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Flirting with idea of making a pond

Discussion in 'Water Features' started by wkheathjr, Jul 23, 2007.

  1. wkheathjr

    wkheathjr LawnSite Member
    Posts: 18


    Recently, my uncle made himself a man-made pond and since he already owns a backhoe, he started out using it but eventually had to rent excavator because his pond is 9 ft deep and it is awful big. (Pic attached) He dumped 10,000 fishes in it (brim, catfish, and other kind) last year and now want me to drop by this weekend to fish some of the fishes out because it is becoming crowd for fishes now.

    I have been thinking about making a man-made pond for my campground business, and I have been thinking of making it in Harley logo shape with it being 7 feet deep at center and work up to 1 feet deep at the edge. Generally, I would like for it to be a swimming pond with a possibility of putting some fishes in it down the road. I am still undecided on how big I want it to be.. maybe half acre or 1 acre?? Other thing that makes it challenging is that we have a small portion of land that is "Wetland", but it is in serious need of some clean-up and improvement to make it looks pretty.

    So I looked up on internet for guide on how to make man-made pond and I cant say I have found reliable source on making one? Is there a book anyone can recommend so I can look into it to do some research? I have many questions that need answering and maybe reading a book first would help cut down any questions I may have before seeking some help on this forum. But to give you some idea...

    1) Should I look into perk before finding a right location?
    2) When digging the pond, what is really best equipment for the job? I know I have dug 4 feet deep (4' X 4' X 4') footing for two 8x8 posts for my outdoor stage and it was still solid, but I know for fact that there is water 11 feet deep under the ground.
    3) After I have finished digging dirt out, what is next thing to do with the pond? Fill it up with water or is there something I should do first before adding water?
    4) What would you do with all the dirty? Sell it?? Will local "Sand & Gravel" companies be interested in buying it from me or what?
    5) Would you recommend adding some kind of drain system that will send water into wetland to prevent the pond from overfilling? The reason for this is because I know for fact that our land is on low level and was used to fill water up prevent flooding in other area, but things have changed in other place (dam broke off and lake drained then land got sold and homes built on it) The drain system could possible develop some kind of "creek" in waterland leading to pond/swamp area on other part of property.

    So as you can see, many questions to be answered, and I was hoping to get started on that project sometime in the fall if possible.

    Thank in advance for answering to this post!





  2. carcrz

    carcrz LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,085

    I'm in the same boat. I was @ a friends house Sunday & mentioned to his dad that those back 3 acres would make a might nice pond. He said, you know what - I think you're right. Lets make it happen! WOOOOHOOOOO!!!! I'll soon have a fishing hole w/in two blocks of my house.

    How long did it take your uncle to do that pond?
  3. Venturewest

    Venturewest LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 513

    Most states have a department that will help you evaluate your site for a pond. The might send out an expert to look at the grade and the USGS soil maps and all that and determine the proper excavation and liner type and all that. I have a little color book that the USGS put out all about making ponds.

    Some states will also stock your pond for you. Call your state department of agriculte, wildlife, forestry and all those guys. You will eventually find what you are looking for.
  4. wkheathjr

    wkheathjr LawnSite Member
    Posts: 18

    Venturewest, thank for pointing me in right direction. I will check with local Water & Soil Agency because they helped me to determine that I have a wetland.

    carcrz, it took my uncle a year to make this pond, but keep in mind that he is operating 2 full time businesses- Septic Tank & Farming. He won a big contract with State of NC doing a big job with new prison that is located 3 miles from where his farm land is making it feasible for government to hire him to do septic tank and port-a-john on job site. The prison just got built and is in process of accepting new/transferred inmates.

    As venturewest pointed out, there may be a good possibilities my uncle got fishes from the agency so I will find out this weekend when I go to fish there with my dad for his early birthday (Aug 4th).
  5. wkheathjr

    wkheathjr LawnSite Member
    Posts: 18

    Ok, I just got back from visiting my uncle and his pond today. I did some fishing too and caught few fishes, not bad for hot day! Here is some interesting information my uncle shared with me...

    1) It took him almost 6 years and couple of agencies to help get this pond going.

    2) My uncle has spent almost $25,000 on this pond and that includes fuel, supplies, helping hands, fishes, and renting few equipments. That doesn't include the feeding foods for fishes.

    3) Depending on size of your pond, you may need to provide more than one air supply, and plenty of drains from your pond to ditch nearby. You may need to have water running from well to your pond just like some people do with swimming pool and my uncle have to do it daily during the summertime and often during cool/cold season.

    4) If you are going to start a pond to put fishes in, it also requires a lot of responsible of feeding fishes daily (he feed more than 10 pounds in pellets and some vegetables), set up few night lights with wire under it that move in clockwise motion striking bugs causing damage to wings landing down into water becoming fish's food. That, along with air supply, will run your electric bill up. If you are feeding pond some waters from the system then be ready to see high water bills.

    My uncle advised me against building a pond for my campground because beside the fact that it require a lot of responsibilities to maintain it and can be really costly (foods, electric, water, etc), I would have to get $1 to 2 million dollars liability coverage insurance in case anything happen. He recommended me to wait until we grow big before considering this and in meantime it wouldn't hurt to start early digging some dirts out so I can use clay for 300' Dirt Drag racing track and sell some dirts to save up as long as I keep it "off-limited" to public using orange fence and post "No One Beyond This Point" signs all over the area. I think I am going to heed his advice because he is almost 30 years older than me and it is wise to listen to someone who knows more.. :D

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