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Railroad ties

Discussion in 'Water Features' started by newbieponder, Mar 19, 2006.

  1. newbieponder

    newbieponder LawnSite Member
    Posts: 10

    Does anyone know whether or not railroad ties are safe to use in a pond? The water would come in direct contact. Thanks :confused:

    TURF DOCTOR LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,138

    Safe for what fish,drinking water, epa.
  3. newbieponder

    newbieponder LawnSite Member
    Posts: 10

    Fish and plants
  4. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,342

    A lot is going to depend on the size of the pond and the water dilution of any hazardous chemicals the ties where treated with. Older xties where cresoted and not the healthiest thing to have around. Some of the newer ties contain arsenic that leaches out into the surrouding areas. Not a good thing either. on a small pond of only a few gal of water capacity or without a renewable source of water continueously running into the pond, the cresote and arsenic could kill the fish. On larger ponds its not as big a issue but the risk of water contamination is still there. The use of some sort of liner to seperate the ties from the water would be best. Used ties that have been taken out of the railbed have usually been in the ground for several years before they are exchanged for new ones. ( I used to install ties for the railroad), those used ties would be graded and then the good ones where reused on light traffic density lines and the rest sold to large companies that could buy 1000's of ties at a time. now used ties are being sold to electical companies to be use for fuel instead of coal or petro. Some are also chipped into pieces and then glued together to make composite cross ties to be re-installed on the rail road. There are several companies that buy ties from the railroads and then sort and sale them to places like Lowes and Homedepot. There isnt anyway I know of to find out which railroad the ties came from or what they where treated with.
  5. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,112

    I would not think you would bre able to retain the water in your pond by useing rairoad ties no.Also Koi
    like to rub themselves on rocks and sand and stuff so if they were to rub on the RR ties they could get injured
  6. newbieponder

    newbieponder LawnSite Member
    Posts: 10

    Thanks for the info Mudd! She, the fish wouldn't come in contact with the ties as I came up with a really neat cascading waterfall design using the ties, therefore the ties would be just above water level. However, water would be cascading down the ties 24/7, hence the reason for the question regarding plants and fish. I haven't even decided whether I will even put fish in the pond as I really just want it for the beauty. I just want something a little different than all the rest of the ponds you see in everyone else's backyards.
  7. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,112

    OH pk then you said constant ccontact with the water how was I to know?
  8. n2h20

    n2h20 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 503

    I would not use ther railroad ties in the water or any where near the water, if you want to have a plants or fish.
    Redwood and presure treated wood is bad for a pond, So thihnk about the RR ties.. Those thinigs just drip with creasote or tar.. highly toxic.

    If you really want wood., Think of an old tree branch or something.. SOmethng natural.
  9. Splicer

    Splicer LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 992

    :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
  10. n2h20

    n2h20 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 503

    works for some people.. lol

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