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After it rains ?????

Discussion in 'Water Features' started by Niagara Falls, May 26, 2011.

  1. Niagara Falls

    Niagara Falls LawnSite Member
    Messages: 149

    It's been raining record amounts around here for the month of May, so I would expect that my pond level would be consistent......NO !

    We had 3 days with no rain and the level stayed up, which I was a bit worried about because of the shifting of the ground from winter to spring, that made me have to adjust some liner/rock to stop leaks. But now we've had huge rain yesterday and then again today.
    Today's downpour left about an inch in my rain meter, but my pond is down about the same amount. It was the same yesterday. I checked at about 6 this morning and it was right at the overflow, then I went to town and down came the rain and now after it's stopped, I went and checked the level.

    Any ideas as to why?

  2. tadpole

    tadpole LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,221

    Not quite sure that I understand your problem. If the water level is staying consistently at the overflow, then everything would appear to be ok.
  3. Niagara Falls

    Niagara Falls LawnSite Member
    Messages: 149

    I don't get it either and I forgot to mention that when I checked the level after returing from town it was down.
    Right now it's drizzling and the level is at the overflow, but tonight the forecast if for heavy rain until mid morning. I'll check the level then and hopefully it will be okay.
    It's almost like when it rains heavily and the level increases, that a siphon effect happens and draws out extra water....I dunno?????
  4. tadpole

    tadpole LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,221

    I am totally confused:confused::confused::confused:.
    Are you saying that after it rains the water level drops BELOW the overflow? If so How much of a drop is there? (Inches please, metric confuses me too!) And if it doesn't rain, the water level is stable?

    Rain or no rain, if the water level is dropping below the overflow at a rate greater than the evaporation rate, you have a leak.
  5. Niagara Falls

    Niagara Falls LawnSite Member
    Messages: 149

    Me too tadpole, but that is what happened, for 3 days no rain level stayed at overflow, then heavy rain and it dropped, about 1/2".
    It's been drizzling here all day and the level is right up, in fact it's a bit over the top of the overflow, I guess the amount of water coming in is more than the overflow came remove.

    I have checked around the perimeter again to look for any signs of leakage in the stream.. But with it raining it's a waste of time. It is supposed to stop raining tomorrow evening for about 4 days.....I hope.
    As an aside, I haven't had a chance to get down to the boat and get the canvas up, or clean it up. We're going on our usual 2 week up the Rideau Canal next Friday, so I hope it clears up. It's been raining so heavy around here they haven't been able to open the lockstations. The water is flow right over the gates.

    But it's not as bad other places around this continent.
  6. STL Ponds and Waterfalls

    STL Ponds and Waterfalls LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,174

    I think your looking for a leak problem to much. I've done it a few times. When you fix a leak your mind tricks you because you want that leak to stop but you seem to think it's still leaking. Hopefully that made sense.
  7. JDUtah

    JDUtah LawnSite Silver Member
    from UT
    Messages: 2,636

    You might have answered your own question in your other thread. You mentioned that your soil up there heaves a lot. Perhaps as it rains heavily the ground underneath your overflow gets saturated and expands, forcing your overflow level upwards which would make it appear that your water level is decreasing.

    On day three of this no rain, if you are still in town, I would take a hose to the soil by your overflow and saturate it good. If it looks like your water level shrunk, you have your answer.

    This may also explain why a drizzle may be looking like it is overflowing your pond (the water that built up during the real rain is escaping as your overflow level lowers because the soil is drying out and shrinking)

    I'm guessing you have clay based soil with lots of soil organic matter?

    2 weeks up a river? I jealous!
  8. tadpole

    tadpole LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,221

    You may be onto something. He has a fairly high water table. What he may be experiencing is the formation of a small 'Whale Back' in his pond from hydrostatic pressure caused by all of the rain. It may not be large enough to see, but is large enough to raise the water level of the pond resulting in loss via the overflow. When the rain stops, the pressure abates, the liner returns to normal and the water level is lower.
  9. Niagara Falls

    Niagara Falls LawnSite Member
    Messages: 149

    I never gave that a thought tadpole, but you may be on to something. What I'm now thinking of doing. is auguring a hole close to the pond and keeping an eye on the level in it.

    Worth a try
  10. tadpole

    tadpole LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,221

    That would surely be a way to gauge the height of the water table.

    A 1/2" water loss, relatively speaking, is not that much water. The equivalent loss on a 10' x 15' truly rectangular pond, for example equates to a little over 45 Gallons. It would not take much of an upward bulge in the liner at the bottom of the pond to cause this amount of loss. Some areas of the lower 48 loose that much and more to evaporation per day.

    We had discussed this same potential problem in your "Enlarging you Pond" thread. So you knew beforehand that it was risky enlarging at that location.
    I truly hope that it is something other than hydrostatic pressure.

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