Maybe nothing is more frustrating than finally building the pond or the lake of life only to find that it does not hold water. Equally frustrating are repairs and repairs to theories that do not hold water.
We will focus our leak location and repair strategies in two main areas: 1) SYNTHETIC DOUBLE BOTTOMS from small ponds to ponds and lakes. 2) NATURALLY LINED BASINS – may be excavated ponds or lakes without dam embankments or a pond or lake built with a dam.
First, how to locate the leak? This can be exceptionally simple or painfully difficult depending on the situation. Let's say the evidence and let's go from there – look for the wet places around the pond. A soil sensor will allow you to find moisture below the surface. If you do not have access to a soil sensor, a ditch shovel will work very well. Probe or dig as deep as possible into the suspect area and examine the soil for moisture content. The best time to search for wet areas around the pond is after a prolonged dry period – preferably a week or more. If you find significant humidity, you are probably close to the leak and can refine your search. Pay attention to the vegetation around the pond. The lush vegetation during long periods of drought can also help you refine the search.
Once you have reduced the search or if you can not restrict the search, let the surface of the water fall without restoring the water. the water level stabilizes. Mark this level and study the pond around this elevation. For a pond of synthetic coating, you have found the elevation of the leak, a careful inspection of the coating at this altitude should allow you to find the leak.
If you have an EPDM rubber liner (Firestone Pondgard or similar), the repair is fairly simple once you have found the leak. Buy an inexpensive EPDM repair kit and apply as directed. If it's the only leak in your pond, you can fill it in and enjoy!
If the pond is a natural bottom or an unlined pond, the search becomes a little more complex. As for the lined pond, it is worth considering the pond at the altitude where the water level has stabilized. There are 2 reasons why the water level has stabilized at this level. One, that is the rise of the leak or two, it is the natural elevation of groundwater (groundwater). A simple pump test will determine with reasonable certainty whether the bottom of the pond has been intercepted or not and is connected to the water table.
To perform the pumping test, select a pump that will allow you to suck about 6 inches of water. the surface of the pond in less than 3 hours. Mark the elevation of the starting water surface and the end of the elevation of the water surface. Over the next 6-8 hours, watch the surface of the water carefully. If the surface of the water bounces back to the starting point, the pond has probably intercepted the water table. If the water surface remains at the same altitude, the initial elevation of the water surface is the elevation of the leak.
Now that the leak has been located or at least the location has been reduced, it's time to review the options. repair.
First and foremost, let's dispel a common misconception. Sprinkling a modest, or even substantial, amount of bentonite in any of its various commercial forms in stagnant water is very unlikely to stop or slow down a leak. Bentonite is an expanding clay found in Wyoming, which has a role in repairing leaks and sealing water masses. To be certain that it is a good product when it is used properly.
To properly apply the bentonite to seal a pond, the pond must be drained and the bentonite then incorporated into the bottom soil and sides of the pond. The rate of application for bentonite varies from 2 pounds to more than 5 pounds per square foot depending on the characteristics of the soil. For clay and loam soils, 2 pounds per square foot MAY suffice. For sandy soils, 4 pounds can be enough and for soil containing gravel and rock, it takes more than 5 pounds to get a seal. Once the bentonite is applied, the soil should be harrowed to mix the soil with the bentonite and compacted.
For a leaking embankment, if the location of the leak has been identified, it may be possible to build a trench embankment to slow the leak. To install a trench, dig a trench at least 12 inches wide at 3 feet under the bottom elevation of the pond. The trench should be located as far as possible from the edge of the pond while remaining on the flat top of the embankment. The goal is to create a waterproof core in the embankment that will not allow water to get through. This impervious core can be created in many ways. Bentonite can be mixed with soil excavated at 30% bentonite and 70% native soil. The material should be repositioned in the trench and compacted with a slicing roller, whacker or excavator bucket into 6 inch elevators. Alternatively, the EPDM liner can be buried in the embankment by draping a solid sheet of EPDM coating along the wall of the trench closest to the pond and carefully backfilling the trench. Again, the soil should be compacted as the trench is backfilled. The application of a mixture of bentonite at the bottom of the curtain and at the end of the curtain protects the water against the curtain.
Another frequent place for leaks is along pipes that enter the pond backfill. All pipes that are installed across the pond backfill should be fitted with an antisep collar to prevent water from flowing down the pipe. If a pipe is installed through the backfill without antisep collar, the pipe can be excavated and a bentonite plug installed around the pipe. Ideally, the bentonite plug should protrude at least 3 times the diameter of the pipe around the pipe.