Do it like the Egyptians...leveling a pond


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I'm in the process of rebuilding my pond and needed to correct some areas that were not level. Initially I staked several string lines but was not getting consistent measurements when double and triple checking...
Called my contractor son in law figuring he would have a laser level. Unfortunately his broke while finishing his basement. He recommended renting one from a big box store. No luck there either . So I started to research them to purchase. The prices started at $50 and went up into the thousands. The cheap ones will not project in day light . While researching how to use the laser level on you tube there were a couple of videos for using a WATER LEVEL. After watching a half dozen or so of videos a common comment was this was how the EGYPTIANS leveled the pyramids.. now I don't know how true these claims are but I figured why not give this a shot. There are several variations on you tube . The one pictured below I built for less than $15... The parts include 20 ft 1/2" ID vinyl tubing , a container, scrap piece of 2x4, 1/2" hose barb, berry kool aid to color the water, and an optional 1/2" barbed valve. In the picture the valve and the box is closed so it is not showing level. If the valve and container top was open the fluid in the tube would be at the same height as the container.
IMG_0127.JPG

The build took less than 30 minutes.
Very easy to use. Set up one point for a reference then take the tube attached to the 2x4 along the perimeter of the pond stopping as often as deemed necessary to take measurements.
If you are interested in building one go to you tube and search Water Level.
Hope this saves other members money and research time.
 
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addy1

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Nice share! I had a laser level my previous husband had bought. Building on our slope is sure saved me.
 
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Be forewarned unless your ground is perfectly level don't consider the pond level until its filled. Once filled you can safely tuck your liner into the ground and cover it with dirt and rock. If your ground isn't level you may need to dig a ledge to rest some rocks on to cover the liner where the higher ground is.
 
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I tried to do this, but without the reservoir. Now I know why mine didn't work so well. What I ended up doing was using a much of tomato stakes, a magic marker, and a 6 foot carpenter's level. I got things to about 1/2" around the perimeter of a 16x12 pond, so not too bad.
 
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We used a string level - not the most accurate, but it did the trick. Took four of us though - two to hold the string, one to read the level and the fourth one to question every decision we made... that one was me!
 
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Be forewarned unless your ground is perfectly level don't consider the pond level until its filled. Once filled you can safely tuck your liner into the ground and cover it with dirt and rock. If your ground isn't level you may need to dig a ledge to rest some rocks on to cover the liner where the higher ground is.
Your point about not knowing if the ground is level is why I went through the process. For my first pond there were high and low spots that were noticeable with water evaporation. So for the expansion I wanted to get as close to level as possible. The water level device gives you a reference point for level and from there you go around the perimeter record the measurements and correct as needed.
IMG_0129.JPG

The above diagram is how I recorded measurements around the perimeter. This confirmed what I knew but allowed me to make accurate adjustments. Grass and shed side needed to be lowered and fence side elevated. As of today perimeter is level.
 
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We used a string level - not the most accurate, but it did the trick. Took four of us though - two to hold the string, one to read the level and the fourth one to question every decision we made... that one was me!
I used a string level for my first build not so accurate for me. Tried again for this build and was getting inconsistent measurements so I went ancient or as my son in law commented "ghetto":cool:
 
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I went the water level route because it has always worked for me on conventional building projects. I found that the pond was not conventional and that even moving 10" could throw me off. I used the real ancient method that water seeks its own level. When the pond was filled and I simply went around the area and filled in the low spots or took the high spots down. In my case there is a 12" difference between the front and back so for that I used stones to hide the liner.
 

MoonShadows

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That's one way to skin a cat, @mgmine.

I used a water level when we built the foundation for our greenhouse. I found it hard to work with, but I had an open end on both sides of the tube...move the wrong way, and red Kool Aide was gushing out one end. :eek: It probably would have been so much easier with the reservoir container that you used, @Gordo33 . Now, I know for the next time I need to use one.
 
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That's one way to skin a cat, @mgmine.

