Pond Expansion

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ranwin33
 
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Joined: Sun May 04, 2008 2:12 pm
Location: Kansas and Missouri

Pond Expansion

Postby ranwin33 » Thu Jan 12, 2012 2:46 pm

Has anybody used sodium bentonite as a pond sealant.

I've got a tractor with a backhoe attachment and am thinking I would like to expand the pond we have on our Kansas farm by digging out the edges and working my way back. Yes, I know it looks like a lot of work, but for me it will be more playing than anything else and I don't have a timeline for completion.

Anyway, rather than draining the pond, which I just stocked with fish last year, I thought maybe I could dig the sides out and if it started to leak spread sodium bentonite. I don't think I will have a problem as the pond has no liner and appears to be just packed soil, although it is probably silted in so much it has lost a good 3-4 foot of depth.

But then not thinking I'll have a problem has gotten me into messes before.

Thanks.
“There are two spiritual dangers in not owning a farm. One is the danger of supposing that breakfast comes from the grocery, and the other that heat comes from the furnace.”
Aldo Leopold

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motorbreaker
 
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Location: s.ohio

Re: Pond Expansion

Postby motorbreaker » Fri Jan 13, 2012 6:21 am

ranwin33 wrote:Has anybody used sodium bentonite as a pond sealant.

I've got a tractor with a backhoe attachment and am thinking I would like to expand the pond we have on our Kansas farm by digging out the edges and working my way back. Yes, I know it looks like a lot of work, but for me it will be more playing than anything else and I don't have a timeline for completion.

Anyway, rather than draining the pond, which I just stocked with fish last year, I thought maybe I could dig the sides out and if it started to leak spread sodium bentonite. I don't think I will have a problem as the pond has no liner and appears to be just packed soil, although it is probably silted in so much it has lost a good 3-4 foot of depth.

But then not thinking I'll have a problem has gotten me into messes before.

Thanks.

I would drain the pond down enough to expose the soil that you want to dig out from the sides. Depending on how deep it is in the center. I have seen this done and most of the fish servived.
As far as the pond leaking. What kind of soil do you have, If its clay, You just need to leave a good layer on top of the bedrock. Do
you know how deep the bedrock is?
In Ohio and Michigan, This is all we do, The other problems i've seen are muskrat holes and old drain tiles, Witch can make
your pond drain out.
Jake

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ranwin33
 
Posts: 2110
Joined: Sun May 04, 2008 2:12 pm
Location: Kansas and Missouri

Re: Pond Expansion

Postby ranwin33 » Fri Jan 13, 2012 8:03 am

Thanks for the reply.

I am not too worried about hitting bedrock - it's a dammed pond, and some of the "practice holes" I've dug near it are 8 foot deep and I'm still in soil. Plus I won't go any deeper than what I think the ponds original depth was based upon how the dam is situated.

The soil type is Kenoma Silt Loam which is primarily made up of silty and clayey pedisediment with a profile of silty clay from 11 inches on down. I'm banking on a high water table to help with keeping the pond filled, its at about 17 inches. The NRCS websoilsurvey site gives Kenoma a not limited rating, which is as good as it gets, due to low seepage potential and saturated hydraulic conductivity.

There is also a 7 acre "lake" on the property to our south. It was just drained and cleaned out as it had sedimented in over time. I talked with one of the equipment operators there, and they said they weren't bringing in any clay. Just cleaning out and packing down with the equipment.

Probably the smart thing to do would be drain the pond, let it dry, bring in some heavy equipment and clean out what's there and expand from that. But that's not cheap and I wouldn't get to play with the tractor.
“There are two spiritual dangers in not owning a farm. One is the danger of supposing that breakfast comes from the grocery, and the other that heat comes from the furnace.”
Aldo Leopold


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