Goose Pond?? Or ducks...

Discussion in 'Water Features' started by eastcoastjessee, Sep 8, 2011.

  1. eastcoastjessee

    eastcoastjessee LawnSite Member
    Messages: 64

    Anyone have any experience building or maintaining a lined pond for geese or ducks? How much filtration is needed?

    Just got back from a meeting with a client that has dug they're own pond and lined it with two layers of silage wrap, approximately 22mil. They are farmer's so it's basically free for them. She understands it is not permanent but wants to spend her money on the pump and filtration system. This is where i come in they are looking to me to install the filtration and pump system. They have 4 geese that will occupy the pond.

    The pond is 20' x 40' and is approximately 24,000 gal. My thoughts are to use a large 16" skimmer with brushes to handle the floating debris and an aerator to help break-up and suspend the debris. I also thought to incorporate a second pump that would be used to create an underwater jet system to help with the solids. I know a bottom drain would be best but they do not want to go that route and I don't think it will work with the liner.

    I think that's about it. Thanks.
  2. turner_landscaping

    turner_landscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 187

    What is her overall budget for this project? A pond that size, the filtration system your describing will be expensive. The material they used will breakdown over time and the use of a skimmer will be pointless because the seal will fail. That type of material doesnt like freeze thaw very well and then you add the sun to it will become brittle and crack on the exposed areas. I personally would setup the area as natural pond using a bottom diffuser and a surface areator for algae and duckweed control. I wouldnt even bother with a skimmer.
  3. tadpole

    tadpole LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,221

    The HO should be made aware of the fact that an aquatic habitat for water fowl is virtually impossible to practically maintain as a closed system. Water fowl are waddling poop machines. They may start with 4 geese, but the population is sure to increase with the breeding of the geese and the certain arrival of wild ducks. They would need to take out a mortgage to pay for the bio-conversion that would be required to keep it from becoming a cesspool and a health hazard and that is not even taking in consideration the cost of large enough pumps to create the flow rate that would be needed and the electric cost of running said pumps. If it could be continuously flushed (flow through system), then it could be make workable. Larger ponds, >1 acre and lakes can naturally sustain a resident water fowl population due to their size in surface area and capacity.
    I know that you stated that they already have it dug, but better they find out now than later on when the smell will overwhelm them.
  4. eastcoastjessee

    eastcoastjessee LawnSite Member
    Messages: 64

    We did not discuss the budget, i typically do but not always.

    They are aware the liner may only get them 2 years. I was concerned about sealing this plastic around the skimmer. I was thinking the skimmer will help with the floating debris, there's a cornfield within 20' and a pine with a dripline that extends to the edge of the pond, the feathers from the geese and general airborne farm debris. How would this be handled with out a skimmer? When you say natural pond, are you referring to a pond that is filtered naturally (wetland)?

    They are aware the pond will need to be drained a couple of times of year for cleaning because a closed system is not 100% As for the smell, they're were about 50 cows, 10 dogs, numerous cats, a herd of goats and the geese around this house. It was an entertaining meeting.
  5. tadpole

    tadpole LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,221

    Will the cattle and other ass't animals have access to the pond as a source for drinking water?
    Has the HO contacted their local county extension or farm bureau for advice?
  6. eastcoastjessee

    eastcoastjessee LawnSite Member
    Messages: 64

    No they do not have access. I doubt they have talked to the extension office. They've been getting advice from a friend of there's that is a landscaper from another area, he referred us.
  7. tadpole

    tadpole LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,221

    Do you have any photos that you can post of the site?
    You mentioned a corn field within 20'. This could be a problem due to high fertilizer-based nutrient load run-off adding to the organics that the water fowl will be copiously depositing. I foresee heavy and chronic algae blooms whether you have filtration (bio-conversion0 or not.

    This could turn into a real money pit for the HO.

    A couple of years ago, I did a pond restoration , (earth bottom approx.175,000 gallons) that was home to about 10 ducks. It is located at the entrance to a medical facility. With only this few ducks, the water had a strong sewage odor even though it was a flow through system. Every morning the maintenance staff had to wash down the bridge that spanned the pond to remove the extensive droppings that occurred overnight. Long story short, water quality was less than desired, ducks were relocated before any restoration could begin and also because of aesthetics and health concerns.

    Point that I am trying to make is given the size of this pond it will, in short time, most likely become a 24/7/365 maintenance nightmare.
  8. eastcoastjessee

    eastcoastjessee LawnSite Member
    Messages: 64

    Thanks for all of the advice. I'm going to speak with the HO again before I give them an estimate.

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