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Pond Renovation Part 3: Installing the Overflow Pipe and Final Grading

1/23/2009 2:22:00 PM

Tags: ponds, water, dams, excavators, farms

Read part one of this pond renovation series here.

Read Part two of this pond renovation series here. 

Renovated pond dam just needs grass.

 Day three of this pond renovation project began with the installation of the new plastic overflow pipe. This 8-inch diameter pipe is smooth and will flow more water than the old and larger diameter corrugated pipe system. Installing the pipe was as easy as dozing out a groove in the top of the dam at the correct elevation and angle, setting the pipe, and carefully packing it into place. A water-stopping collar was also installed around the pipe on the pond side of the dam.

It didn’t take too long after installing the pipe to get the new spillway grading completed and to spread topsoil over the dam’s surface. The topsoil will give the grass seed (soon to be planted) a fighting chance to produce a soil-holding stand of turf. I don’t know when I will get to it, but I will report on the grass planting when it happens.

Modern overflow pipe moves lots of water.

Now all we have to do is wait patiently for the renovated pond’s level to increase. It is moving up by inches per day at the moment, but it would come up rapidly with a single spring rainstorm.

I will report on constructing a new pond from scratch next week. Ironically, the new pond’s cost will be lower than the pond renovation, but it won’t be as tricky to accomplish.

Hank Will raises hair sheep, heritage cattle and many varieties of open-pollinated corn with his wife, Karen, on their rural Osage County, Kansas farm. His home life is a perfect complement to his professional life as editor in chief at GRIT and Capper's Farmer magazines. Connect with him on .

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Don Hall
1/28/2009 6:10:08 PM
BearCreekResearch (Don Hall) sells algae and pond scum removing bacteria! The Alken-Murray folks supply the bacteria and BearCreek supplies the environmental expertise of over 15years. Yep, we dealt with the technology that cleaned up Chernobyl too! Sunflower roots growing styrofoam floats did the job. How cool was that. We were active in supporting Ashtabula, OH using the similar phytoremediation. That is why you want to do business with BearCreek! 859-523-3038 325 Shoreside Drive Lexington,KY 40515

Hank Will_2
1/27/2009 8:32:40 AM
Hey Robert -- I wish I had a dozer myself, but then I would have needed the time to get the work completed. Here are some good government documents on small dams You can download the USDA's book from 1997 here: As far as shopping for an excavator, I would talk to the local NRCS office and neighbors with ponds. Then I would ask the likely suspects to show me some of the projects they have recently completed. We were lucky to have friends with relatives or friends who were pond builders. The first guy we lined up never showed ... the second guy was there in a week. Hope this helps ... I would love to learn of your progress and see a few pics on the way too. Hank

1/27/2009 6:55:30 AM
Thanks for including the great photos with the pond renovation installments. I recently acquired a small Leavenworth county farm with a pond that had been abandoned several years ago. I like the pond site. Apparently, the pond had been drained because muskrats had ruined the dam. The former pond now has a huge eroded valley in the middle of the dam. Not only are there full grown trees on the back side of the dam, but there are mature trees, brush, and blackberries on the pond side along with some soil fill from years of neglect. I don't mind the idea of removing all the woody vegetation myself and I wouldn't even mind moving the soil around. I'd probably use something smaller than a D6 and I'd take a lot longer to do it. My hesitation would be to start the project as a DIY job without a reference book in hand. So, my questions are (1)can you recommend any pond repair books, extension pamphlets, or even websites and (2) how does one effectively "shop around" for experienced pond re-builders?

Hank Will_2
1/26/2009 12:09:47 PM
No, KC ... no beaver. I am afraid they might not fare much better here than over there. And so far they have to make a big coyote-infested trek across open country to get to us ...

1/24/2009 8:46:41 PM
Yes, and just wait. The beaver will be there with the moving van any day now. The woods are thick with them over here and we're just a few miles from you. HEY, if you want to stock your very own beaver pond, just let me know. We can save Richard some ammo and bring you some live ones!

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