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Natural Pond Construction

 
Posts: 17
Location: Finca FruiciĆ³n, Costa Rica
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Good Morning Permies,

I am in the process of building a pool and at a cross-roads. I am going with using plants as the filtration element, and converting the old rectangular tilapia pond into a pool. I have 2 ponds next to each other, and my idea is to connect the ponds, but keep one as the fish pond, where the food and breeding takes place and have the other one as the swimming pool, that way we are maximizing the oxygen potential. I am not sure that this will work, especially since I have ducks in the system. Any ideas on that would be helpful.

The other part of all this is that I am digging the inground swimming pool deeper and rounding the edges, offering a "shallow" for children and plants. I read the article in Permaculture Magazine about making a DIY pool, however I am thinking about using construction felt coated in concrete with a rebar webbing sandwiched between another layer of the felt-crete and "stapling" that into the clay soil surrounding it.. The shape of the pond is solid, as it has been here for years, well before we moved here. I am considering lining the pool with these layers and then putting sand on top. The shelves where the stairs and plants are I would like to have rock edges to hold the sand in. I am not sure if this system will work and would love your feedback.

Thanks,
Alana Bliss
 
pollinator
Posts: 732
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
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I actually have some questions about pond construction...

I live on the Northern shore of lake Superior and there is a very large amount of wetland / swamp.

Much of the land here is either on shallow soil over bedrock, or deep muskeg (peat).

There are loads of natural ponds and lakes here, and it's because the water table is roughly at the surface. If I have a piece of swampy land like this, what effect am I to expect if I install a pond or lake?

For instance, will the water table drop as the pond fills?

I've been wondering how these natural lakes seal as well. Is it possible that they actually aren't sealed at all and it's actually an effect of a very high water table?

Finally, I am thinking of a specific instance where at the bottom of a shallow valley, there is a significant amount of swampy ground. Looking closer, I saw that there is bedrock a few feet below the surface so this is really a stream bed that happens to be full of debris. Clearing the debris would probably create a stream. Is there any way to create ponds in the landscape like this to slow the water down? I'd hate to create a stream, and overly drain the landscape.
 
Nick Kitchener
pollinator
Posts: 732
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
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I have another question about natural ponds...

We have a natural pond which covers about 1/2 to 1 acre. It is shallow and boggy. In the summer time, the water eventually disappears and all that remains is a cattail swamp.

I have considered turning this into a permanent water feature by digging out the mud, thinking that it would enable fish and other larger organisms to live in there.

Can anyone see some unintended consequences of this? Will the new pond just silt up again?
 
pollinator
Posts: 4154
Location: Northern New York Zone4-5 the OUTER 'RONDACs percip 36''
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Nick Kitchener : The first thing I would do is find out about every source of a topographical map for your area,an older series info instead of meters is
better for fine detail, You need to be able to find your Exact Location and Elevation, Where your elevation lines cross your valley the Vs that they make
are all pointed up hill !

To say it an other way, The top of the map is always North, so where elevation lines cross a stream the point of the V 'points towards higher ground' !

Here, a series of Vs pointing like this - >>>> would show higher ground to the east, and > > >still points to higher ground but the distance between
elevation lines shows that the slope of the ground is not as steep where the Elevation Lines and their stream crossing Vs are farther apart !

Now in order to cause a major change in your drainage you must connect two or more of those lines acrost your land! If the lines are very close it can
be very easy, you don't need a straight line just detour around any rocks, the water won't care ! If the lines are very far apart so that none of them
actually cross your proposed pool site, it may be impossible to improve your drainage without crossing your neighbors land with your drainage ditch !

I would call around to places that carter to outdoor people and try to find the guy that teaches people how to use G.P.S. systems to travel through the
woods with out using trails, usually he works in one of the outdoor shops and the first class he gives is map reading - and he will probably know which
is the best map for your area and if if is detailed enough to help you ! Certainly he will be able to tell at a glance ! Bon Chance ! Big Al
 
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I'd think the last thing you'd want in a pond used to swim would be waterfowl. They eat all the plants and you know where the waste ends up.
This natural pond builders site has a bunch of good thoughts for the problem of pond liners and seals
They are saying to avoid loamy soils that don't seal.
gift
 
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