Nitrate Levels


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My wife is a hydrogeologist who studies ground water. This causes major problems when wanting to build a pond near the well. She is concerned the pond will leak and contaminate the well. My current plan is for a 3300 gallon pond with a 12x8 bog filter using 16 full size aquablox. I would run somewhere between 3000-4000 gph through the bog. My fish load would not be excessive, but I would have a couple of ducks and I have found they send the bulk of their time out of the water. So, I think, it would be equivalent to a heavy fish load. Is anyone running a similar system and care to share their nitrate levels? I would hope I can build a pond that doesn't leak and even if it does perhaps I can build one that only leaks a little bit. Maybe if she can run some numbers that show the well will not be contaminated for another 100 years or so she will let me build it. The township is probably going to run city water to our house within the next 10 anyway.
 
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I have to agree with your wife. It is very risky. What happens if the pond water (or surroundings) leach into your well? Especially since you have poultry 'dropping' everywhere. The pond will be a magnet for all sorts of wildlife that will no doubt, defecate in the area. I wouldn't just worry about high nitrates. What about E. coli, Salmonella and other 'germs' entering your drinking water? There is no way I would ever do anything that could contaminate my drinking water.
 
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Why would your pond leak? It can absolutely be built not to leak. Isn't that the idea? If by some chance you did have a leak, wouldn't the pond water be very diluted by the time it reached your water source?

With all the filtration on my pond it's probably safer to drink than my well water!

We live in the country. We have herds of deer coming through every day. There are groundhogs, raccoons, foxes, squirrels, chipmunks, mice, rats, hundreds of birds, snakes, frogs, even bears as well as horses and dogs that live here. Feral cats wonder through and who knows what else. Our soil is far from sterile. Our well is a deep well and our water tests fine. It has less than 2 ppm nitrates.

The pond is not so near the well, but the garden is. We put truckloads of manure freely donated by the horses into the garden every year. Still the well water is safe.

If necessary, wouldn't an ion exchange filter for your house help with nitrates if that should become an issue?
 
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My wife is way smarter than I am. Give her the right information and she can model the ground water system. Last night her microbiologist friend was over and she was not concerned about biological pathogens making their way into well. My wife is concerned with nitrates and carbon. Carbon because it can dislodge arsenic which could be trapped in the substrate somewhere. We did get some information from the well driller logs from 1988. The first layer is 40 feet of brown slit so that made her happy. The aquafer is fractured rock which didn't make her happy because we do have a septic system.

As far as wildlife doing their business in the area goes, we have 3 male dogs and they use the well pipe like a fire hydrant. She loves those dogs so I guess they get a pass.

Of course the plan is to build a pond that doesn't leak but I can't guarantee it won't.
 

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