New to ponds and don't know where to start, major water loss


Joined
Sep 18, 2022
Messages
5
Reaction score
1
Country
United States
I bought a property a few years ago that had a pond on it. The pond is about .6 acres, 4-5 feet deep in the middle, and looks to have been just dug out with an excavator and filled with water. There is swampy land behind my property and the level of the pond seems to coincide with the levels of the swamps. In the spring, after the snow melts, the pond is completely full, to the point it overflows down a small canal to the swamp area. Right now, there is next to no water in it at all. We do have a well that was installed before we bought the place to only feed the pond. If I ran it 24/7 for a couple weeks, I could get the water level back to about 1/3 but it never gets higher. I'm losing lots of water. I have cattails on both ends of the pond and they have started to take over. I think I found something to kill them off but being in upstate NY, the options are limited. If I walk around in the middle, I sink form almost a foot in the muck that's all spongy.

I don't know where to even start my research on how to retain water, or if this site is where I even need to be looking. Is my issue the water plants, porous ground, or a combination? I know we have a high water table and I almost think the level in the pond correlates with the height of the water table. Any help in pointing me in the right direction on what to search for would be appreciated.

If the picture loads, this is about half the pond. It's kidney shaped so it continues out.

Pond.jpg
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Dec 16, 2017
Messages
9,778
Reaction score
7,726
Location
Ct
Showcase(s):
1
Hardiness Zone
6b
Country
United States
Bentonite is probably your best route . It's like lime for your lawn .
You liberaly apply the bentonite on the existing soil and roto till it in when bentonite gets wet it swells . Similar to a piece of oak in a whisky barrel the longer it stays wet the more it swells nd makes for a area that will hold water.
Problem is it's not the most environmentaly friendly when not used correctly. And in NY God only knows what wonderful rules they have come up with of late.
Clay is another option but it too has to be done correctly or you'll have one hell of a mess on your hands.

Lastly is to liner the area .
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Feb 9, 2022
Messages
268
Reaction score
258
Location
Northwest Florida
Hardiness Zone
8b
Country
United States
I wonder if you could dig it deeper in the middle, so when the water table drops in the summer you still have water, then manage the surrounding area as a bog/wetlands.
 
Joined
Sep 18, 2022
Messages
5
Reaction score
1
Country
United States
Bentonite is probably your best route . It's like lime for your lawn .
You liberaly apply the bentonite on the existing soil and roto till it in when bentonite gets wet it swells . Similar to a piece of oak in a whisky barrel the longer it stays wet the more it swells nd makes for a area that will hold water.
Problem is it's not the most environmentaly friendly when not used correctly. And in NY God only knows what wonderful rules they have come up with of late.
Clay is another option but it too has to be done correctly or you'll have one hell of a mess on your hands.

Lastly is to liner the area .
I'll look into bentonite. I had done some researching and found Damit, but wasn't willing to pay what they wanted. I think a liner may be cost prohibitive due to the size of the pond. I found out very quickly what a pain NY can be when it comes to the environmental aspect.


We like the pond and it's been really good for all our wildlife. We have turtles, frogs, deer, geese, and lots of other smaller animals that use that as their water source so if I can do enough to keep it at least half filled all summer without constantly running the well, I would call that a win.
 
Joined
Dec 16, 2017
Messages
9,778
Reaction score
7,726
Location
Ct
Showcase(s):
1
Hardiness Zone
6b
Country
United States
I'll look into bentonite. I had done some researching and found Damit, but wasn't willing to pay what they wanted. I think a liner may be cost prohibitive due to the size of the pond. I found out very quickly what a pain NY can be when it comes to the environmental aspect.


We like the pond and it's been really good for all our wildlife. We have turtles, frogs, deer, geese, and lots of other smaller animals that use that as their water source so if I can do enough to keep it at least half filled all summer without constantly running the well, I would call that a win.
the big issue maybe that they might call that a vernal pool , look on your deed and see if those words are anywhere . if they are you don't want to touch or change anything.
 
Joined
Sep 18, 2022
Messages
5
Reaction score
1
Country
United States
I'll double check what the deed says but I'm pretty sure it's not a vernal pool (after looking up what a vernal pool is). The previous owner didn't do much as far as permits go and I know it was built between 2000 and 2005. Based on current fencing, or what used to be fencing, it looks like this was dug to serve cattle on one end of the kidney, and be for decoration on the other. The well that serves the pond has rocks set up to look like a waterfall, which the cattails have taken over.
 
Joined
Dec 16, 2017
Messages
9,778
Reaction score
7,726
Location
Ct
Showcase(s):
1
Hardiness Zone
6b
Country
United States
Then it is not a vernal pool. they are rarely man made
 
Ad

Advertisements

Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Sep 18, 2022
Messages
5
Reaction score
1
Country
United States
Thanks for the link. I looked over there and based on the tips so far, some quick searching may have me on the right track. Thank you for all the help.
 

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question

Top