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Old 10-28-2006, 07:34 PM   #1
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Dig out swamp or make a duck pond?


Hey all,

I recently bought some land and there's a small swamp on the land (some of it is open but most of it is grassy and weedy.)

Here's a picture of the swamp:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/55188381@N00/281722937/


I am debating on whether I should open up the swamp (dig the grassy stuff out, because I know there IS water in there) or if I should just make a manmade duck pond on the land. Either way I want a pond on my land but I don't know which I should do.

How do I 'excavate' the swamp exactly in order to turn it into a pond? Do I get some waders and grab a post-hole digger and shovel and take out all of the grassy stuff?

How about if I decided to make my own duck pond instead, how do you go about doing that? Just dig a large hole, put a tarp in it as a liner and put some gravel in the bottom and let it set and then fill it up?

What should I do - excavate the swamp by hand, or just build a duck pond? And how do I do whichever one would be best?

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Old 11-04-2006, 08:44 PM   #2
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Dig out swamp or make a duck pond?


Anybody? :|

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Old 11-05-2006, 12:44 AM   #3
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Dig out swamp or make a duck pond?


You should first check with the DNR about permits, because it could be an expensive mistake if you didnt as wetlands are usually protected and large fines result from any digging/destruction.
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Old 11-05-2006, 12:46 AM   #4
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Even a swamp confined within your own private property?
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Old 11-05-2006, 01:10 AM   #5
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Yes, this is a touchy issue with them, I would call for info to be safe, then if you want to proceed apply for a variance.
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Old 11-06-2006, 12:34 PM   #6
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Dig out swamp or make a duck pond?


That guy is right you MUST check with your local county, state, and city engineering departments. If they don't have an issue with you digging a pond then you're good to go. As far as building it. 2 things to remember. 1 the water of the post must flow somewhere or it will become full of diseases and misquitos. 2. Clay should be used to keep water in the pond. What I mean by this is instead of lining the bottom with an expensive fabric that will not hold up you should dig the pond an extra 1 to 2 foot deeper then backfill that 1 or 2 layer with a high clay soils such as a "CH or MH" geotechnical soil type. From looking at the picture I would guess that this area probably has a pocket of clay or clay like material which is keeping the water in the soil and not releasing it. If you go out there with a shovel to dig a pond. You're going to be there for decades. Consider the weight of dirt with water in it. Here's a link to the virginia department of transportation website. Search through there for what's call a "clay liner" and it will give you more technical details on how to build a pond.

http://www.virginiadot.org/business/...Disclaimer.asp

Look for the road and bridge standards.
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Old 11-06-2006, 01:11 PM   #7
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the CH or MH in NC...we live in the sand hills....FT Bragg area....and have the ideal spot for a pond.....I need to build up one side for a retaining wall or birm if you will.....and the water table is shallow enough that it will work well........

also what are the laws in NC as to how much land per acre can we turn into a pond.....ie; where I lived previoously we could have a 1/4 acre per acre of land......we currently have 10 undeveloped acres we would lik to refuge for wildlife......
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Old 11-06-2006, 02:41 PM   #8
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Typically you can get CH or MH material from a local rock quarry. Don't quote me on this but I believe that the rock in NC is a mix between diabase, granite and hornfels rock. Diabase rock typical standard is that it will have at least 2' of CH or MH overburden. Either way check with your local rock quarry's and they should have clay for sale. If there is an abundance of clay in the area you may be able to get it for free.

The local engineering department for your county will be able to tell you what or much land you can dedicate to lake/ponds. I don't know the specifications for that area.

Any developer will tell you it is always cheaper to use dirt instead of walls. I would suggest using an earth berm instead of building a retaining wall.
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Old 11-06-2006, 02:47 PM   #9
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Dig out swamp or make a duck pond?


If you donŠt have any granular material for strength, you will have to build a berm much wider.

Whatever you do will have to comply with the local officials. Someone from out of town can't do the local zoning.

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Old 04-08-2007, 09:48 PM   #10
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Dig out swamp or make a duck pond?


Well, kind of an update here: I have decided against making a duck pond in addition to the swamp I already have on my property. I figured that since I already got a small swam, why make another body of water?

If the local officials are okay with it, I think I will "dig out" my portion of the swamp (2/3 of it is on my property) and turn it into a pond (or at least try to get all of the huge, tall swamp grasses out of there.)


Assuming the local officials okay it and give me a permit, how should I go about taking the long/clumpy/tall/stiff swamp grass out of there? I don't want to bring in any machines and I don't want to use any chemicals. One of my buddies said I could get a burning permit and burn the swamp grass, or that I could just do it the old fashioned way: waist-high waders, a shovel, and a rake. Any recommendations/advice?
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Old 04-09-2007, 10:17 AM   #11
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Dig out swamp or make a duck pond?


Diggen by hand?!?!?! Thats what migrant workers are for! I'm not advocating you break the law of course. Just look for some hardy souls looking for some honest manual labor and pay them in cash and beer. If you got a crew of 5 or 6 mehicans they could make short work of it.
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Old 08-14-2007, 01:46 AM   #12
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i ive been digging a large hole it is about 2 m deep and 1.7 m wide and ive been trying to find something that would lift out the sand out after i dig it up
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Old 09-11-2008, 04:25 PM   #13
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Dig out swamp or make a duck pond?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Brik View Post
Diggen by hand?!?!?! Thats what migrant workers are for! I'm not advocating you break the law of course. Just look for some hardy souls looking for some honest manual labor and pay them in cash and beer. If you got a crew of 5 or 6 mehicans they could make short work of it.
Hello NC
I'm a retired USN American Vet, who has lived in NC 12yrs. Just noticed your comment about the migrant worker. I agree you should consider them but not for cheap labor and beer. Common Sir, the'y are not all drunks. Actually I consider then good working people.
Martin
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Old 09-12-2008, 12:43 AM   #14
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Dig out swamp or make a duck pond?


Quote:
Originally Posted by MartinLabor View Post
Hello NC
I'm a retired USN American Vet, who has lived in NC 12yrs. Just noticed your comment about the migrant worker. I agree you should consider them but not for cheap labor and beer. Common Sir, the'y are not all drunks. Actually I consider then good working people.
Martin
Well stated Martin.
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Old 06-06-2010, 04:07 AM   #15
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Dig out swamp or make a duck pond?


I am in the same boat as Andgro. My question is Is there a cheap way to tell if the water is being spring fed? I have quite a bit of water in my front yard, and I don't know if it's because of drainage or not. Thanks

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