Pump Vault

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Saw this today and thought it was pretty smart. I wonder how much strength the buckets would lose if you also drillled a few holes in the side to allow water in that way in case the water level drops too far to get over the edge or through the top:

Edit: Oh, they did put some slits in the sides. I should have watched a bit further.
 
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Without the base and the two buckets just resting on top of each other would make for a pretty flimsy setup long term I believe. Not to mention all the weight and pressure being applied from the surrounding aggregate.

I'd rather use an hdpe double lined culvert pipe custom cut to size with slits or holes or atleast food grade barrels that Oz Ponds uses. Anything less and IMO you are exchanging a few dollars for a lot of headaches and work down the line.
 
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They have a base. The bottom bucket is flipped upside down so the lid becomes the base. And he did try to melt them together as well as duct taping them. I'm not convinced the duct tape will hold indefinitely, but it should hold until the rocks around them are firmly in place and then the rocks prevent the bucket from moving. At least in theory. But yes, a culvert pipe or food barrel wouldn't have to be seamed.
 

YShahar

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I agree that the two-bucket contraption looks awfully flimsy. In the end, it looks like they used the old skimmer for the pump vault, and used the buckets for a clean-out stack (snorkel) in the biofalls.

On my intake bay, I used a garden trash bin (similar to this one). I cut out a hole for it at the far end of the intake bay, and used my trusty angle grinder to make wide slits near the bottom of it, facing where the water would come in. Then I installed five upside-down milkcrates to make the void space in front of the trash bin. Here's what it looked like during the build:

Intake bay innards.jpg


And here's what it looked like once the pond was running:

Intake bay - 6Sep22_web.jpg
 
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Thanks! Those are great pictures. I can't see any trace of the bin or milkcrates and it looks beautiful and natural.

Did you completely cover the lid of the garbage pail? If so, how deep did you bury it? How often have you had to dig it up to open the lid for pump cleanout or maintenance? Have the sides caved in at all due to differing pressure or shifting rock?
 

YShahar

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Thanks! Those are great pictures. I can't see any trace of the bin or milkcrates and it looks beautiful and natural.

Well, sadly the bin is visible again now, which brings us to the answer to your next question...

Did you completely cover the lid of the garbage pail? If so, how deep did you bury it? How often have you had to dig it up to open the lid for pump cleanout or maintenance? Have the sides caved in at all due to differing pressure or shifting rock?

I buried it about 10 cm below the bottom of the milk crates, so any goop would end up in the bin and settle.

However, soon after filling the pond, I realized that I really liked the pond level to be a good bit higher than I had originally planned. And since I had enough liner at the edges, I was able to accommodate that higher level. But that left me with a problem: my trash bin wasn't tall enough! This meant that whenever I opened it to service the pump, a lot of the gravel on top of the intake bay surround fell into the bin.

So I took another old trash bin of the same type, cut the top off, and slipped that inside my existing one to raise the height to just above the gravel. I still end up with some gravel slipping in between the two overlapping bins, but not as much. But that means that the lid is once again above the gravel.

What I'll probably do is use construction foam and rock dust to construct a fake rock shape on top of the lid, such that it looks like just another rock in the intake bay. I'll post pics of that once I do it.

Lesson: make sure your pump vault is tall enough to stick out at least a 2-3 centimeters above your rocks to avoid having rocks fall into the vault. If I ever redo my intake bay, I'll install a taller bin, and probably dig it down a tad deeper than the present one.
 

YShahar

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Good idea with the rock dust and construction foam! And thanks for sharing your lessons learned.
:)
As to pump vaults and intake bays, here's a video from a guy in the UK who has a creative approach: he builds an "in-pond" intake bay, and uses an offcut of liner to direct the water over a single aquablock and into a DIY covert-pipe pump vault:


The intake-bay can be seen starting at around 2:30.
 

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