LEVELING POND -- WATER LEVEL?


Mmathis

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Almost at the point of being ready to "level" out the berm. All info I've seen says to "lay a straight board..." etc., but our pond is 17' x 14' -- don't think we have any boards that long around the house. Has anyone used a water level for this purpose? If so, did it do an OK job? Looks like a simple DIY project. Any helpful tips?
 
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Mmathis

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Just looked at my subject title -- poor choice of wording! Of course the water will be level -- duh :D !

"LEVELING POND USING A WATER LEVEL" is a more appropriate title.
 

whiskey

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Hi mmaths

Yes just use 3/4 clear plastic pipe fill slowly with water, get someone to hold one end, while you fill the other, close to otherside of pond, adjust height of pipe to get water level, making sure the other person adjusts with you and once level place a stick or rod and mark with a MARKER PEN on the OUTSIDE OR INSIDE of pond........WORK FOR ME .

GOOD LUCK

WHISKEY
 
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We used a string level... Easy Peazy though not really needed since our back yard was about as flat as they get. We used the string level and found no adjustments were needed.
 

ididntdoit99

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I eyeballed mine and then as it filled i noticed one little corner i had to throw some dirt under the liner, but yeah a string level would work great.
 

addy1

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With our slope I used a laser level, even now, even knowing water is always level the water does not look level. Darn slope sure can fool the eyes.
 

Mmathis

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A string level! Why didn't I think of that, well, I call it a line level, but same diff. We have a couple of little ones -- yes, lots easier!

Thanks, all!
 
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I like a water level. Easy, cheap, and as accurate as a laser level, sometimes more accurate. Laser levels are great for shooting a lot of lines in a room but no so much fun to set up at a dig site.

Water levels also don't need a line of sight, you can level around things. For example I once put a small water feature in a front yard but connected it to a pond in the backyard. That way the feature didn't need it's own pump or ever have to be refilled. With a long hose it was easy to go around the house and more accurate than using a string or laser level because those would have required several shots. With a string level there always seems to be a mound of dirt in the way which is a pain at least, but a mess if you just don't happen to notice and you get a false reading.

One other thing I do is use a brick or concrete brick as the reference point. Meaning I bury the brick in the soil and use its top as the reference. I bury another brick at the other side with it's top at the same level using the water level. I keep doing that, spacing bricks a bit less than 8' apart so I can lay a straight edge between each brick to be dead on in between and all the way around. Same with doing a concrete block collar.I like the bricks more than sticks and strings as I'm always tripping over them.
 
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koiguy1969

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you might want to get a tamper and pack the dirt as you pile it.... i moistened and tamped my waterfall mound as i piled it. id bet it hasnt settled more than an inch or two in 4 years. i also chopped up the chunks as i went...it was solid in no time.
 
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as someone wo did contrsuction for 20 yrs..
Line level is the least acurate. while cheap and easy not so good
water level (cheap clear 1/2 tubing) is by far the most acurate including a laser level (unless you have a serious pro grade one) and even then i prefer the water level..

with that said a line level might be ok for pond work
 

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I like the water level and always add food dye to it so I can see it from a distance and much cheaper and easier to use
 

addy1

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My late hubby bought two laser levels, never used them, very nice ones. So at least now I can say one of them have been used! If I had not already had the laser would have used a lot cheaper alternative.
 

Mmathis

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Well, Hubby now sees this as the excuse to finally buy that laser level ;). Guess we'll try that and if not pond-satisfied, will try the water level.

Sissy, when I was looking up info on water levels, several sources also said, in addition to food coloring, to add a few drops of dishwasher rinse aid to the water. Guess that's to make the water flow easier ( surface tension, friction?). Don't know of anyone whose tried it with & without to say if it makes a significant difference, though....
 
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whiskey

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My lazer level useless in day light, but brilliant indoors, on getting selves level on double fire side, with book selves either side ,you may find twilight hours best on pond work.
hence i used a water level on pond, in fact your see it in my photos on my build laying around pond.
 

addy1

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Mine did fine outside, even in the sun. I used a rigid piece of white plastic to track the dot. It has the 4 direction level. 3 horizontal, 1 vertical
 
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Well, Hubby now sees this as the excuse to finally buy that laser level ;). Guess we'll try that and if not pond-satisfied, will try the water level.

Sissy, when I was looking up info on water levels, several sources also said, in addition to food coloring, to add a few drops of dishwasher rinse aid to the water. Guess that's to make the water flow easier ( surface tension, friction?). Don't know of anyone whose tried it with & without to say if it makes a significant difference, though....

thats absurd having used a water level for many yrs i didnt even bother with color much less anything else..

as to the laser level again you need a very good one ($75 is not a good one, more like $300+) and the biggest issue is setting it up. if its not 100% leveled correctly your results wont be either.
thus the difference in cheap vs good (as well as the legs) the better ones have decent leveling ability
also the longer the distance the less likely for level.

then there is the whole how to mark a board (1x2) to use as the level stick.
while novel and has cool factor the cheap laser levels are not a good choice. of course this is a pond we are talking about not a house or addition.
1/2-1 inch error here and there may not matter
 
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Mmathis

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JC, thanks for the input. I had no idea there was so much to consider with a laser level! Any advice, tips, hints, for using a water level?
 

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