I used a water level when we built the foundation for our greenhouse. I found it hard to work with, but I had an open end on both sides of the tube...move the wrong way, and red Kool Aide was gushing out one end. :eek: It probably would have been so much easier with the reservoir container that you used, @Gordo33 . Now, I know for the next time I need to use one.
A tube is fine, the trick is not to fill it up too much. Draw a line with a magic marker about a foot down and then fill the tube completely. Tie a string around one end and suspend the tube with the string on one end. Then simply raise and lower the other end until the water reaches the 1 foot mark. It doesn't matter where the water sits on the end you are using all you want is to have it stop moving.
 

MoonShadows

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I think the problem was we did not make one end stationary. Each of us was holding one side, so if one stood up, the other got a Kool Aide bath! We eventually figured out to keep one side stationary at the mark we wanted. Hey, what can I say; it was a learning experience. :rolleyes:
 
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I think the problem was we did not make one end stationary. Each of us was holding one side, so if one stood up, the other got a Kool Aide bath! We eventually figured out to keep one side stationary at the mark we wanted. Hey, what can I say; it was a learning experience. :rolleyes:
I got the Kool aid bath as well forgetting to close the valve while changing location. Always a learning curve:ROFLMAO:
 
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After watching a half dozen or so of videos a common comment was this was how the EGYPTIANS leveled the pyramids.. now I don't know how true these claims are but I figured why not give this a shot. There are several variations on you tube . The one pictured below I built for less than $15... The parts include 20 ft 1/2" ID vinyl tubing , a container, scrap piece of 2x4, 1/2" hose barb, berry kool aid to color the water, and an optional 1/2" barbed valve.
It's highly unlikely the Egyptians used this method.
Although I suppose it is possible the ancient Egyptians may have had access to clear vinyl tubing and clear plastic totes, but there is no way they were familiar with Berry flavored Kool Aid. If they were I'm sure we would have found their pyramids plastered with hieroglyphs like this one >>>
2333943088_8b3d3a221f_o.gif
 

MoonShadows

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But, I'm sure if the Egyptians had had Berry flavored Kool Aide, you'd still be able to drink it today!
 
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I'm in the process of rebuilding my pond and needed to correct some areas that were not level. Initially I staked several string lines but was not getting consistent measurements when double and triple checking...
Called my contractor son in law figuring he would have a laser level. Unfortunately his broke while finishing his basement. He recommended renting one from a big box store. No luck there either . So I started to research them to purchase. The prices started at $50 and went up into the thousands. The cheap ones will not project in day light . While researching how to use the laser level on you tube there were a couple of videos for using a WATER LEVEL. After watching a half dozen or so of videos a common comment was this was how the EGYPTIANS leveled the pyramids.. now I don't know how true these claims are but I figured why not give this a shot. There are several variations on you tube . The one pictured below I built for less than $15... The parts include 20 ft 1/2" ID vinyl tubing , a container, scrap piece of 2x4, 1/2" hose barb, berry kool aid to color the water, and an optional 1/2" barbed valve. In the picture the valve and the box is closed so it is not showing level. If the valve and container top was open the fluid in the tube would be at the same height as the container.
View attachment 99430
The build took less than 30 minutes.
Very easy to use. Set up one point for a reference then take the tube attached to the 2x4 along the perimeter of the pond stopping as often as deemed necessary to take measurements.
If you are interested in building one go to you tube and search Water Level.
Hope this saves other members money and research time.
Wow, gordo33- you are some kind of McGyver! Seen the old SNL skit where couple stranded on island exchange Xmas gifts? One gave a shell wrapped in a leaf- the other made a working wristwatch out of quartz he mined, skin from an eel he skinned, etc.. Really cool, what you made there!
 
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I will add for the record the revivor is nice to have but is not necessary key is to not use to small a gauge or tubing as air bubbles can give you inaccurate readings. but other then that little is as accurate as is a water level. but lasers are faster and easier
 
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I have about $100 into my laser level set up (laser + receiver + grading rod) and it’s the best. Cheapest possible setup but works great. Going to use it all over the property.
 
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We used a string level - not the most accurate, but it did the trick. Took four of us though - two to hold the string, one to read the level and the fourth one to question every decision we made... that one was me!
You sound like me!!!! :p
 

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