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So, i made this...

 
pollinator
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I have a very small spring on my land. It runs all year until winter freezes it, but it's very small. It's a few inches deep and a foot or so wide in some spots. Anyway, i don't have other water on my land yet, so when i plant trees, in order to water them, i haul a 55 gal drum there that I put a house spigot on and use it to fill buckets.i carry 5 gal buckets around and water when we have dry spells. With 300 new trees this spring, you can imagine that a 55 gal drum doesn't go far. That gave me the idea to dig a hole in my little stream big enough up fill a 5 gal pail. The great part is that when I started digging, I hit pure clay.i found chunks you could make pottery with. I guess years of water flowing there carried all the sand and silt away leaving just the clay.  The clay makes perfect mortar for my little dam. I put a few rocks down, stood on them to sink them, and them smashed some clay between and on top of them. Then I added another layer.  The hole I dug is just large enough for the bucket, and to use as a watering hole for thirsty dogs. It worked so well, I'm going to make the dam another foot or so tall with a spillway that will spill over onto more rock downstream to keep it from digging a hole and possibly causing a blowout. Hopefully I'll end up with a small spring fed pond.  I'll post more pictures as the dam and pond grow.
20200516_134613.jpg
 Little spring
Little spring
20200516_134655.jpg
Dog watering hole
Dog watering hole
 
master pollinator
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Good job man!
 
gardener
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Location: France, Burgundy, parc naturel Morvan
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Great. How long does it take to fill a bucket?
From what i know, it's possible to increase the flow rate of wells over time.
They fill up with debris over time is the theory. Here where i live second home owners have been unhappy with the water on their lands that farmers cherished when they had a spring, the new owners blocked these springs. Later after the hot summers we are experiencing since the 2000 they open them up again, they are having a hard time getting them going again, because they fill up inside with debris.

The more you liberate the water flowing in the more it will open up. How deep does the clay layer go? You never know, it might have building up clay there for a long,long time, choking it's ownrunway in the "tube" inside the rocks.

Anyway, in this case, if that's flowing all the time, you can have a small pond filled up. Dipping the watering can in a small pond is quick.
 
pollinator
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300 plants sounds like it could easily be 2acre and 4,000ft linear feet.
You could do poly pipe and a solar pump (direct drive).
You could do drip irrigation or overhead spray.
With overhead spray/misting you could do fertigation with compost tea and company.

You can also build a fish pond somewhere on the property too. Another source of food, and fertigation water
 
pollinator
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It might pay to study the knowledge bank of springs.
They can be tricky thisngs to deal with.
Most springs get the water from high patches of ground that has vegetation. The fallen vegetation and the ground holds moisture
which cpnstantly trickles down,
Remove the vegetation it dries out and the spring does also.
Sometimes digging around can actually cut the channel its flowing through and dry out the spring.
Perhaps record what you are doing and watch the long term effects.
As suggetted time how long  something is filled and that will help work out the available capacity.
I can say the concept of pumping water, even to a higher point and drip watering the trees may save a lot of time and energy.
You may find you can install a bigger 'tank' say 55 gal.
wikipedia on Springs

Florida information on springs

Making springs work for you
 
Trace Oswald
pollinator
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Joylynn Hardesty wrote:Good job man!



Thank you.

Hugo Morvan wrote:Great. How long does it take to fill a bucket?



It's spring here now, so this little spring runs at it's fastest this time f year.  Right now, it will fill immediately after pulling a 5 gal pail of water from it.

S Bengi wrote:300 plants sounds like it could easily be 2acre and 4,000ft linear feet.
You could do poly pipe and a solar pump (direct drive).
You could do drip irrigation or overhead spray.
With overhead spray/misting you could do fertigation with compost tea and company.

You can also build a fish pond somewhere on the property too. Another source of food, and fertigation water



The 300 trees are spread about the property.  200 are osage ornage forming the basis for my living fence/hedge row and traveling 200 feet up my property line several hundred feet from the spring.  Others are in the food forest.  25 are elderberry that are spread around very near this spring.  I only water trees when they need it between rains for the first year they are in, so carrying water to them is okay.  A fish pond is absolutely in the plans.

John C Daley wrote:It might pay to study the knowledge bank of springs.
They can be tricky thisngs to deal with.
Most springs get the water from high patches of ground that has vegetation. The fallen vegetation and the ground holds moisture
which cpnstantly trickles down,
Remove the vegetation it dries out and the spring does also.
Sometimes digging around can actually cut the channel its flowing through and dry out the spring.
Perhaps record what you are doing and watch the long term effects.
As suggetted time how long  something is filled and that will help work out the available capacity.
I can say the concept of pumping water, even to a higher point and drip watering the trees may save a lot of time and energy.
You may find you can install a bigger 'tank' say 55 gal



I'm sure this spring does that, as well as getting spring runoff down from the ridges.  This little spring is on the lowest part of my property near the corner property lines.  I'm building brush dams in some of the valleys that the ridges empty into in hopes I can force more springs to form higher up on my land.



