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Old 01-07-2010, 02:52 PM   #1
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rjhrjt wannabe pond builder


Last summer, i dug out for a pond in my back wisconsin yard. The pond is approx 30' diameter and is tapered to about 4' deep. The original grade was sloped pretty significantly so I used some of the spoils to build a berm (2' high at the most) around the low sides or approx 65% of the edge in order to make it level. I don't want to use a liner to hold the water as i want the pond to be natural like the ones in our local golf courses. After building it, I compacted the berm soil as much as i could and even planted rye grass all over it. Looks great except when i try to fill the pond, the water level of course goes higher than the lowest points in the berm and the water migrates out under the berm wall and all i have left is a puddle and mushy grass around the outside of the berm.. Someone told me that it will take up to 5-6 years for the berm to harden / adhere itself to the subsoil before it will hold water. If this is true, am i stuck with having to buy a liner if i don't want to wait that long?

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Old 01-08-2010, 04:32 AM   #2
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Dunno! Good luck with that! Hope someone 'out there' can clarify the issue for you. My guess is 50/50. If it turns out that you have to wait several years for 'stuff' to settle, by all means, go with the liner. It would be interesting to see some pics if you have some available. Guess it also depends on what results you want to achieve immediately, what you'd like to look at for the next while & how much patience you have.

Welcome, God bless & Happy New Year!

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Old 01-08-2010, 07:46 AM   #3
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rjhrjt wannabe pond builder


Ayuh,.... I donno the soils in Wisconsin... But it would seem to me that Clay soils are probably available,...
Lining the bottom of your pond with a 4"/ 6" layer of Clay,+ compacting it should be sufficient to hold water...
The Plus side of using a Clay liner is the vegetation will grow in it....
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Old 01-08-2010, 09:08 AM   #4
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what did you use for compaction and what was the compaction measured at?
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Old 01-08-2010, 09:38 AM   #5
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Seal the pond and walls with Bentonite clay. This will fill its pours with water then become water tight. It is the natural way we build these gold coarse ponds you are referring too. This stuff comes in blankets that you simply roll into the pond.
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Old 01-08-2010, 10:45 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tpolk View Post
what did you use for compaction and what was the compaction measured at?
.
I did not do any formal compaction, basically I used the clay subsoils i dug up and just crushed it by driving over it with my tractor. The berm is about 24-30" high & tapers down, and the width of the berm at grade is about 4'. I guess in retropect, i should have left the original grade as is & just dug the cavity deeper?

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Old 01-08-2010, 11:06 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Mariani View Post
Seal the pond and walls with Bentonite clay. This will fill its pours with water then become water tight. It is the natural way we build these gold coarse ponds you are referring too. This stuff comes in blankets that you simply roll into the pond.
.
This sounds like a great idea! The betonite i'm familiar with I thought was a liquid - used for stopping foundation leaks. . I did not know it comes in a blanket form. Where do you get this (blanket - betonite) product from?
Can i buy it on-line?? thanx again! rjh
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Old 01-08-2010, 11:24 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bondo View Post
Ayuh,.... I donno the soils in Wisconsin... But it would seem to me that Clay soils are probably available,...
Lining the bottom of your pond with a 4"/ 6" layer of Clay,+ compacting it should be sufficient to hold water...
The Plus side of using a Clay liner is the vegetation will grow in it....
.
I didn't have the soil tested but it appears that the natural subsoil is already of a clay composition (nothing as hard as chgo blue clay). The water level below the berm line stays in the pond - it's when i try to fill the pond to the top (over the bottom of the berm) that i loose the water via seeping under the berm. This Mariani fellow below suggests betonite blankets??..might be easier that finding clay in southern wisconsin? rjh

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