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Thread: Pond sealing. What have you used?

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    Default Pond sealing. What have you used?

    As I near closer to this excavation of a couple ponds, The decision will need to be made on how to seal them. I have no indications yet that there will be good quality clay in the dig to save as sealing material. Lots of sand so if even if there is clay, it will probably be mixed with sand that will ruin the seal.

    There will a combined area of about 1.5 acres of pond. Due to the remote location, hauling anything in will be expensive. I know the tried and true method is Bentonite or other clays found in the bottom. The reason I ask is I have heard that salt has been used successfully to seal ponds. As I understand it, it goes into solution with water, percolates through the bottom, then recrystalizes to block leaks.

    I am open to ideas. We built my dad's pond when I was a boy and to this day, it is not sealed and reinforcing the importance of this in my head.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Petaluma, California
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    1,603

    Default Seal

    I watched a youtube clip once about pond sealing, it all depends on what kind of dirt you have. They took a bucket with a bunch of ice pick holes in it. Put dirt in the bucket and covered the holes with six inched of soil, compacted. Then filled the bucket up with water and measured loss over night to determine if soil held water good or not.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Okc, OK
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    I have seen sandy soil sealed with chicken manure, then after filling with water, it took a couple weeks for the ammonia level to drop where fish could live in it
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  4. #4

    Default

    Telephone, fiber and CATV companies bore a lot of holes under roads etc. They all use Bentonite as a lubricant and need to dispose of it when done. If you are lucky enough to have a project near you they would be happy to give you lots of it. We also have people using fabric/rubber liners in our area (minnesota). Check around

    Good Luck

    Biggastractor

  5. #5
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    Nov 2006
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    McBEE, SC
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    Default

    Salt you say? it must be a special kind of salt, the regular calcium chloride would stay in solution unless it was a super saturated solution, but then it would just get leached out as the water migrated through. Have you though about getting some exploratory excavations to see if the available soil will allow a pond?
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  6. #6
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    Sep 2011
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    Default

    Regardless, I need the soil for shaping and need the water for irrigation purposes anyway. Going to have to make it work unless blasting is needed,lol. I am basing the soil types on the neighbors which all have ponds, and drill records.

    I certainly agree that test holes is real smart about now but my hoe is not ready to ship out there just yet. I know the soil types there might not be perfectly ideal but I know ponds have been cut in worse materials and do fine. I know there will not be solid sand, rock, or clay.

    I was researching the use of organic matters such as manures. I will have to better understand the physics but seems common in KS. Hay, manure, clippings, etc. Lawn clippings could certainly be found by the truckload for free but I am not quite sure what quality of the organic matter creates a seal just yet.
    Last edited by fastline; 02-28-2012 at 11:09 AM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    131

    Default

    I did a little more research but still need to chat with a few people. Seems I will have to cut the pond, then analyze the soils as mentioned above. Depending on composition and particle size, I would have to decide a route to take but seems that with my expected soil types, compaction and "gleization" which is the process of adding an organic matter layer that, as I understand it, helps to break up the clay particles and allow them to more effectively plug porosity as well as turn you silt and do their own sealing.

    I think I can find some next to free organic matter but not sure yet how much I will need. I am really hoping that compaction and gleization will get it done.

    Question - I know what I really want for a compaction machine but might have to settle for less. Does anyone have ideas on a compactor? I don't think the dozer will be near enough seeing as how tracks are designed specifically to reduce compaction.

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