Hi all. I have been lurking on this sight for several months and have learned lots but have never posted. I figured It was about time that I joined in. We are in North West Kansas. Our pond was technically started by my grandad in the early 90's. He built the dam and installed a windmill to feed it but it didn't hold water consistently. After a bad drought in the early 2000's it completely dried up and wouldn't hold water for more than a few days even after large rainfalls. Even though it wasn't the best pond, I still have lots of great memories growing up around it. I had alwase wanted to renovate it but never found the time. Now I have two young boys and want them to have those same experiences, so last winter decided to make it a priority. I knew nothing about building ponds but knew how to dig a hole so figured it couldn't be that hard. Luckily I got in contact in with Snipe from a Facebook post he made and realized he lived just down the road from me. He set me strait on what it would actually take to make this thing work and has been a huge help all along the way. We still have a lot of work left but I'm really enjoying learning new things. The new pond is about 2/3 of an acre and 9ft deep . We have stocked bluegill, red ear sunfish, and added a few large mouth this fall.
"What did the pond lack that caused the initial failure? Was it just incorrect compaction? Regardless, what steps did you take to build the successful v. 2.0 of your pond? It does look like it is in a small waterway. Is it filling with surface water, or are you filling/supplementing from a well?
Honestly the old pond lacked a plan or experience. There are very few ponds in our area for may grandad to have looked at, or people for him to have talked to. He just dug a hole, built a dam and hoped it would work. I don't remember the old pond being built. I'm sure no amendments were used to help seal it. and I have no idea how well they packed it. We live in a very dry area. While it is on a drainage, (technically the Solomon River) it rarely sees any inflows as the drainage is fairly small. It was mainly fed by a small windmill that would have a hard time keeping up with evaporation let alone any leaks. I have converted the windmill to solar and also fill it from a better electric well on the farm.
This time with Snipes advice and help we made sure the soil was at the correct moisture content, then spread and incorporated soda ash and properly compacted over several lifts. While we had a very wet late spring to help fill the pond, we have been extremely dry since then but the pond has maintained the depth where I want it with the help of the wells.