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Oily looking film around pond
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LK    Posted 03-08-2004 at 08:59:37       [Reply]  [Send Email]
We are buying a farm soon, and I noticed that in the mud around the pond, there are small places where there is sort of a rainbow sheen- like an oil slick.

I don't think this is petroleum however. I wonder if there is some sort of growth that has this look? The former owners had sheep and cows. Maybe something in their manure can do this? Or is this a sign of the septic drain field leeching into the pond?

I'm just wondering what this stuff is, and whether it is toxic.


Stagnant    Posted 03-08-2004 at 10:53:47       [Reply]  [No Email]
I grew up with pond in our back yard and from time to time it would get an "oily" film on it, sometimes really bad, especially when it hadn't rained for a spell, never knew what caused it and it never seemed to hurt anything. I've also noticed it on other ponds too. I now have a pond out in the middle of the woods with nothing around to run off into it, it set for about 5 years with no fish in it and never had an oily film, but the pond always looked dirty. About 3 years ago I stocked the pond with fish, now the water looks better....more greenish/blue......but now it gets the "oily film" from time to time.


Alias    Posted 03-08-2004 at 10:45:32       [Reply]  [No Email]
Time wus when farmers changed oil in their tractors and trucks, they let it run out onto the ground. Maybe what you see it stuff that washed down to the pond during storms.......gfp

Oil and Grease    Posted 03-08-2004 at 11:32:09       [Reply]  [No Email]
I must agree that oil from a leaking tractor, truck, even grease coming off of equipment etc. will hang around for years and years. A couple drops of oil looks like 10 gallons if you were to put it on a pond. One quart spilled on the garage floor looks like a tanker just wrecked. People used to just dump oil anywhere, in the driveway, ditch, wherever, and it may never go away. Just look at the "Arizona" that's in the harbor in Hawaii, the oil is still flowing out today. But, I also think that there are other things that produce this oiling looking film also.


LesWV    Posted 03-08-2004 at 10:18:11       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Sounds like Clay. More to the effect Blue clay.
Clay holds a lot of crude petroleum and natural gas naturally and will cause the oily effect on water.

Around here you can find small mud puddles that have not been distrubed for a long time all over the place that look as if someone dumped oil in them.

Another thing to look at, thou I dought that it may be your problem. Draniage water coming from a black topped main road running into the pond. You will mostly see the oil effect from a road at the end of a pond where the water drains in and it will be in a large arched area out from the inlet.

LK    Posted 03-08-2004 at 10:30:02       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Interesting. Here in Virginia, we have a lot of red clay. No idea if this has any petroleum in it.

Also- no blacktop anywhere nearby.

I wonder if there is something in the feed that the sheep received that would pass through and show up as an oil film?

LesWV    Posted 03-08-2004 at 14:36:40       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Like I said. I seriuos dought that the sheep dung has anything to do with it.

Red clay contains petroleum also. But not as much as Blue. This area has Natural gas everywhere along with some crude oil. And you can find "rainbow" puddles just about everywhere. Mostly in places where no farmer has ever had a piece of equipment let along changed his oil in the area. It is a natural thing that happens. I am willing to bet that the water that you saw the film in were no larger than 4 to 6 inches wide.

"The existence of organic matter on smectite surfaces also helps understand an important process -- natural clay catalysis -- in the formation of petroleum."

The link below will provide a little on the subject.

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