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Pond digging price?
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DJ    Posted 04-08-2002 at 18:26:28       [Reply]  [No Email]
How much does it cost to have an average sized pone dug in the midwest area?

I may have asked before but the price I was quoted was tremendous. Who can afford it?


I should rent the dang machine and do it myself. For cryin out loud.

Redneck    Posted 04-09-2002 at 03:47:35       [Reply]  [No Email]
Around here in Alabama many will dig a pond or a lake with them being built right,for the right to the topsoil that is dug out.I know of one guy that was paying a good contractor by the hour to dig a one acre pond.When they dug down so far,the clay ran out and it turned to broken rock.This almost always means that it won't hold water if you go deeper.The contractor explained this and it was agreed to just make it 8 feet deep instead of 12.This was Sat.Sunday,the homeowner and a relitive that had a excavator key had got drunk and decided to dig it deep anyway.There was a 20 x 10 trench in the middle of the pond Monday morning.The contractor proceded to tell them all bets were off on it holding water,and he would either get paid and leave now,or cover the trench and keep on to the finish,all with no guarantee and money up front.The home owner had sobered up and realized what they had done.In all the pond cost extra with no water to this day.

Some things that cost that much are better left to a pro.Ask around,someone may do it for the topsoil,but check their credentials!

Mark Hendershot    Posted 04-08-2002 at 21:33:55       [Reply]  [No Email]
Question where are you going to get the water to fill it with? If by your well have you figured evaporation rate during the summer and how many gallons of water it will take to fill it? If you think the first cost is high wait till it needs to be cleaned and is all coverd with slime and mosquitos wiggling in the water. Have you realy thought about this. Ponds don't take care of them selves for a long time you need plants, proper bottom on it so it dose not just go back into the ground. I have built one before 50 X 30 concrete one had to clean that sucker ever year what a mess! It also took about 25,000 Gals of water to fill. Talk about a money pit of endless hassel dust and leaves would make the nice clear water look like cr*p real soon. Now I have another pond at my new homestead. This one mother nature made takes care of itself too. Lot bigger 1,500 ft long by 500 ft wide lots of plant life ect to maintain the eco system in it. Digging your own pond will show you why they want so much to build them but when you are done you can say you built it too. Just hope you thought it out good so you don't have to fill it back in later. Good Luck, Mark

DJ    Posted 04-09-2002 at 05:54:32       [Reply]  [No Email]
I have a couple places it could go. One off of the seasonally fed creek and another in the middle of the pasture. Both areas are naturally laid out to capture all the runoff from the rains. We are on a gentle slope. The land goes down and then up and onto a plateu type area. It will be at the bottom of these two slopes. I figure it would be perfect.

What do you think about this layout? One would be in the open the other would be within the tree lined creek?

I'd really love your opinion.

Mark Hendershot    Posted 04-09-2002 at 06:15:57       [Reply]  [No Email]
I would go for the one near the creek but be carefull about messing with raparin water rights deverting creek water. If you had a flow thru it you would be better off. Stagnet water is a hassle to deal with when it get warm, then you have to deal with a mud shore line when it goes down during the off rainey season. Mark H.

Lew    Posted 04-08-2002 at 20:37:30       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Another thought. Get in touch with somebody in "Ducks Unlimited" and find out how they make potholes for ducks.

Bob    Posted 04-08-2002 at 20:11:05       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Well, I dug my own pond with a rented Bobcat X325 Excavator. Usually they are about $ 600.00 for a weekend rental, 14 hours on the meter in this area (NY).

Nice little machine with rubber tracks (early ones have steel grousers), will fit on a small trailer. Best thing is, you can dig all the way around, and almost impossible to get it stuck. Might want to note it is not a good idea to dig yourself on an island. My neighbor did that, funny as all get out watching him try to figure out how to get off the island.

Takes a bit of getting used too, but once you do you can dig like the dickens......

Biggest thing is where are you going with the dirt? 2 acres of dirt is ALOT. Unless there is ample room to push it out, it can be very difficult to get a nice bank when your done. Thats usually where the dozer comes in.

