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Need some help from the pros

Discussion in 'Water Features' started by Karmascapes, Sep 25, 2010.

  1. Karmascapes

    Karmascapes LawnSite Member
    from NLR, AR
    Messages: 44

    I am looking for some advice on what would be the best way to approach building 2 ponds connected by a stream. This is at my buddy's house and one of the ponds is spring fed.

    The area where we are looking at building this is on a gradual down slope with a stream, to a lower area where it levels off. Our Idea is to have a smaller pond on the higher level which is actually where the natural spring is.

    how do you go about building a pond with raised rock sides but keep the water level raised as well. I can't just throw down a liner with a hole or section cut in it to let the spring run in and if i line the inside of the rock with liner how would you keep the water from finding it's way under the liner and out?

    if none of this makes sense it's because i am still recovering from our loss to alabama today.

    Thanks in advance
  2. tadpole

    tadpole LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,221

    To me. the first and most important question is: Do you have any idea of the output of the spring in GPH? It will need to be fairly substantial to support a viable stream. Also is this spring's flow rain dependent?

    Ths stream and lower Pond can be lined, but the upper will need to be earth-bottom. What you are proposing can be done.
  3. Karmascapes

    Karmascapes LawnSite Member
    from NLR, AR
    Messages: 44


    I'm not sure what the actual GPH is. We have had the current spot roughly dug out for about 2 weeks now. Currently the water is at a depth of about 3 feet in the center. The water has found its way out and is running a natural stream down to the area where the lower pond will be. Down here in Arkansas we are technically in a drought and this dude just keeps running.

    Im under the impression that it is not strictly rainfall fed.

    We didn't test the GPH but when dug the spring up at about 6 pm one night and by the next morning it was full and the stream was running. and ever since you can walk out there any time of the day and see the water steadily running.

    I am going to go out and take a few photos and post here shortly.
  4. Karmascapes

    Karmascapes LawnSite Member
    from NLR, AR
    Messages: 44

    Here is a picture of where the spring is. You can see where we dug it out about 2 weeks ago and it just continually runs. the water level has yet to drop below about that 3 foot mark b/c thats where the overflow runs out.

  5. nepatsfan

    nepatsfan LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,142

    Can't really help you with it but I want to see how it turns out so I'm subscribing. Keep the pictures coming if you end up doint the project. I am very interested in this type of thing but have never done it. Good Luck!
  6. tadpole

    tadpole LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,221

    More questions-

    -What is distance between the 2 proposed ponds (length of proposed stream)?

    -What is difference in elevation between 2 proposed ponds?

    The approximate flow rate can be determined by digging a hole of known capacity adjacent to existing pond, cut a connecting channel to existing pond that is slightly higher than existing overflow, dam up overflow, when water starts to flow into new hole start timing, stop timing when hole is full.
    Example- New hole dug to 3 x 3 x 2 dimensions (18 cubic feet capacity X 7.48 gallons of water per cubic foot = 134-135 gallons. If it takes 10 minutes to fill then 135 divided by 10 = 13.5 gpm or 808 gph. Your final figure will be lower than the actual flow rate due to absorption loss of some water into the surrounding soil.

    The soil appears to be of high clay content which will make the project a little easier and less costly..

    Did the first pond fill over naturally compacted soil or did you do any compacting after excavation?
  7. Karmascapes

    Karmascapes LawnSite Member
    from NLR, AR
    Messages: 44

    We didn't do any compacting on the soil and you are right, in this area the soil is very rocky and below is almost all red clay. The test area was actually dug with a dozer. We have been clearing my buddies land and really cleaning out all the undergrowth. Then we noticed that this one area was staying soft and kinda damp. Not to mention the continual growth of weeds all summer even in the drought. So we started checking the area and ran across the spring.

    I'll get you the answers to those questions tomorrow.
  8. tadpole

    tadpole LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,221

    You prolly acheived some compaction from the weight of the dozer.

    After you determine an approximate flow rate, seal off the channel connecting the pond to the test hole and see how well it retains water. However long it takes for the water in this test hole to drain out will give you an idea of the permeability of the soil.
  9. Karmascapes

    Karmascapes LawnSite Member
    from NLR, AR
    Messages: 44

    Sorry I haven't been on here in a while. Been busy doing some excavation work. Here's the latest and greatest on the project.

    First off, my buddy is like a dern child with crayons, if you don't keep an eye on him/them there's no telling what you'll end up with. So since i wasn't around one night he decided that it would be a good idea to get a start where the larger pond at the end of the stream will be. So he dug the beginnings of the pond that ended up being approx. a 15' circle X 18" deep. Again, over that night it was full and running out.

    So i also tested the flow rate the other night. I dug a 2'X2'8"X1' hole next to the spring. that gives me 5.32 cubic feet. using Tad's formula we took 5.32 x 7.4805 = 39.8 gal for the hole. i timed the flow rate which took, 3hrs 16mins.
    so 39.8g / 196 mins = .2gpm x 60min = apporx 12gph

    Now the distance between the 2 ponds is right at 95 feet. I'll still have to ping the elevation difference.

    Also i blocked off the stream to the hole and opened it back up the other way. The water is still there, though i havent taken a measurement yet i'd guess that there is about 3 - 4" of water still in the hole. that was after 2 full days of temps in the upper 70's.

    Hopefully i'll win something for the longest post of the month.

    Let me know what you think.:drinkup:
  10. Karmascapes

    Karmascapes LawnSite Member
    from NLR, AR
    Messages: 44

    I don't know if the flow rate is good or bad. it does it's work over night though. my JA buddy went and dug out a section next to the lower pond and as suspected that area is now also flooded and running off. there was a small embankment that it swallowed overnight. Track hoe should be showing up tomorrow afternoon so the real work can begin.

    I'll post more pics soon.

    Tad, more ?'s:

    So our lower pond will end up being about 90,000 gal. We plan to incorporate a fountain and some underwater lighting, as well as place Koi into the pond. Is there a certain depth we should be shooting for that best serves the fish? Also the more we dig the more clay we have. So i'm half tempted to pass on the liners. Can you over areate a pond? and what would be the best way to keep it clean if the pond is left as natural earth bottom. Thoughts?

    Should have more tomorrow.


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