I worked on this a little today.  It was raining but I got a couple more layers of stone on.  I had one blowout but it was easy to correct.  The pond is about 7 feet across now and maybe 4 feet wide.  It's only a couple feet deep but I'll continue to work on it a little more until it's where I want it to be.  Who knows where that will be?  I made a small spillway but didn't have time to work on the rocks downstream of it yet.



blowout.jpeg
The blowout
The blowout
clay.jpeg
Beautiful clay
Beautiful clay
spillway.jpeg
Small spillway to release water
Small spillway to release water
 
Trace Oswald
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I took a few more pictures so that people can get a better sense of the area I am working with.  Pictures 1 and 2 are the start of the spring.  "Seep" may be a better word for it.  Picture 3 is looking downstream from the spring and standing directly next to it. 4, 5, and 6 are me walking closer to my little dam.  7 is the area downstream from my dam and standing beside it.  8 is a picture of the amount of water flowing today, and shows the spillway more closely.  It doesn't show up well in a still photo, but the little stream is moving a lot of water today.  It rained all day yesterday and is still raining lightly this morning.


In the picture downstream from the dam, you can see that there is a very low area to both sides of the little stream.  Eventually I will dig that out as well to form a larger pond.  AS always, I have many projects and limited time, so it will probably be done slowly over time unless I rent a small piece of digging equipment.
1.jpeg
Beginning of the spring/seep
Beginning of the spring/seep
2.jpeg
A closer picture of the spring
A closer picture of the spring
3.jpeg
moving downstream..
moving downstream..
4.jpeg
further...
further...
5.jpeg
further, with dam in the distance
further, with dam in the distance
6.jpeg
my little pond
my little pond
7.jpeg
downstream from the dam
downstream from the dam
8.jpeg
spillway
spillway
 
pioneer
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    Have you considered putting in a mini-swale to spread and soak the water? It can be really shallow, maybe one shovel deep.
 
Trace Oswald
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Myron Platte wrote:     Have you considered putting in a mini-swale to spread and soak the water? It can be really shallow, maybe one shovel deep.



Hey Myron.  I have a few places I can put in these little ponds and putting in a few mini-swales is a great idea.  It would be a very fast way of slowing the water a bit, thanks.
 
Trace Oswald
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I added another layer to my dam today. I'm really happy with the little pond so far.
20200523_123107.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20200523_123107.jpg]
20200523_113932.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20200523_113932.jpg]
 
pollinator
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Your little dam is a nice little watering hole,  
What fun you must be having. that's really a beautiful site. congrats on the trees.
 
Trace Oswald
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bob day wrote:Your little dam is a nice little watering hole,  
What fun you must be having. that's really a beautiful site. congrats on the trees.



Thanks.  Seems like every time I look at it, I think, I'll just make it a little bigger...

The dogs love it and I'm hoping the wildlife are getting some use of it too.  I may set up one of my game cams near it.
 
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That looks awesome, Trace!
 
John C Daley
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One thing to consider with this water  course is keeping stock out of it.
They will turn the whole area into a quagmire, so either use a stock watering trough or line the watercourse where stock can get to it with rock.
 
Trace Oswald
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John C Daley wrote:One thing to consider with this water  course is keeping stock out of it.
They will turn the whole area into a quagmire, so either use a stock watering trough or line the watercourse where stock can get to it with rock.



I don't have livestock, so just deer and other wildlife will be using this. Well, other than my dogs 😊  I do have 3 elk on the property this year, so I'll see how much interest it gets from the deer and elk.
 
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Trace,

I have been reading this thread as it developed for a while now and I have to say, “Well Done!”  It’s not easy to find these little springs, but not only did you find one, you developed it too.  I love watching this progress and I would love to see more pictures as you improve your little pond.

Eric
 
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Have you tried digging your spring out? The info I have read suggests that the surrounding clay contains the “confined aquifer” your spring is coming up from. I have similar, when I dug directly at the spring emergence it was loose rock and pea gravel. 2 feet off to the side was very thick clay and silt. My digging expanded it from a trickle into a 30 gallon a minute pure spring flow. See if you can increase your flow rate!
 
Trace Oswald
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JoAnn Peterson wrote:Have you tried digging your spring out? The info I have read suggests that the surrounding clay contains the “confined aquifer” your spring is coming up from. I have similar, when I dug directly at the spring emergence it was loose rock and pea gravel. 2 feet off to the side was very thick clay and silt. My digging expanded it from a trickle into a 30 gallon a minute pure spring flow. See if you can increase your flow rate!



Hey JoAnn.  I'm really looking forward to spring when I can start digging again.  I plan to work on it this year a lot more.  I would love it if I could increase the flow a little, but I also don't want to cause a situation where the water leaves my land any faster.  
 
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That's really cool. Good job!
 
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Wow Joann, that is definitely food for thought. I'm going to carefully (only by hand) try your suggestion. Someone kept commenting on the numerous spring videos I watched, that if you put a crawdaddy in your contained spring pool, then put salt toward the front of it, that would drive the crawdaddy to dig your spring out for you. Not sure if you ever heard of that before... sounds like some serious old-timer stuff.
Trace, your place is beautiful. Best thing is, you're using what's already there and it's working. I have plans to do the same (use only clay and stones). My only thought is that you could make a spring house where the spring emerges, then the overflow can continue on to your pond. This would give you potable water and keep the animals happy.
 
Myron Platte
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Hi Trace, is it spring for you yet? How’s the spring?
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