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pond drying up

 
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Hi, first time poster. Seems like a site with a lot of great people helping each other. Pretty cool. Hope someone can give me some insight on a problem with my pond.
I'll start with we dug a 50 x 150 pond 7 years ago. Clay base, average depth 8 ' with up to 20 at one end. We decided to dig due to the specific area always being wet, cattails etc. The springs all flowed from the south side of the pond, not sure of the original flow rate but steady and slow. Over the last six months our pond has dropped at least 8 feet with no end in sight ? Originally I thought a undiscovered tile was the culprit but now upon digging believe that not to be the case. I'm now starting to believe the pond may not be leaking but the springs have stopped flowing. The continuos water decline a result of wind / sun. My question is this a common problem ? The springs have seemed to be getting weaker the last few years and now basically grown over etc. Can they be re dug ? excavated ? Anyone have any solutions as to what may be happening ? A neighbouring farm had tiled a few years back, could this also be the culprit ? I'm located in Ontario. The spring and summer have been if anything wetter than most and our winter had huge precipitation and cold.
Appreciate any help,
Thanks
 
gardener
Posts: 697
Location: Mount Shasta, CA Zone 8a Mediterranean climate
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Hi Cam, welcome to Permies!

From what your telling us I would look at the watershed that is supplying those springs. It sounds to me like something has happened to the watershed to cause it to either soak less water or drain that water to a different area.

Depending on the size of your property you might be able to help rehydrate the land supplying the springs with various earthworks designed to maximize water soakage but you'll need to be able to do more than just an acre or two to get springs flowing well again.

Can you plant any windbreak/shade trees near the pond to help cut down on evaporation?
 
cam pettigrew
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Thanks Michael,
Now that I have had a backhoe in and dug several holes, I've noticed several things. One area has what looks to be pond dye water. Secondly the area surrounding that area appears to have reeds starting to grow. When I follow the reed growth,it looks like possibly the springs may have become silted and redirected the flow around the ponds circumference ? Is this a possibility ?
 
pollinator
Posts: 349
Location: S. Ontario Canada
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Where in Ontario are you?
I'm in the Grey Highlands, in an area of glacial till. Mixed gravel, sand and plenty of round-ish granite "potatoes". There are many springs around us but the paths they have taken through the gravel seem very sensitive to any disturbance.
I've seen a number of well intentioned projects have unexpected results when any digging was done.
Our cabin had a strong spring that never failed. Some digging was done 100 feet away for a cabin foundation and a spring was hit. They dropped a well pipe into the spring(at least 6 GPM flow), backfilled everything and left it alone, moving the cabin site. Within 10 years our spring was dry, the new spring was dry and a 30 foot bit of the edge of a floodplain near a creek had slumped down and was (and still is) eroding slowly.

You might be able to find where the spring is still running strong, put in a shallow well and pipe the outflow to your pond. I would look for a pond specialist in your area for an expert. The copper sulfate (blue stuff) you're seeing is a definite clue I would follow up on - where is it coming from?.
 
cam pettigrew
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Hi Roy,
I'm located in Southern Ontario south of London. I agree I need to find a pond specialist as I'm still unsure of whats happening. Several things are for sure. The springs are no longer running. They seemed to slow the past few years and now are non existent. Maybe blocked from sentiment ? Secondly, a test hole in a newly developed wet spot in the pasture 100 ft from the pond definitely has blue dye ? And pond reeds are forming in that vicinity. The only reasonable explanation may be the springs rerouted around the pond and resulted in the wet area. The reason for the pond dye must be from a leak or seepage into the spring? I don't know, need professional help. One other explanation for the dry springs may be the adjacent farm tiled their field ? Hope thats not the case.
gift
 
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