In any case, ponds are a wonderful investment. They are simple to take care of, and the enjoyment lasts forever.

DJ    Posted 04-08-2002 at 20:20:23       [Reply]  [No Email]
OK, I'll rent the digger and pay for a round trip ticket to anyone who will come out and dig my pond.

I'll cook and stay out of the way. I'll throw in a tour of Kansas City.

Ludwig    Posted 04-09-2002 at 08:49:09       [Reply]  [No Email]
You rent the digger and fly me out and you bet
I'll do it! I've built a couple of ponds and run a
couple of diggers. No problems!

One thing I'd suggest is that long before you
get serious about renting diggers and such
you take a shovel and do some digging the
old fashioned way. Dig down three or four feet
and then look at the sides of your hole and
see what your dirt is like. Last pond we built
had sand, clay, sand, clay, sand, clay in about
3 ft. chunks all the way down to 15 feet in the
deep part.
We ended up pulling as much clay as we
could and keeping it in a separate pile that
then got used to line the pond. For an added
benefit we tried to end in a clay section.
This pond was way up on the side of a little
mountain. The people built it because of a
really wet backyard. Before the pond water
would run right out of the top of the wellcap.
Now its moderated by the pond. They had to
put in one heck of a pipe for overflow though..

Theres another thing nobodys talked about
yet. If you build your pond so the excess water
has to run out over the side you'll just be
building dams forever. What you want is an L
shaped pipe that sits in the deep part and
runs out under the dam. You make most of
the pipe out of metal and the top from plastic.
When you put in fish you put a mesh basket
over the top of the pipe to keep them from
going down the pipe.
When building the dam over the pipe you take
a big sheet of plastic and tape it to the pipe,
as you build the wall you stand up the plastic.
This keeps the water from running out around
the pipe and ruining the dam. The plastic will
rot away eventually, but it doesn't matter, the
dirt will be packed down by then.
Once the dam is done and dried a couple
days you've got to pack and pack and pack.
I've seen people use garden rollers, or truck
tires filled with water or concrete, or concrete
rollers. That last pond the guy ran his garden
tractor back and forth for hours. His kids loved
running it.

THEN and this is important you've GOT TO
PLANT something on the dam. Winter wheat
grows fast if its not too hot and isn't too dry.
Pick something thats good in your area and
grows fast but won't become a problem.

The dam may leak, and it may leak bad, but
thats fixable once you get there.

DJ    Posted 04-09-2002 at 13:02:59       [Reply]  [No Email]
Where you at?

I think I'll go get a digital camera, take some pictures of the land, upload it and place link here so you can see what I'm talking about.

I'll go dig a hole like you said and give you my observation. How long would I need to rent a digger for? What if there is rock in it? Will I be able to tell once I dig the four feet?

Ludwig    Posted 04-11-2002 at 08:51:31       [Reply]  [No Email]
Yeah, pictures would be good.
Better would be a survey with grade
measurement and a soil core down to the
depth you want the pond.

You'd want the digger for at least 4 days I'd
think. Somebody with a big machine could
probably do it in an afternoon, but a small one
will take longer.
Rock will royally screw things up with a small
digger. If its a relatively small rock it'd probably
come out. A big one is going to be alot of work
and maybe never come out at all. A big rock in
the bottom of the pond wouldn't be the end of
the world though.

Hitting ledge would be bad....

If you can dig a three foot square four feet
deep at the deep end of the pond you'll
probably be okay. After all its the variations in
and around the pond that make it interesting.

I'm in MA by the way. 'Bout 1700 miles from
you, and I expect you'd think I talk funny.

Bob    Posted 04-08-2002 at 20:26:06       [Reply]  [Send Email]

If I didn't have to be in my shop 7 days a week, i would be happy to help you. I have run heavy equipment all my life, and digging is the easiest part.

