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sealing a pond - is Bentonite a good option  RSS feed

 
                      
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Next week, will start digging a pond. I was wondering though how to seal it. I don't want to use concrete or plastics. So is Bentonite a good option? Is it environmental friendly? Does it work? Anybody experience with it?

Thanks

Dirk
 
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The best option for sealing your pond may depend on several things. One of which is the type of soil your pond is made of. If it's rocky than bentonite isn't likely to seal it particularly well. The other factor is your resources.

So, if your soil is up for it and you have the money to purchase the bentonite I think it's a great option. I'm a bit biased though, coming from the largest producing bentonite state in the US.

Other options for sealing your pond may be pigs, which do work fairly well in my experience but I wouldn't want to put any of my body parts in water that a pig gleyed.  

A pond liner may be a good option if your soil is unfit for gleying or bentonite. Cement isn't something I would suggest as I've been there, done that, and it was awful.
 
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I am looking at something similar. The issue here is the availability of Bentonite. So far, I can only get 2 versions. One is sodium bentonite with a mix of polymer. And the other is Calcium Bentonite. I tried both on small scale. The calcium bentonite doesn't hold water. The Sodium Bentonite with Polymer mix does. But I wonder how bad this polymer mix is for the environment. Any ideas on this?
 
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No idea where you are, but these folks sell bentonite in bulk for pond sealing: Natural Waterscapes
 
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Location: mid Ohio, 40.318626 -83.766931
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dog homestead solar
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best place to get Bentonite will be from a well drilling suppler. a 50lb bag should cost around $13
 
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Location: Crescent City, Florida
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I like the idea of bentonite. Anyone know where I can get some in Orlando, Jax, Tampa, Gainesville?
 
elle sagenev
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Dennis Hamilton wrote:I like the idea of bentonite. Anyone know where I can get some in Orlando, Jax, Tampa, Gainesville?



I don't know if there is any oil action out by you but if there is, contact those companies. They use bentonite in a lot of drilling.

Otherwise Wyo-Ben has a list of distributors, Wyoming being the biggest producer.


Also, bentonite worked ok. I kind of screwed it up.
 
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homestead hugelkultur foraging
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I put in three ponds last year and one had trouble sealing. I used three 50 lbs bags of bentonite in the area with the leak and then added a few bags full of leaf litter to the pond near the leak. The capillary action of the leak pulled in the clay (dusted by hand) and then the leaves, forming a good seal.

But as others have said, it depends on where you are and how your soil is at various depths.

I got bentonite from local ag store, cheap.
 
elle sagenev
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J Davis wrote:I put in three ponds last year and one had trouble sealing. I used three 50 lbs bags of bentonite in the area with the leak and then added a few bags full of leaf litter to the pond near the leak. The capillary action of the leak pulled in the clay (dusted by hand) and then the leaves, forming a good seal.

But as others have said, it depends on where you are and how your soil is at various depths.

I got bentonite from local ag store, cheap.



I was rocking over the top of it in the dark and kinda.....put a hole in it, several times. Lesson learned. Need more bentonite now.
 
pollinator
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Elle, what were the problems with cement? I haven’t heard many specific complaints about it.
 
elle sagenev
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Ben Zumeta wrote:Elle, what were the problems with cement? I haven’t heard many specific complaints about it.



I did cement a livestock pond which I then had to remove all the cement from. With the freezing and such around here and the settling it cracked hard core. So I removed the cement and had the pigs seal it. Worked well.

 
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