Enlarging a pond

Discussion in 'Water Features' started by Niagara Falls, Aug 26, 2010.

  1. tadpole

    tadpole LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,216

    The first thing that I noticed on the new photos is that the puddle of standing water has apparently drained off. How long did that take? The drainage time will give you a clue as to what you are dealing with.

    I was also poking around on some Canadian governmental websites and found some, what I thought were interesting, at least to me, facts.

    -The depression in your yard is probably a filled in "Kettle".
    -Your area is classified as part of the St. Lawrence watershed.
    -There is quite a large area North of you that looks to be an old St. Lawrence tributary. It is definitely a large wetlands area.
    -Found the Topo map below. You are the blue dot. This is your GPS location within 300 feet. There is an area of higher elevation Northeast of you which drains to your general location.

    Judging from the new photos, the location that I suggested for the addition appears to be workable. Maybe running longer (parallel to the driveway) than wider (perpendicular to the driveway) and irregular in shape (for visual interest).

    Ont Topo.png
  2. Niagara Falls

    Niagara Falls LawnSite Member
    Posts: 149

    Wow, you have done some research.
    I don't know what Kettle" means other than the one I make tea in.
    Yes I am part of the watershed
    The large wetlands north of me is called The Mac Johnson Wildlife Area and it is huge probably a few hundred acres. The area directly northeast of me appears to actually fall away, but there is a elevation increase of over 100'

    I took the first photo on Wednesday and the last one yesterday. The puddle has drained but the excavation still has water. Actually it's ice today, but it will warm up over night to 12C tomorrow.

    I kinda like your idea of going east/right. Would I need the same size skimmer
    and pump as I now have or smaller? The intention is to make the expansion double the water of the original, mostly by being deeper.

    Again thanks for you input, if you were closer I'd be dropping in to see you.
  3. tadpole

    tadpole LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,216

    Keep in mind that, if the larger Pond is at a higher elevation than the smaller, they CANNOT be connected. It could cause a potential flooding problem in the instance of power failure.
  4. Niagara Falls

    Niagara Falls LawnSite Member
    Posts: 149

    Yikes.....I live in rural eastern Ontario, power outages are/were a norm around here. Ontario Hydro, which is who we get our electricity from, has taken on a sometimes brutal approach to continuity of service by removing every tree that could take out a power line in the winter. We lost 12 trees from our property this past summer.......ARGH!!!!

    So what exactly do you mean by they cannot be connected? Do you mean 2 different ponds at 2 different levels? .....I'm lost.

    In your previous post you showed 2 ponds with 2 streams and 2 skimmers.
  5. tadpole

    tadpole LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,216

    Did not mean to confuse you.

    The diagram that I posted is technically correct. The 2 Ponds are not DIRECTLY connected to each other (one Pond does not drain into the other).

    This can only be correctly done if the upper Pond is of lower capacity than the lower Pond. If this is reversed, with the upper Pond being the larger, when power is lost to the pump the upper Pond will drain water until the water level reaches the bottom of the spillway weir. This will drain to the lower Pond an will be mostly lost due to the lower Pond overflowing. When power is restored, the water will be pumped from the lower pond. The water lost from the upper Pond will now be replaced with water from the lower Pond. This is where the real problem occurs, especially if all this happens when you are not at home. The replacement of the water to the upper Pond will probably cause enough drop in the lower Pond's water level to cause the Skimmer to run dry. When this happens the pump will overheat and eventually fail.

    This is why, in my diagram, I show 2 skimmers each with it's own pump and no drainage connection between the 2 Ponds.

    Regardless of which way you decide to proceed, you need to determine if your present BioFalls unit is large enough to efficiently handle the extra water that will require filtering. What size unit do you now have and what do you estimate will be the total water volume AFTER the addition?
  6. Niagara Falls

    Niagara Falls LawnSite Member
    Posts: 149

    My BioFalls is a Signature Series Filter 6000, and my pump is a Tsurumi 9PL.

    If the upper pond cannot be bigger than the lower pond that defeats the purpose. The idea was to have a deeper pond so that when the fish grow they will have room to both swim and survive the winter. My intention was to go to 3-4 deep in depth.
    Plan "B"? Why can't I go back to the plan where I have now excavated, but build a spillway for the ground water so when it builds up it will be pumped away to the ditch in the front, as in my earlier post?

    Geesh, all because of a woman's lack of foresight...............
  7. tadpole

    tadpole LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,216

    The upper Pond CAN be larger as long as it does not drain/feed the smaller lower Pond.

    Setting up a system for removing excess ground water from underneath the Pond could get complicated and costly. You would need to construct a cistern/wet well of sorts underneath the Pond to house the pump if a submersible will be used. The pump would need a auto on/off switch controlled by the ground water level. If an external pump is used, it would need to be self-priming and also be equipped with a auto on/off.

    You do have a third option. Eliminate the current lower pond and go with only the new larger pond placed at the higher elevation. Use the existing pump and skimmer. Your present Tsurumi is more than sufficient for a larger Pond.

    Does the driveway grade run downhill or uphill away from the house or is it level?
  8. STL Ponds and Waterfalls

    STL Ponds and Waterfalls LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,177

    While I was reading I was thinking pull the current pond out and make it bigger or deeper and be done with it. Take the current liner if it cannot be reused and make a pondless waterfall somwhere else on the property. Just a thought.
  9. Niagara Falls

    Niagara Falls LawnSite Member
    Posts: 149

    The driveway is slightly sloped away from the house, in 100 feet it drops about 6".

    As I sit here drinking my morning coffee and thinking about the amount of work that will need to be done in which ever way I choose to proceed, it is not going to be easy.
    The third option is really looking like the best bet. That was kinda what my original expansion thought was, except not to remove the pond, just make it bigger.

    Fortunately, the guy who was my main helper in building the pond, is coming by this morning to help me winterize it.....I still can barely use my right hand.....

    I'll talk to him about it and see how he feels which way would be best.
  10. tadpole

    tadpole LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,216

    What happened to your hand?

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