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sealing a pond
Just dug a small pond this past week and much to my disappointment I never hit clay or substrate that will hold water. Its all sand and small rock. In fact, I pumped it full and in two days the pond is almost drained dry. Dimensions are roughly 20 yds by 40 yds. and about 7 foot deep at its deepest part..
It seems every option to seal it is not a cheap one. Has anyone here dealt with having to seal a pond? I do plan on planting a small food plot all the way around the pond as to try to attract and hold some of the passing deer onto my small property.
Lots of Bentonite. Mix it in with the soil on the bottom & sides of your pond. Get it damp, then compact it. Fill with water.
Your best option (perhaps only option) is to have clay brought in. Keep in mind that once the clay has been spread the pond will be shallower, so perhaps dig the pond a bit deeper beforehand. The clay will also do best if you then spread a layer of sand on top of the clay.
I have looked at the bentonite and it is just as expensive as a good liner. Maybe i need to continue my search for a better source. I would like to keep plastic out of the equation if possible . I am aware that the pond will get shallower with the adding of material but thats not a huge concern.
They use Bentonite around here when needed.
I used an expensive liner in a small pond but the moose came in an shredded it up. In Ohio you won’t have that issue but aren’t your deer as big as moose?
Might check your local co-op or farm stores for Bentonite Pond Sealer. Cheaper by the 80 or 100 lb bag or cheaper yet, in bulk. Used in ponds, irrigation ditches & canals all the time.
Anyone digging a basement in the area that would like to get rid of some clay? If it saves the general contractor $$$ they just might haul it to your place for free. Just a thought...
Maybe dig your pond deeper and you might hit a soil that will seal and hold water.
You should always have a bore tests done, it can save you a lot of time and money. A rubber liner is expensive but less labor and doesn`t require machinery.
I had a pond put in and it was 120' x 65' x 14'. I hit a sand vein also, with rock and such. Spent tons of money on Bentonite. Ended up having to fill it back in. Not good. Something you might try is have some bore tests done at another location, if possible, and if the tests come back good, dig your pond in that location and use that soil to fill in the bad one. Not sure of your lands layout, but you can have your pond and fill the bad one up at the same time.
Look for a different site by soil boring first.
We sealed one with bentonite at a friends place. Worked good but you need to be thinking pallets not a few bags. Not cheap but moose are in it most days and makes for some enjoyable evenings sitting on the porch sipping a beverage watching the show.
Buckeye, try checking with a oilfield supply store. There should be one or two in Ohio. Stuff is sold for drilling mud.
Helped my nebo once throw sheet rock drop offs in his pond . It's holding fine. Would have to know someone in construction to arrange getting lots of loads.
I am literally in the middle of putting in a 100'x65' pond in eastern PA. I was hoping to avoid using a liner, did extensive research on Bentonitie, and was planning on going that route. That is until I dug the text pits and found that beneath the couple of feet of loam with a little clay was almost pure sand that borders on fine gravel.
While you're a little closer to the source, so shipping will be a bit less, bentonite is not going to be a cheap solution. Glunt is right about thinking in terms of pallets, not bags. The cheapest option is 3,000 pound bulk sacks purchased directly from the source. I was quoted at around $470/ton delivered if less than a full truck was needed.
With sandy soil, you are likely going to need at least 5 pounds per square foot (probably more). For my 6500 square foot pond that equated to 17 tons, which at that price would be $8,000. The good news was that the price drops dramatically for a full truck , which is 22.5 tons. $280/ton delivered, or around 7 grand.
In my case, that meant that I could put down almost 7 pounds per square feet for about $7,000. I would also need to rent a roller to compact it and when all was said in done, it just became way too costly for something that still may not be water tight.
I ended up ordering a one piece reinforced polyethylene liner and some geotextile fabric to protect it when I cover it with soil, for less than half the cost of the bentonite. Installation will be much easier and I'll have the peace of mind that it will not leak a drop as long as it's not punctured. It's not what I had originally intended, and I know a pond with a liner isn't for everyone, but I don't have an alternate site and for me it's better than having one that won't hold water or not having one at all.
Hope that helps.
Fence it and put pigs in it.... They will seal it...
Lol JayZ and PECO. That’s funny. I was waiting for someone to say that. Is Phil Swift on here? How much would that coast Phil?
Well........... this is right up my alley as I work for a company that sells & installs industrial liners.
So there are companies that will sell you one piece drop in liners that will fit your need. I too would recommend placing a nonwoven geotextile above the liner for protection and then cover it with 6in or more of soil so that anything getting in your pond wont puncture it.
Now...... you can get a GCL liner. Bentonite clay sandwiched between two layers of geotextile that are needle punched together. Rolls on avg are 15 x 150. Overlap 12in along the length and 2ft on the ends. You pour a 1/4 lb per foot of loose bentonite clay in the overlap. Heavy rolls but with a machine that can pick them up with slings anyone can install the stuff. Cover with some sand, soil or rock and your good. It swells when it gets wet and for the most part is self sealing if punctured.
One thing that happens near where I live is that you will see property owners removing dirt to level a hill. It happens quite frequently if you are near an area with much development going on. While this would not be a fast solution, you could put out some queries with grading companies to see if they have any areas with excess clay. Often they are looking for someplace to take the dirt. This totally may not be an option in your area, but if there is a construction site near your pond then it is simply a matter of distance and freight as they need somewhere to put the dirt. Clay is fairly common in my area so this seems do-able. In your area clay may be less common.
in my area bentonite is the solution, but then we don't have many places with pure sand or sand-gravel.
You can flag down a mud truck leaving an oil field.
If you or someone you know has cows. Put a salt block in it and let the cows do the work by tramping it down and compaction going in for the salt lick. How we do it on the forest when we dig stock ponds
Theres a pond liner on wichita craigs list,also everyone says to call the pond guys that is name of their company and they are a good source of info.My water table is less than 10 ft in places so I usually don't have that issue
When I built mine, I had the gubment guys come out and do a bore/core test as well as a watershed study. Bless their little gubment hearts, they were wrong on both counts. They said it would hold water well, but would have trouble filling up. It filled up with two good rains and immediately began leaking. Put drilling mud (mostly bentonite) in it, slowed it down some, but during two drought years it went dry. Over the last 25 years the leak has gotten progressively slower after many rains and some silting of the bottom. I put bentonite in it again last year and slowed it down even more. This winter, when it is as high as it will get, I’m gonna put bentonite pellets in it as I’m told that pellets will go straight to the bottom and lots of it will gravitate to where it leaks. I hope so.
drycreek I'm glad it worked or you'd have to change your handle to "drypond"
Bentonite works good but, in your case I do do a liner.