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Small natural pond advice

Discussion in 'Water Features' started by lawnandplow42, Mar 26, 2005.

  1. lawnandplow42

    lawnandplow42 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 508

    I'd like to make a little natural pond, maybe a 40 foot diameter. It is going to be at the bottum of a small incline, so i'm thinking it will catch some run off. Also, the pipes from the gutters on our house are right where the pond is going to be, so i was thinking they can run some water into it from those pipes (when it rains). I plan on renting a compact bobcat excavator. Any advice would be appreciated.
  2. Old Red

    Old Red LawnSite Member
    Messages: 187

    More than a hole you need water to have a pond. Do you want to line it? Is there a spring or something there to give you a constant supply of water. I'm thinking run off only happens when the snow melts or it rains hard. I had a pond built a few years ago, no liner, just dug and diked with the native soil, and it was maybe three years before it sealed up and held water to the top. For the first years it would fill in the spring and then recede as summer progressed, and I have a small spring feeding into it.
  3. lawnandplow42

    lawnandplow42 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 508

  4. Teiman

    Teiman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 103

    If your only digging it with light equip,
    you should plan on lining it.

    Try to set it up where you can divert water
    to or away if possible. My ponds always seem to get
    too much water but I can divert into the pond with a
    couple of sand bags if I need the water. (almost never)

    Only downside to downspouts, considerable oil/tar leaching when
    you get a new roof. It only lasts about a season.
    ( I only know this cause I have a cistern that became unuseable
    when I replaced the roof)

    I have built three ponds and hired them
    out to a guy with a highway sized dozer to
    get the compaction. They all filled to the
    spillway pipe within a month and look great.
    smallest is 3/4 and largest 2 acres.

    Read up on liability and do the things that
    will limit your exposure. You will have the legal
    duty to do certain things. Too many details to go into
    here. Just do a Internet search on "pond liability"

    Good luck, We love our ponds and the wildlife they support
  5. lawnandplow42

    lawnandplow42 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 508

    i was thinking about renting a small excavator to dig the hole. How deep do you think it needs to be to hold water. How long would it probably take.
    Its going to be small
  6. Teiman

    Teiman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 103

    The light machine should work uness you have a huge
    layer of rock just below the surface.

    I would think you could get it done in less than a week
    depending on soil conditions, what you are going to do with
    all the dirt, Depth etc...... many factors.

    Usually minimum of about 4 feet in My area, (Ohio) Allows fish
    to survive winter. Deeper is always better in my opinion
    unless you have lots of small kids in your area. Remember what
    I said about liability.

    You will be suprized at the "fluff factor" In other words
    your pile of dirt will seem to be twice as big as the hole
    and will take a number of years to settle since your not going
    to use heavy equipmet. If possible, pack the dam in layers
    Don't make a huge pile and then try to shape and compress it.

    Plan on using a liner unless you have great clay everwhere
    in the basin.
  7. lawnandplow42

    lawnandplow42 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 508

    thanks for your help man

    i should defintly make an exit for the water right? (i'm new to pond building)
  8. Teiman

    Teiman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 103


    There are several ways to do it. All my ponds
    have a metal culvert pipe burried at the waterline
    in the dam, slopeing out to a creek.
    My 2 acre has an 18" galv.
    smaller ones have a 12", just depends on your
    watershed (input)

    I rent a jumping jack compactor to pack the
    clay around the pipe. Only use metal or
    very rigid plastic or concrete for the pipe.

    Spillway problems are the only place I
    have had trouble. Untill I began using the
    compactor and metal pipe.

    The black plastic corrigated stuff moves/gives and
    water will leak around it causing a leak that will
    slowly cut your dam. Just cant compact with that stuff.

    If you use a liner, you might want to pierce liner with
    the spillway pipe and use adhesive to seal the joint.

    Good luck


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