12 Acre Pond Question

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by 1toomanyhobbies, Dec 19, 2011.

  1. 1toomanyhobbies

    1toomanyhobbies LawnSite Member
    Messages: 94

    I had a customer contact me the other day about a 12 acre pond filled with silt. He said it is about 2 feet deep now and wants to have it dug out. This is on a farm so I don't think he really knows what he is getting into but I thought I would run this by the forum anyway.

    First question. With a pond this size I think it would be cheaper to dig out a small section of the dam to drain the water than trying to pump or buy a siphon. My thought would be to do this during the winter and plan to actually do any work this summer when it nice and dry. This will depend on if the pond used to water livestock which I will find out when I meet with him after the holidays.

    I have thought of a couple of options that I'd like to hear feedback on. My overall thought is the customer won't have the money to dig out the full 12 acres and haul off or dump onsite so I am trying to think of options for him that would fit into different price ranges.

    First would be to reduce the pond into half the size and just use half the pond as a place to deposit the silt that is removed. I am guessing a dozer would be the best option and yes, the pond would have to be bone dry. The good points about this would be no hauling cost and the customer would have 6 acres of a nice 5 foot pond and he could always have other half dug out when he has more funds in the future.

    Second option that he asked about on the phone is digging out the silt around the edge of the pond. The good would be we could just dig out however much fits his budget. The negative is we would have to haul away or transport the silt out of the pond and he would still have pond lils/junk building up in the shallow parts.

    The last option would be to use the silt to create an island in the middle of the pond. That would prevent needing to haul the material and we could even bring in the sand to make a little beach.

    The equipment I have is a 4.5 ton mini and a wide track skid steer. I know for option one a dozer would be better. For option two I think the mini would be ok. If we make the island, if possible I'd still like to use what I have vs paying the rental company. I do this part time so I'm not as worried about how long it takes but more concerned about if the wear and tear on my equipment would be vs cost of the rental would make using my equipment not worth it.

    Any thoughts on the options i have listed, what equipment, or new ideas are welcome. The scale of this project is larger than what I would normally think of taking on but the customer knows I do this part time so if I can find a way to make it work it sounds like a fun project.
  2. bobcat_ron

    bobcat_ron LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,137

    Depending on how "silty" the silt is, it might be a nightmare to dig out. If it's dry enough to sit on with a hoe, then even with swamp pads it might work, but that's some serious casting, and a dozer will liquify the mud so fast that it would sink.
    But if you are dead sure that there is a 100% solid bottom, you could do it Texas style and dig it out with a track loader.
  3. 1toomanyhobbies

    1toomanyhobbies LawnSite Member
    Messages: 94

    Thanks for the response Ron. I am concerned about putting a dozer in there as well. I have mud mats for the mini, the same as Chris uses for his, so i feel comfortable putting the mini in there if the customer decides he just wants the edges done. I would have to dig several test holes to make sure the material is dry before I'd feel comfortable putting a dozer.

    Question. how many cubic yards can a dozer like a D4 move in a day? I know it depends on how far it has to go but I don't really know how to guess how fast it could remove 3 feet of silt from an acre?
  4. bobcat_ron

    bobcat_ron LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,137

    Any longer of a push over 200 feet is a bit much for a small dozer, and even half of the pond is a major push. I would clear a 10 foot path right down the middle in several sections and push towards that and scoop up with a hoe or loader, but then again, if it's even a bit moist, you'll be dragging your arse everywhere.
    A floating long reach hoe would be nice.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  5. icex

    icex LawnSite Senior Member
    from WV
    Messages: 389

    12 - 20 ton excavator and a dump truck would make short quick work.
  6. wanabe

    wanabe LawnSite Senior Member
    from So. IL
    Messages: 943

    I know I dream big, but trying to dig out a 12 acre lake with a mini is crazy. You will be there for years trying to get this done. You need a 20 ton hoe and some way to haul it out.
  7. YellowDogSVC

    YellowDogSVC LawnSite Gold Member
    from TX
    Messages: 3,792

    Texas style isn't just a dozer unless the pond is on solid, impermeable rock. I'm not an expert on a large scale but have cleaned out a lot of smaller tanks. I think an excavator and dozer or crawler loader would be a good start. Need a big dewatering site for all that silt!
  8. Dirtman2007

    Dirtman2007 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,366

    I think your farmer would get sticker shock on the price to do that.
  9. 1toomanyhobbies

    1toomanyhobbies LawnSite Member
    Messages: 94

    I agree. i think this will most likely turn into deeping the edges of the pond when he realizes how much it will cost to dig it out.

    I'm curious what everyone thinks about making an island in the middle out of the silt? This would give a place to put the silt and short distance to move it. Then put a top layer of dirt or sand so it doesn't look like crap. Any comments good or bad?
  10. bobcat_ron

    bobcat_ron LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,137

    That's an excellent idea, push everything up to the middle, or even several smaller islands to make the digging and pushing faster.
    Posted via Mobile Device

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