Unfortunately, I can't leave my shop. I have one son at home, one out on his own with wife/child but not yet quite self supporting, oldest lives in Utah and getting maried in Ueptember. Kinda out of money, so I have to turn the wrenches to pay the bills.

If I get the time, i'll take you up on the cooking'. Boy, could I go for some homemade bisquits and gravy, mashed 'taters, fried chicken.......

God I'm hungry.

DJ    Posted 04-09-2002 at 05:49:22       [Reply]  [No Email]
You're a swell guy. ;0)

Thanks Bob for the thought. I guess it doesn't hurt to ask, huh?

Maybe I'll check into learning how to use one of those diggers and do it my self. I'll check at the county ext agency to find out all I can.

Thanks for the ideas. I hope you stick around because I may need some more information from you.


cornfused    Posted 04-08-2002 at 19:54:31       [Reply]  [No Email]
It depends on many factors, the soil you are working with is the main concern. When I put mine in I had a friend commit to doing it for a flat fee of 5 grand, as it turned out he probably lost money in time. Make sure your soil will hold water! We have mostly clay under the top soil so it isn't usually a problem here. Many contractors quote it by the yard so the price depends on size and depth. A two acre pond around here will cost you a heap more than $5000.00!

DJ    Posted 04-08-2002 at 20:14:42       [Reply]  [No Email]
I've been made familiar with the clay composition. I have that here. It depends on whether there is a layer of rock to get out. Heck we don't know if there's rock there or not. We haven't dug a hole yet. It looks like I was quoted for a three quarter or one acre pond.

I don't want to start a pond unless we have clay. Everyone around here has clay bottom ponds. They are beautiful. Why would the terrain be much different on this place? This is how I figure it.

Over 5 grand huh?

DJ Thats why--    Posted 04-09-2002 at 19:45:50       [Reply]  [No Email]
tha soil test,to find out whats down there nd if it will hold water Your lookin for just tha reverse of a perc test results.

PCC-AL    Posted 04-08-2002 at 19:06:46       [Reply]  [No Email]
Hi DJ,
Down in my neck of the woods, a fair size crawler and operator go for about $65.00 to $75.00 per hour. I have an very old pond grown over that I plan to rebuild and figure it will take about three days. I think I will spend about $2,000. by the time I'm finished. The pond will be about 2 acres. Good luck.

Hogman    Posted 04-08-2002 at 19:19:33       [Reply]  [No Email]
Hey PCC round these parts We'd call that a fair sized lake. Where'd Ya get that much semi-flat land ta do it on???????
As ta machine cost, this is still tha low rent district of tha State tho I hear some newer machines are goin for around 60 t0 65 bucks now. Can be worth it if tha horse pushum power is there and tha operator knows how ta use it.
Better a hundred bucks for a good new 8 than 50 for a wore out 6.

DJ    Posted 04-08-2002 at 19:14:04       [Reply]  [No Email]
Thanks, it looks like I'll need it.

If I could get two acres for two thousand, I would be ready.

There's no way in He** I'm gonna pay his price.

I'm venting, don't take it personal.


Hogman    Posted 04-08-2002 at 19:04:14       [Reply]  [No Email]
DJ there are several things to consider like how big a pond do You want?
How good a pond do You want?
How much can You afford to spend on said pond?

Around here (Taney Co)dozers go for about $50 an hour.It should take about 1 1/2 hours to dig a small pond,from there ,up to several days dependin on Your wantin a lake.

Don't fall for tha old wives tale that a great heavy thing like a dozer will surely compact tha soil. Without a lengthy explaination of tech stuff.believe Me it will not. To get a GOOD pond seal You need a roller.
As to cost,two things to cosider,ability of operater and condition of machine.Next an very important,in fairness to the dozer man, He has ta load and transport tha machine. this costs Him in time and money. Probabley a lot more'n You might think so tha next thing is to make sure He has enough hours on tha job to make it worth His time.
If not, He may just dog along so as ta run up more time so You lose. Make sense?
As to the roller, Your on Your own here,most dozer people don't even own one. Hooked on tha back They can be a bit of a rectile pain and will slow Him down some.

