I am helping some friends build a pond and am weighing some options for sealing, mainly between using pond liner or building up a layer of gley material.
The guides I've read regarding gleying seem to suggest that one should wait 2-3 weeks before filling up a pond once you layered up your manure and other materials. I'm wondering why this wait time is necessary? If the goal is to have a layer of biomass that undergoes anaerobic decay, wouldn't it make sense to fill the pond soon after adding the gleying layers in order to avoid contact with air? It seems that having the gleying layer more exposed to the air for that long would encourage other aerobic decay and possibly make the sealant layer less effective.
Also, I'm wondering if anyone has tried gleying *and* and temporary barrier such as tarps, something that would hold/squeeze the gley layer in place and allow for the anaerobic decay to occur, then remove the tarp from the bottom of the pond after the material is more likely to hold water.
Lastly, I should mention we are hoping for the pond to be deep enough in the center for 1-2 people to wade/sit in it, and I'm wondering how well gleying holds up to erosion with people getting in and out. Has anyone had any experience building underwater gleyed stairway to assist in entering/exiting the pool? Perhaps a submerged wooden steps would help with this?