In over my head, building a huge waterfall. Need pointers.

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I understand the frustration of having a dirty pond right after starting it. I filled my pond three weeks ago and right after that the skies opened up and it hardly has stopped raining since. After tonight it will be up to 9 inches of rain (I have a weather station in my backyard) in that time. I still had work to do around the pond of course and had some dirt piles that ended up washing into the pond because of the deluge. A good portion of the pond was covered in mud. While I agree you want the natural buildup on the stones to generate the bacteria but that looks better when it happens naturally and you get used to it, the plants grow in and you have the fish etc. We all want that clean look in the beginning, if not then we would not be rinsing off the dirty gravel as we put it in our ponds and bogs or spraying the stone work as we get ready to fill it. I looked at the dirt falling into the pond as an accident, not natural.
What I did a week later was to pump out some water and then I used the sprayer on the hose to get the dirt off the stones. I put the sprayer under water and it was able to stir things up. I had a pipe going to the woods and just kept the pump running as I did this with hose, so the dirty water was ending up out of the pond and gradually new water was taking over. I had to let the pond fill up a bit and then continue doing it. I would switch it up and use the net to stir up the water again so the dirt didnt just settle down again. Took a few hours but it worked, I did not pump out the pond completely and get in their to spray everything down. Just worked the sprayer around the pond. I ended up with about 2/3 new water, pond is 3700 gallons. Within a day the water the water was clear and you could see the stones and gravel no problem. Way I look at it is if your pond has only been running a week or two there is no harm in doing a little clean up, you really are not disturbing the natural bacteria build up since it hardly started anyway and this time of year not much is going to be happening.
Thanks for the notes. I am not looking for pristine like Atlantis or anything, but its dirtier than just algae.

So you ran a pump out of your pond, then used your hose with a spray nozzle attached underwater to "spray" off the stones?

thanks
 
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A big garbage can full of quilt batting set up at the top of your pond will save on your water bill and collect a lot of that silt as you stir up the pond. It works but it takes some time to do it as you need to keep cleaning the batting when it gets full of silt and then put it all back in and do it over and over again. It does work! I have used a smaller set up at my pond when I want some yuck out of the water.

The hose is attached to a pump in the pond and sucks up water and goes over and through the batting and then water goes back into pond through holes in the plastic pot. Like I said for a big pond full of silt you will need to keep stirring up the water and use a big huge container

View attachment 160683

I hung my batting on a wire fence part and hosed it off. Easier and more efficient than just laying on the ground.

View attachment 160684
Thanks for the idea. Thats a good one.
 
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Thanks for the notes. I am not looking for pristine like Atlantis or anything, but its dirtier than just algae.

So you ran a pump out of your pond, then used your hose with a spray nozzle attached underwater to "spray" off the stones?

thanks
I have an external pump, the outlet has a wye with two pipes going to the bog, one to feed the bog bottom and the other for the top. So i just connected extra pipe to the one that goes to the top and had it go into the woods, turned off the valve for the pipe going to the bog. Of course the water level cannot go below the skimmer, so it was a bit of back and forth, filling it up and then pumping out. I dont have one of those clean out pumps the pros use. I used a regular garden hose with sprayer, use the jet setting and was able to move around and get the dirt off the stones, and kind of moved the dirty water towards the skimmer aiming the sprayer that way or using the leaf net to push it along. Totally made this up, but it worked. Water is clean. Yes it is extra water unfortunately but this weather has been very unusual so you kind of go with the flow.
 
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water falls have a problem . that problem is they are LOADED with oxygen and nutrients this result is a super fund site for algae and even ponds like myself that have moved on from hair algae in the pond i do still get some in the faster part f the stream and. a get a second type a very dark tight algae on the main falls out of the bog it's practically black
 
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If this is loose floaty type debris/sediment/algae then a garden hose with a spray attachment should definitely help to get it moving. It will settle in the reservoir eventually where you can pump it out if you choose to or ignore it, like we did for 12 years. We can always tell when the water is low in the basin - the water clouds up. Earlier this year we rented a big sump pump and pumped it out. Got lots and lots of dirt out. We'll probably do it again next year - it was really rather satisfying! It was a lot of water, but we pumped it into the grass and garden areas, so it didn't go completely to waste. And the grass LOVED it. Greenest it's every been!
 