Do You have a farm tractor?If so You could mabe work a deal to do the rolling. Or, if You have a tractor with loader You could just wheel roll it. Get a bucket full for weight and just start crusin. Takes a lot more time but may be a lot cheaper.

Hope all this makes sense and if need be just ask'n I can confuse You further mabe.

Well said, Hogman-PCC-AL    Posted 04-08-2002 at 19:13:03       [Reply]  [No Email]
and don't forget the soil test to see if the gound will hold water.

DJ    Posted 04-08-2002 at 19:11:33       [Reply]  [No Email]
Thanks for the info Hogman. I didn't know about this. Yes I understand what you've said.

He quoted me about 5 to 6 grand. Wow!

I acted like he shot me in the chest.

Then he said 85 an hour.

I wonder if it's time to call someone else?

How are they listed in the phone book?

Dumb dumb me.

Hogman    Posted 04-08-2002 at 19:52:16       [Reply]  [No Email]
Had a thing almost completed and tha durn screen went fizz.
Startin over; DJ PCC is right about tha soil test,so very important.
Look under Excavation contractors--- excavators---ponds. Tha last'un might be a bit shakey,knowledgable pond builder or super swimmin pool con man.
I'd trot off down to tha Extension outreach office and see what They have. Next I'd go to tha soil and water coservation office and talk to Them. You have a small farm so You should get to know Em anyway.
They "should" have a person ( may be a Lady) who could come out to Your property and poke around some,give advice not only on ponds but of general use. Bear in mind all agents are not created equal,some are very well informed and of great use while others--BUT IT'S A START!!!
Good luck and God bless
2 acres--- WOW-----

Last question lest I forget,do You figure on fish in it??????????? TWO ACRES WOOOOW!!!!

DJ    Posted 04-08-2002 at 20:09:17       [Reply]  [No Email]
I'd very much like to have fish in it. Dual purpose *everything*, is what I always say..........

Everything I'm buying or planting or having done on the place is either for food and or utility.
Even my flowers I plant are for medicines or nutrition.

The animals are for food or for a theraputic purposes. Horses for example, are for training daughter responsiblity and to keep her from concentrating on boys Only. It's a passion that pays great dividends for our youth. IMO

The trees have to be fruit or nut. The plants have to be veggie or herb, etc. Or for the bees, butterflies or for keeping bad bugs away.

It's my carefully thought out plan. ;0)

Hogman    Posted 04-09-2002 at 19:48:56       [Reply]  [No Email]
DJ the question of fish will have to do with needed depth. Thats something else You can get from Extension or Conservation.

Donna    Posted 04-08-2002 at 18:41:40       [Reply]  [Send Email]
WHat part of the mid-west?

DJ    Posted 04-08-2002 at 18:45:39       [Reply]  [No Email]
Hi Donna, and welcome.

I'm near Kansas City.

Most folks around here has the lovliest ponds you could hope for and for the want of one, I would have to sell my first grandchild to get it done for me.

I may have to do without.

JasonThePepperGuy    Posted 04-10-2002 at 06:20:10       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I live in Texas, and have 75 acres, until last year no pond. I decided to bite the bullet and have a dozer opperator come in and do me a job- 4200 bucks for just under one acre. He did have to clear some trees, and for that price he also put in a "over flow pipe" The pond is great the shape, the depth, the placement all great. But it is dry. :-( this year I will build or rent a roller and compress the soil- I will also try spreading dry cow poop around before I do this as I hear it will help build a bacteria lining up and creat a seal. every thing you have read here is good advise, I will tell you first hand. contact the local ag ext. office and have them help you get a soil sample- this is the only sure fire way to know you wont have a dry hole instead of a full pond. if you have to have clay brought in... you are looking at some real money. a 2k pond turns into a 4k pond... a 5k turns in to 10k. Some people are lucky and dont need any clay brought in. they talk more. People like me with dry water holes dont brag. good luck to ya.

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