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How would you seal this pond?  RSS feed

 
Posts: 64
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First off, I apologize if this is in the wrong place. I couldn't find an exact category.

We started to have this dug out for a pond and ran into cinder and stopped. We wanted the pond here because the water run off from the land goes right past it. It fills up during a heavy rain during the monsoons but drains out within a day or two. At first it drained overnight but due to the sediment slowly filling it back in over time, it has taken just a little bit longer now.
I also realize that the sides should be more of a gradual slope instead of straight up and down. I do not think I can fix the left side because the trees are right there but I can work on the other three sides if needed. We are also thinking of putting the ducks next to it so they can have a pond.
My research only came up with two options. The clay powder or a liner.
Anyway ... thoughts?

Thanks
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Posts: 159
Location: Mason Cty, WA
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This is a great thread on the subject, and still my go-to for any questions or discussion on the topic of traditional pond-sealing:

https://permies.com/t/80/38201/Progress-Gleying-Pond-Pigs

I plan to do it myself, having naturally hummocked land with a lot of clay in pockets, and a slope to feed runoff to any number of ponds, sometimes along existing flow channels. I hope to get to that this year, and add to the evolving body of knowledge.
 
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Posts: 965
Location: Los Angeles, CA
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books chicken food preservation forest garden hugelkultur urban
 
Marco Banks
pollinator
Posts: 965
Location: Los Angeles, CA
146
books chicken food preservation forest garden hugelkultur urban
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In all seriousness, if you use the pig method that Michael Newby used in the thread that is posted above, there seem to be a couple of key variables.  First, you'll need a slow trickle of water down into your pond site so that the pigs can create a wallow.  It doesn't look like there is a nearby water source during the dry months so you might need to run a hose out there and connect it to a pump or some other means or drawing water.  I wouldn't imagine it would take much -- even a slow trickle would gradually fill that space over time.  Larger rain events would hasten the process considerably.

Second, the gleying process is a combination of rotting vegetation, pig manure and the bacteria that naturally occurs when these first two ingredients are smashed down into the muddy wallow by the pig hooves.   Any kind of biomass would work, but for simplicity sake, a couple of big bales of grass, hay or straw would work great.  I once saw them seal a pond in Iowa years ago just using lots of mowed grass and weeds.  If you knew anyone who runs a lawn service and bags their grass clippings, that would work fantastic.  Basically, as the pigs are wallowing in the mud, you continue to provide food and continually add a layer of green biomass around the edges growing pond.  They'll roll around on this like any animal would lay on straw in a barn.  As the water slowly rises, the pigs mash that biomass down into the mud, poop all over everything, and seal the pond with this slurry of poop and bacteria.

Third, Michael integrated ducks into his pond system so that there would be an ongoing layer of poop being added throughout the year.

Comparatively, his site looked like nothing but fine stones and sand.  Your site looks much more promising.  Its crazy that from that, he was able to create a pond and a rich ecosystem that surrounds it.

Best of luck.
 
Posts: 67
Location: mid Ohio, 40.318626 -83.766931
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You could try using Bentonite clay powder which you can purchase at most waterwell drilling supply outlets.
I have to admit I had not heard of using the pigs as another had mentioned. However where I am in Ohio
We are not permitted to have pigs on our property due to groundwater contamination. Using them to seal off your pond
Might cause groundwater issues later..
 
Posts: 567
Location: In the woods, West Coast USA
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I think you could use a pond liner here.  I'm not seeing any ponding water, so you might have to insist on keeping it there.   If the water hasn't been ponding naturally,  and you want to use it soon, it's an easy way to go.  Let it be a natural pond, not necessarily blue water, and you can tweak it as time passes.  You can use some heavy stones to hold the edge in place.  As the birds, ducks come to trust it --  and they may only spend the night on it, so you might not see them -- it might not be drinking water quality, but if it holds steady in depth it's a reliable way to test it.
 
Posts: 81
Location: Castelo Branco, Portugal
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Jim, what kind of soil is it? It looks like clay but you say that the water drains quickly.
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