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If this is loose floaty type debris/sediment/algae then a garden hose with a spray attachment should definitely help to get it moving. It will settle in the reservoir eventually where you can pump it out if you choose to or ignore it, like we did for 12 years. We can always tell when the water is low in the basin - the water clouds up. Earlier this year we rented a big sump pump and pumped it out. Got lots and lots of dirt out. We'll probably do it again next year - it was really rather satisfying! It was a lot of water, but we pumped it into the grass and garden areas, so it didn't go completely to waste. And the grass LOVED it. Greenest it's every been!
Great idea with the renting of the sump pump. I have seen the videos of the pros using those big pumps and hoses when they do the final power wash before filling the pond. Obviously for the pros it makes sense to pay for those pumps, but for the few times we might need it, the rental is great, had not thought of that before.
 
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while your thought makes sense there is another side to that thinking. Eventually your pump is going to die and when it does you better have something to pick up the load in the short term until you can get a permanent fix. for me that was a large submersible by large i'm talking just 3000goh
 
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Real ponds are not clean! Don’t drain and scrub, just let nature find a balance. You will have algae, lots at first, less as the pond matures. The quilt bat process is great for removing suspended debris.
 
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Great idea with the renting of the sump pump. I have seen the videos of the pros using those big pumps and hoses when they do the final power wash before filling the pond. Obviously for the pros it makes sense to pay for those pumps, but for the few times we might need it, the rental is great, had not thought of that before.
That is a great idea. Thanks @Lisak1 and @Pablo
 
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water falls have a problem . that problem is they are LOADED with oxygen and nutrients this result is a super fund site for algae and even ponds like myself that have moved on from hair algae in the pond i do still get some in the faster part f the stream and. a get a second type a very dark tight algae on the main falls out of the bog it's practically black
I totally hear you. I am not aiming for perfectly clear. Just learning how mine works and seeing what I can do.
 
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Update here: I spent the last couple of weeks tightening up a few spots that had issues. Things are 85% done from a "fix that spot" perspective. Still, a few more to do.

The system is running well. We still do not have it on all the time, but we aim to start that shortly.

We are still losing about 1" of water daily, Plus or minus a 1/8" or so. No idea if this is a leak. But I am going to sort out an autofill and we will go into the fall and see how it goes.

The issue/challenge I saw yesterday while we had it on for 2 hours:
  1. Started it up with 7" of water in the intake bay
  2. Dropped to 4.5 within 15 minutes as it built up the water in motion
  3. After running 2 hours, it had about 3.5" in it
Now, based on all the discussion on here it sounds like that would likely be from:
  • Rock absorption
  • Splash out (there is very little of this, but it is happening)
  • Small leaks around an edge that I am aware of
To me, it seems like I haven't found the point where it hits "equilibrium". Where (other than a potential leak) the water coming back into the pond from the falls is roughly the same as is getting piped to the top.

So my plan is to set the autofill about 2" below the very top of where water can be. That way as it find that "equilibrium" it will hopefully maintain ~5" in the intake bay. thoughts?

Overall it felt pretty reasonable, things are working pretty well, including the intake bay.


Listen to me struggle to think of the words: "Whirlpool", and "Net". :oops:
 
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Myself I'd wait on the auto fill untill you know that an inch is your loss daily. If an edge drops the last thing you want is the auto fill running for a week until you find it . That can destroy a well or cost a bloody fortune from city water
 
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Myself I'd wait on the auto fill untill you know that an inch is your loss daily. If an edge drops the last thing you want is the auto fill running for a week until you find it . That can destroy a well or cost a bloody fortune from city water
We know we are losing this much because we haven't run it in a week and I had a ruler taped to a rock. So daily I watched it drop. Then check it the next day.

The goal with the autofill is to see what we are really talking about with the increased water consumption. I have a flow meter I figured I'd attach to the autofill and check it daily.

My concern if I leave it running is that the intake will "run-dry". I mean not all the way but we have to find that balance point where water in motion is consistent.
 
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We know we are losing this much because we haven't run it in a week and I had a ruler taped to a rock. So daily I watched it drop. Then check it the next day.

The goal with the autofill is to see what we are really talking about with the increased water consumption. I have a flow meter I figured I'd attach to the autofill and check it daily.

My concern if I leave it running is that the intake will "run-dry". I mean not all the way but we have to find that balance point where water in motion is consistent.
FOR 30 BUCKS YOU CAN BUY A FLOAT SWITCH that will kill the power to the pump its the reverse of a fill valve as the water drops the float drops killing the power
 
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Ooooh it sounds so nice!! You'll be tinkering for a while, don't panic to get it perfect. Man that's a lot of rocks!
 

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