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Country Discussion Topics
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Pond Dams
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Richard    Posted 11-27-2001 at 22:46:19       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Am about to have a pond put in where theres a water run through hay field that I'm considering putting cattle. Friend is doing the dozer work that does ponds when the construction business slows somewhat. He asked about my preference about a spillway or a pipe through the dam. Which is preferable? What are the pro and con with either?

Bandit    Posted 12-04-2001 at 07:58:39       [Reply]  [No Email]
One more suggestion, unless you are running your own dozer equiptment, becarful who you get. I dunno about your state but in Penna. there are a lot of stipulations on building a dam on a stream or if you do it, hire someone who is going to keep there mouth shut about it.
Once it's in for awhile you can claim you made improvments to an already existing dam....
just my thought... good luck

Hilltopper    Posted 11-29-2001 at 06:21:47       [Reply]  [No Email]
Make sure you don't allow any stumps or wood any where in the pond while digging. A friend of mine accidently left a ten inch stump in the bottom of the dam. It rotted through and caused a leak.

TomH    Posted 11-28-2001 at 16:24:14       [Reply]  [No Email]
I have a pipe to handle normal flow, but my pond is fed by a flowing spring. You probably don't need a pipe if the waterway only flows after a rain. Route the pipe through a ditch around the dam if you can, its less likely to blow out if there's some seepage at first. You need a spillway anyway to handle heavy runoff but it will be muddy if there's a continuous flow.

Before you fence it off, figure out how you are going to mow the weeds or let the cattle into the waterway when it's dry.

Spence    Posted 11-28-2001 at 10:50:14       [Reply]  [No Email]
Both are recommended. Use a lot of clay which has better water repelling due to smaller grain size. Use a heavy plastic film in the dam for
even better hold back. The spillway must have
large cobbles or concrete at the foot of the
dam or undercutting will result. The spillway
top should run over a race to prevent wear.

Better still make it of cement and pick a
spot with high bank walls and narrow water course.
Sort of like Hoover Dam. Use the embankment for strength.

Bandit    Posted 11-28-2001 at 07:40:14       [Reply]  [No Email]
My suggestion is both....
the pipe is great when you need to drain it for whatever reason, but the spill way helps when the pipe clogs with leaves or sticks or what have you.
If you have the pipe the spill way can be left as earth... just compact it, and plant heavy deep rooted grass seed very soon.
we had one pond once just finished the dam, hadn't even capped the pipe, we had a terrible storm, washed mud over the pipe filled the pond over flowed, the damn washed out.... so keep the pipe clear when it's going to rain....

darrell stringer    Posted 11-24-2003 at 07:23:40       [Reply]  [Send Email]
i am within a week of my contractor finihings a new 6.2 acre fishing lake in hopkins county of north east texas. have not decided what grass to plant on the dam. any thoughts? thank you.


paul cagle    Posted 01-03-2004 at 20:12:36       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I hear that good old fashion Mississippi Smut grass works wonders on dams. Especially in Texas. Fire, flood or pestulence will not kill it.

BB-Confused    Posted 11-28-2001 at 10:21:32       [Reply]  [Send Email]
OK, educate me. I assume the intake to the pipe is at a level to drain off the water before it gets to the overflow level. How do you also use that to drain the pond?

Bandit    Posted 11-28-2001 at 17:59:30       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Well, the pipe comes in at some point(most likely the lowest point) in the day, just a straight pipe, the stick either a T or an elbo on and put a verticle pipe up, then when the water reached the top of the pipe it flows down and then out.
Hopefully that isn;t to confusing....
The top of the overflow pipe should be below the crest of the damn.
To drain the pond simply remove the verticle pipe and the watter will drain to the height of the elbo or T joint.
e-mail me if you need more info, i may be able to find a diagram if needed....

BB    Posted 11-28-2001 at 18:44:35       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Got it. I may be slow, but I finally get there.

scooterhead    Posted 11-28-2001 at 02:26:56       [Reply]  [No Email]
I built one about 6 yrs. ago .We put in a 8 in. pvc pipe but also put in a low spot in one side for a spillway incase of the big rain or the pipe pluging . I also put in a 1-1/4 " galvanized pipe in the bottom of the dam with freze proof hyd. for watering cows . Fence your pond in and the cows out , they`ll walk the banks in in a short time .

rhudson    Posted 11-28-2001 at 20:06:55       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I second that. i have a pond that i allowed cows into( for the last 15 years). for some reason last year they all watered off the dam. it will take several thousands of dollars to rebuild the dam.

Hogman    Posted 11-30-2001 at 18:56:33       [Reply]  [No Email]
Best thing is a floatin fence with just one place for one cow to drink with BAD rock on bottom so They will drink and move on to more plesant places to stand.
Electric of course-------- Hey kind Sir thanks fer tha tip on woreout tractor batterys,works right goodly....

PCC-AL    Posted 11-28-2001 at 01:48:53       [Reply]  [No Email]
Hi Richard,
The answer to your question may just be a matter of preference. There is probably some difference in expense and you will have to have a pipe if you intend to drain the pond. A spillway may erode if not cemented.
Here is a thought. I knew a guy once who built a pond and it would never fill. He didn't check out his type of soil first and built the pond on soil that water would seep through. Good luck.

BB    Posted 11-28-2001 at 04:50:32       [Reply]  [Send Email]
There is a guy near here that also did not check his soil type. He built a nice pond in front of his new house. Even built a nice pier out into the pond. Looks nice after it rains. However, if we go 3-4 weeks without rain, it is almost dry.

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