Saying hello before reading up on "inherited ponds"


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Hi. We've finally decided to take a stab at rehabbing a little pond that came with the house. I don't know exactly how old the pond is, but if I had to guess, I'd say at least 15 years, but it's probably much older than that. It has a liner (though it was hard to find). It also has a leak. Now the fun begins.

I'm looking forward to reading the various "inherited ponds" threads and crossing my fingers that the collective wisdom will be enough to help us find and plug the leak. I'm going to begin the process filled with optimism as there's plenty of time to get despondent later. The pond is very shallow (max depth 18") and about 5'x7' oval, but there are lots of big rocks in the pond, so I'm estimating the pond probably only holds about 350gallons. Here's what it looks like currently.
Pond.jpg


Pond.jpg
 

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Mmathis

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Hello and welcome! Maybe you should start a thread (or search older threads) about how to find a leak.
 

brokensword

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if it were mine and I was going to rehab from the get go, I'd just put a new liner in at the same time. Means more work as you have to move some rocks (and maybe that back wall looks prohibitive). Just because if the pond's been in 15+ years, you're coming to the useful end of life for that liner. And maybe that's why it's leaking, so...
 

addy1

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Very nice looking pond. Welcome to our forum.
 
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No waterfall so it's just the pond. Or just a pond and a pump?

Let the water drain untill it stops at the level or within a inch or two above will be your leak somewhere around the pond.
 
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@GBBUDD, that's the plan. We have an idea of what level the leak is, but it's not really possible to get at the liner without dismantling the rock work and that's just not something we can do right now. I'm going to get creative with bentonite and see just how much of the stuff I can blow into every nook and cranny of the old girl and cross my fingers and hope that'll do it. If not, well, I'm not sure what we'll try. I'll worry about it then, I guess. Right now I'd rather hope for a miracle and think about what to plant.

@brokensword, that's it exactly. I found a corner of the liner at the very top of the wall. Until then I didn't know the pond even had a liner! It was a mystery how it held any water at all. Some of the stones around the edge are loose, but the ones that aren't, well, they aren't going anywhere and masonry is one of the skills we don't have around here, which brings me right back to hoping that clay will do the trick. I'll be back if it doesn't. And also if it does ;-)
 
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To update the leaky pond story, a couple of pictures after we drained it yesterday. It's hard to gauge the depth of this little pond from a picture, but maybe the bit with the husband's leg will help. It's shallow. And those rocks are set in concrete. I'll either find and fix the leak or we'll have to look into trying to keep it going as a frog pond. That might be what it was built for originally anyway as it's much smaller than our initial estimate. It's only 4'x6' at its longest dimensions and we measured the water volume when we refilled. It holds a bit more than 180 gallons.

If I can stop the leak, I'll put in some plants and a handful of minnows because I'd like something in there to eat the mosquito larvae if possible.

Even if we stop the leak, I expect we'll have to add water often as the local deer empty my small fountain in a regular basis. I think I'll often have rainwater available for that purpose. I haven't looked into it yet, but that seems like it would be better than adding city water all the time.

I'll update again later on how things are going.

Screenshot_20210415-084047_Gallery.jpg
Screenshot_20210415-084209_Gallery.jpg
 

brokensword

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that IS shallow/small! I can see why you wouldn't want to put too much effort into finding a leak. You might try some sort of hydraulic cement, if you can pinpoint where the water might be going. A test would be to fill it up and put some drops of dye/milk near the suspected area. Watch the drops as if water is being sucked/wicked away, they'll go in that direction. If the leak is one that empties the pond, it's in the bottom. If on the sides, the water will stop leaking at that level. Either way, once you know, you can maybe trowel on some hydraulic cement (after cleaning the area thoroughly with muriatic acid--wear gloves!). It might be worth a try. Or the bentonite trick should do similar.
 
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Like @brokensword suggested fill the pond up and watch the water drop. But add a little science to it put a 3 foot ruler into the water. And at the same time everyday record how much the water drops. You might have multiple leaks just some worse then others. When the water stops dropping your leak will be above the water line.
 
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brokensword

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Like @brokensword suggested fill the pond up and watch the water drop. But add a little science to it put a 3 foot roller into the water. And at the same time everyday record how much the water drops. You might have multiple leaks just some worse then others. When the water stops dropping your leak will be above the water line.
ruler, right? I was about to do a search for roller...
 
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