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#550320 07/14/22 09:08 PM
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Hi everyone,
We have a 2yo clay pond that until this spring was overflowing with water. The dam at the end of the pond was created using clay from the pond area. The end of April, a small area appeared on the back side near the base of the dam that started gushing water like a geyser. Gallons of water started flowing out of it and continued to flow out of it 24/7. Around the same time our pond drastically starting losing water. We had been working with a pond person since last year and he said we must have a leak but he didn't think the water gushing out the other side was related to the leak. When the pond was down 2 feet, he put some bentonite on the pond side of the dam and then waited several weeks to see if the bentonite did anything. I had been researching leaking ponds and read about Soil Floc. I asked the pond person if he was familiar with the product but he didn't suggest we try it. We reminded him that the pond didn't start losing water until the gallons of water started flowing out of the ground on the other side. The last time we saw him was a month ago when he stopped by and saw that the pond was down 4 ft. He proposed we create a "waterfall" feature and pump the water from the gushing geyser up the dam back into the pond. He was going to come up with a quote for this "waterfall" but we haven't heard from him since. In my mind this was just going to recycle water back into and right out the leaking pond! Around this time, my husband and I noticed the amount of water coming out of the geyser was starting to slow down which I assumed was from the water pressure in the pond going down. We were so frustrated at this point that we ordered and applied Soil Floc on our own.

That was a week ago and our pond is suddenly refilling-very slowly, about 0.5 inch a day. I'm kicking myself that we didn't do this sooner, especially since I understand the soil floc works best when there's more water in the pond.

The area on the back side of the dam still has a little water coming from it. We added more soil floc so we're crossing our fingers this will continue to improve. I was going to apply some bentonite around the bank to fill in any cracks that appeared as the clay dried out with the receding water. Is there anything else we should be doing (aside from ditching this pond person)? I didn't know if we should apply something over the area on the back side of the dam. We also have an aerator fountain in the pond which we turned off before applying the soil floc. When would it be safe to turn this back on? Thanks for any suggestions and sorry about the long post.

Dunkinspond #550321 07/14/22 10:17 PM
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I am no expert but sounds like he did not dig in a core to block the water from going under the dam. If he just pushed the pond bottom up and made the dam you will be in trouble all the time. Hope I am wrong.


61 acre water shed lake. bass, channel cat, black crappie, wiper, walleye, redear sunfish, blue catfish and bluegill. To many bullhead and common carp
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Dunkinspond #550322 07/15/22 12:22 AM
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How much per unit and what was freight cost?


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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teehjaeh57 #550327 07/15/22 03:36 AM
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One unit was 739.99 with free shipping from Natural Waterscapes

Dunkinspond #550350 07/15/22 07:19 PM
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If you are interested in aeration you should research articles here about bottom diffusion aerators vs surface aerators and the pros and cons of each.
I can't help you with how you might use bentonite. Not many success stories with bentonite on this forum unless it is mixed with the clay ahead of time when working the layers of clay as part of pond construction. It might have helped if used at the time of creating the base of the dam but without a core trench you still may have issues.

I have had success with soil floc. I think it may take a re-application at times but your advantage is you know where the leak is.

I'm curious how a 'pond digger' can get any customers with such poor skills and limited know how. You would think they would understand the basics of building a dam? Maybe there were a few good references he used to sell others on?

I get so discouraged hearing these stories about people promising they can dig a pond and yet they know they only know how to dig a hole in the ground.

We need a 'do not call' list or a 'spam pond builder' list by region on this forum to save countless dollars and heartache for others.

Dunkinspond #550377 07/17/22 12:28 PM
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I think a guy could get on the "list" for reasons we don't understand.. and I think I understand why Lusk doesn't want us popping someone's chops on open forum, we don't know both sides. Not saying this dude isn't earning a bad rap, just saying that I've seen circumstances where a customer says "I wanted this", and doesn't understand that "this" may not be possible for other reasons.

Snipe #550434 07/19/22 02:17 AM
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It’s true, there are always 2 sides to every story! We had an existing small pond that we wanted landscaped and we were looking for someone knowledgeable who could also teach us how to maintain the pond. Last year we hired a pond contractor who convinced us to expand the pond. At the time, we didn’t know anything about pond construction and dams- we assumed the pond person knew what he was doing. Beyond that we wanted to complete the project with natural plantings and maybe eventually some fish. That was supposed to be this year until the pond sprung the leak. When one application of bentonite didn’t work our guy didn’t seem to have any sense of urgency to try something else. We had confidence in him up until the point he suggested pumping the water coming out the side of the dam back up into the pond even though the pond was still losing water. After that, he became scarce (we had paid him for any work he had done). Not sure why pond professional didn’t suggest soil floc or talk about other options. I was hoping by posting in the forum I might learn something from people who have dealt with pond leaks.

Dunkinspond #550435 07/19/22 02:41 AM
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Yeah, you got left hanging, not good.
Were there any trees present at any time you know of near the leaking area?
Something like you describe needs to be repaired from the inside. Finding the leak from inside will determine what method is best to repair. I suspect it will require excavation when the area is found and fixed. The process is similar to an upside down wedding cake, but depends on location.

Dunkinspond #550491 07/19/22 11:26 PM
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Wish you’d found me earlier - could have saved you serious $ on polymer and helped avoid this contractor mess. I’m a leak abatement professional and help folks nationwide resolve associated issues. My time is always free to the pb family. I am happy to walk you through your options moving forward including how to successfully pursue action from your contractor - I do this literally multiple times daily.

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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Dunkinspond #550498 07/20/22 01:14 AM
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I wish we had found you sooner as well! But hindsight is great, we’re certainly learning a lot but we assumed the pond contractor knew what he was doing. We kept telling him that the pond didn’t start dropping water until the hole opened up in the ground at the bottom of the dam, gushing out gallons of water but he kept saying they were unrelated. He was also saying the lack of rain was responsible for the water loss. Maybe to an extent but we have all clay soil and springs in the area and both times the pond was dug, it filled quickly and retained water for the last 2 years. We just received an $11,000 quote from him for a waterfall and pump to recycle the water from the base of the dam back up into the pond. I was never completely on board with this idea and so far the soilfloc seems to be working and our pond is slowly refilling. I would appreciate any advice on how to proceed at this point, both with the contractor and the pond. I’ll try to post links to pond photos from before the leak, after the leak and pictures of the area he treated with bentonite. The green/purple color is pond dye. Thank you for your help!

https://share.icloud.com/photos/0c9XyiPHoT0pbTDJBJkSUS8yA

https://share.icloud.com/photos/07dk1_E42QPLgfFUOx_JCzhYg

https://share.icloud.com/photos/014f5TgTOS_7o9Qgg0tiuXQrA

Last edited by Dunkinspond; 07/20/22 01:22 AM.
Dunkinspond #550522 07/20/22 03:26 PM
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Feel free to email to schedule consult appointment...far too much to relate here - can cover a lot more ground on a call.


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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teehjaeh57 #550590 07/21/22 04:13 PM
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ok, sending email. That would be great! Thank you!


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