem before the rain hits than to have to fix it during a storm.


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Syphon seems like a cheap alternative. Anyone have one installed? Tips or tricks?

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Day18,
I had to have a construction drain during the pond building process and went with a plastic slide gate valve from sepipe. This allows me to drain down the pond to any level I desire. The slide gate valve has no parts to rust and the slide is made from a cutting board material. I have had no operational problem with it during the 2 1/2 years it has been in service. Mine is conventional piping with the bottom drain on the water side of the pond and a trash rack set at normal water level. I just wanted to give you another option that has been working successfully for me.

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I installed a 2” PVC drain under my pond dam while it was under construction. The intake is a vertical pipe with ¼” holes drilled into it standing up about 4’ off the bottom at the deepest point. It is surrounded by a 24” diameter plastic pipe that is filled with 1.5” rock to “filter” the water going into the drain. The outlet is a 2” PVC ball valve ending with 2” pipe thread which I can attach a flexible hose (I have two of Harbor Freight’s 2” suction hoses). The outlet is set behind the base of the dam about 3’ down in the ground inside 24 inch diameter pipe with a lid on it. I have an attached “T” handle to open/close the valve.

It worked well to keep water from building up in pond before the dam was done, and I occasionally use it to lower the pond water for projects. Initially I thought I would use it to fill water tanks but have a better source now.

The water coming out from the bottom of the pond does have that somewhat rotten egg smell. I'll open it up and let it run sometimes in the summer if there is water to spare.


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Thanks all

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Is it necessary to have a system other than a spillway drain? All the ponds up to 25 acres around here only have a spillway type of overflow system. Have never heard of any kind of fish die off anywhere around here .is this unusual?

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Ponds that are fed by runoff should have a primary and secondary (emergency) drain. If only a spillway is used, and it's made from dirt/rocks then there is the very good possibility of it washing out when it's needed the most.


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Originally Posted by day18
Syphon seems like a cheap alternative. Anyone have one installed? Tips or tricks?


I install siphons at grade, so there are no pipes that can get broken. Completely freeze and clog proof. All you see is an access cover, like for water mains

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