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Thread: How to Build a Mud Pond

  1. #51
    Oyagoi Sangreaal's Avatar
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    Would you happen to have a pic of that vibrating roller to share? I'm familiar with sheep's foot and ring rollers, but would like to choose the best for the job when we finally start construction here, so it would be interesting to look at and hear about how it does the job of packing the ground tighter and better than others.

    Beautiful site for your pond and I've enjoyed watching the build. Thanks for all the pics and documentary. Wish I had some hills like that, but alas and alack the farm is on a boring flat.

    Marie
    Marie

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  2. #52
    Sansai
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    The one we used for the dam is a regular self propelled sheepsfoot. With the addition of the vibrating option. You push a button, and there are weights inside the sheepsfoot that start going back and forth causing it to litterally bounce. If you had it on a concrete surface, it would act like a huge jackhammer.

    There were several large sections of shale that were pushed into the dam, with the roller on vibrate, it crushed them into powder.

    If you think about a sledge hammer, if you just push the hammer down into loose soil, you will get some compaction. If you repeatedly strike the soil with the hammer, it will pack it much tighter. And that is what you want.

    If I can will see if I can get some shots.

    It is pretty cool though, we filled some of the depressions with some water, then ran the sheepsfoot close by. The water litterally jumped out of the depression.

    Power steering too. Someone made the comment that this is one heavy piece of equipment even the ladies would like to drive.

    d

  3. #53
    Honmei KoiCop's Avatar
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    Daniel . . .

    Now that's how to build a mud pond! Very impressive.

    Sure hope that missing truck turns up soon.

  4. #54
    Sansai
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    Well finally the last truck got here, only 48 hours too late. We finally got him backed up on the dam, the only really nice flat spot. The first shot is what it looks like, dumped from the belly discharge.

    Then spreading out the dirt, the one shot is of the vribrating sheeps foot. This is what you have to have to pack the dam down good enough. This one had a blade on the front for pushing dirt, or smoothing it out on the back up. The next two shots are of a vibratory smooth roller, and the vib sheepsfoot. These animals are for rent for anywhere from 550 plus insurance and up per day. So about 700 a day rental should cover it. The little skid steer that we used to spread it runs about 800 a week. But very simple to run.

    Some have asked about the clay itself. The next two shots are of the clay, one dry the way it came off the truck, the other after it had become moist. It looks like fine gravel dry, and feels like lard when wet. Not suprising that the wagon trains used it to lube the wooden wheels on the wagons, keep it wet and you have instalube.

    d
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails How to Build a Mud Pond-25-tons-clay.jpg   How to Build a Mud Pond-vib-sheeps-foot-action-building-dam.jpg   How to Build a Mud Pond-vib-sheeps-foot.jpg   How to Build a Mud Pond-vib-roller-smooth.jpg   How to Build a Mud Pond-bentonite-dry-i.jpg  

    How to Build a Mud Pond-bentonite-wet-i.jpg  

  5. #55
    Sansai
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    And now for those of you that are wondering why I did not have the time to post last night, well we worked till way late trying to get the clay covered up. We are suposed to get rain on saturday and maybe sunday.

    But guess what, got up at 5AM and it was sprinkling. Not too shabby, as we were going to have to use water hoses anyway. At 8, Tim the dozer guy called up and said today was a go, it was raining just hard enough to be perfect for rolling the bottom and sides, lets go. Well, 1/2 hour later, on site we had more than moist soil. As the photo shows, a bit more than moist.

    So at best, we can return to the pond maybe this weekend. Am off now to pump out the water as best we can. Bout 3 feet deep, not bad since we only had 1/4-1/2 inch of rain. After taking the photo, had to slide down hill in the 4WD, went sideways down the dam. The clay is very very slick.

    Anyway, the delay in the last load is going to cost an additional 4-6000 in additional equipment time and work.Something the customer shouldnt have to eat, or should we. Will have to see.

