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#564534 02/21/24 07:34 PM
Joined: Feb 2024
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KyleR Offline OP
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Hello,
I'm new to this forum, and working on a pond project in my backyard. Thank you in advance for any assistance.

I am a general contractor in South Dakota. I have a small pond in my backyard, about 1/4 acre. We call it the "redneck pool" because it's just for looks and for a swimming hole. I have small kids that swim in the pond, we have some fishing ponds nearby so I don't plan to ever stock with fish. I've had the pond about 3 years now. The soil is a clay/sand mix, and the pond depth is about 10' above water table. The pond is about 14' deep, although it's probably silting in with the mason sand I've dumped there periodically for a beach.

I currently fill the pond with a garden hose attached to a well spigot. The water level drops about 4' per month, so I just fill it up. It takes about 1 week per month to fill and costs maybe $200 per month in electricity to do this. I want to fancy up the pond, do a nice shoreline, probably put in a liner, etc... I've been hesitant to put in a liner because a local child recently drowned in a pond that was lined. Not sure exactly what happened but the liner was in disrepair and either it was too slippery for him to get out or he got caught under the liner, but either way very sad and I worry about the liability. My kids know not to go out without a parent so I'm mostly worried about their friends, etc.

Our well water is very high in calcium or something. Not rust but a bit chalky white when it evaporates. I paid a fortune for the well to use for irrigation and the water isn't good enough for anything but filling the pond. I have ducks, turtles, frogs in the pond and it stays very clean even with the mud bottom, no cattails etc. I don't know if this is because of the calcified water or because I'm always filling with fresh.

QUESTIONS:
- If I lined the pond, can I bury the liner? What can I use that would be good on bare feet but would still stay put? The sides are fairly steep, especially on the dam side. I would reshape the pond a bit and make a flat beach area, the rest I probably could use whatever works. I've thought about gravel mixed with dry cement or similar, but I know that breaks apart over time. crushed granite? Might be hard on kids' feet.
- Is my water staying clean because I'm constantly refilling it? If that's the case, I'd still like to clean it up and eliminate the mud, but maybe I'd just put an auto-fill system in place, make a rock waterfall or some feature.
- Since the pond is so small could I make some sort of filter? Was thinking about a sand filter in a septic tank or I'm sure you guys have great ideas. I think because I don't care about fish I probably have options. I honestly don't mind using light chemicals for treatment if that's the solution.

My main goals in order of importance:
- Prettier pond that's great for swimming
- Clean water, weed free, minimal maintenance
- Less water usage

I'm willing to spend some money on the project, but need to have some sort of budget. Originally I was thinking about shotcreting the pond like a pool but I might as well put in a pool at that point.

Thank you much, picture attached.
Kyle

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Welcome to the forum!

Typically a lined pond has the liner covered with dirt anywhere from 6"-18" thick, usually it's on the thicker side.

You'll have to reduce the slope to keep material on the liner, stay around 3:1, go up to 6:1 for a beach area.

Call the guys at BTL Liners @ (541) 447-0712. They are great to work with and they will give you all the info you want even if you don't order from them. Their liners are pretty durn tough and are a lot lighter weight than the EDPM liners.

As for covering the liner, use dirt without rocks in it, for the beach area use pea gravel. You can cut shelves or ridges in the underlayment to help keep things in place, but ultimately it will all depend on the slope of the bottom of the pond.

Yes the water is staying clean because of what you are pumping in. You will need some underwater plants in there to help keep the water clean. It'd take a HUGE filter. 1/4 acre 12" deep is 81,400 gallons. You have roughly about 100,000 gallons of water less than an Olympic swimming pool has, so a filter has to be sized accordingly if you go that route.


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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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As I know it, when liners are used in your size of pond application there is a soil/dirt layer on top; probably mostly to protect the integrity of the liner. Contact a liner company that deals with lining larger ponds.


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I helped a neighbor lady build a stone and liner pond ten years ago. Yes can cover the liner, though if you might consider some shelf layers to hold rock, sand or gravel on to do so. If you do stone and liner make sure to get a quality liner and be careful setting stones as even tough liners can be torn or ripped easily when setting a several hundred pound stone down onto it.

Here are some pictures of the pond midway through it. I have pictures of end the result but am unable to find where they are, I have looked through 50 folders of pictures to no avail, not sure how I classified them.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

I just set the stone in locked together and used fine rock to hold them in place. This pond also has a 45 foot stream with two small pools and a side marsh area fed by a waterfall that drain back into the main pond.

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Awesome pond build, MW!


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