    One more thing about the sodium bentonite. Just like with calsium bentonite that many of use in our ponds, there are many different purities and grades. If you dont believe it, take several different types of the commercial clays available, mix a tablespoon in water. In several of the also rans, you will see impurites float to the surface. In others, they are much more pure and you do not see the trash in the other products.

    Same with sodium bentonite. You want the purest you can get. If they wont send you the reports from a reputable testing facility, you dont want it. There is a good chance there are other trace elements mixed in with it that you do not want in your pond. So get the documentation you need from the source.

    Anyway, on with the waders.

    Oh and for your types that like log homes, the owner home is a log construction. 550 grand and it is nothing but grand. Will post some close ups later on if there is any interest.

    Also, will post what happens in pond building when the contractor does NOT follow proper methods for building a mud pond. If there is any interest in that.

    d
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails How to Build a Mud Pond-we-have-pond.jpg   How to Build a Mud Pond-water-i.jpg  

  6. #56
    Sansai
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    Well the water is pumping, and I have a bit of time

    Here are a few things to look at and learn from other's mistakes.

    1. I dont care who it is, if they dont give you their real name and a business name, they are not experts in pond building. Dont listen to them. Unless they can produce references, they are hot aire and that is it.

    2. If you are going to spend tens of thousands of dollars on a project, dont try to cut corners to save a few hundred. Especially in the foundation construction.

    In the following photos, you will see what went wrong, and why. Each time, it was to cut corners, not following proper methods of installation, and listening to a internet expert without a name, instead of the guy that is charging you 75 bucks for the information each time he has to come out and pick up the peices.

    In this first series, they were told to do several things. For one, not to bury trash or rock under the clay. In this area, the red clay is good enough if layered and rolled with a vibrating roller, and it needs to be 3 feet thick at a minimum. That is standard for using this clay. It is also standard to have the 3-1 slope.

    In the first shot, you will see the hole, close to a million gallons gone overnight. The second shot is where it came out. Right next to a 15000 SF home. The third shot shows the root cause of the problem. Burried stone with less than 2 feet of clay over the top. The construction guy of course denied placing the stones and covering them up. If you will look at the bottom rock, it has a shiny black area under a clod of dirt. This is a recent break in that stone, one that is less than a few years old. That is all I needed to see to know he had been lying.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails How to Build a Mud Pond-hole.jpg   How to Build a Mud Pond-where-went.jpg   How to Build a Mud Pond-root-cause.jpg  

  7. #57
    Sansai
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    Oh and by the way, he was told by the internet expert that I was just trying to have him spend more money, the sheepsfoot pulled behind a garden tractor would be just fine. That is why there is little compaction.

    On to hole #2

    On this hole, they dug out some rock that was too shallow. They did go down about 15-18 feet to get the rocks out. But what they left was a vertical wall of clay. They were told that they needed to work the untouched area next to the hole into the area they were filling back, down to about 3 feet. Otherwise there would be an untamped seam that would not be compacted. As a result, as the pond got nearly full, it blew out. The hole went straight down in a cone shape, then at the flat bottom, went of to the right.

    In the first photo, the 16 foot ladder sitting at the bottom of the hole

    In the second, Chris the trackhoe guy, standing by just in case

    The third is the hole at the bottom.

    The fourth is as far as I cared to follow the hole at the bottom

    What I could not get a clear shot of was the wall on the other side of where the original hole had been. It was almost perfect where they had dug the hole just a few weeks before. Even to where you could see the teeth marks on the clay from the trackhoe.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails How to Build a Mud Pond-hole-2-16-foot-ladder-i.jpg   How to Build a Mud Pond-chris-track-hoe-guy-just-case......jpg   How to Build a Mud Pond-hole-bottom-first-cavern.jpg   How to Build a Mud Pond-view-second-cavern.jpg  

  8. #58
    Sansai
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    On to the third example.

    When they were counseled on how to proceed, you remember they were told my myself they needed at least 3 feet of good clay that had been worked in in layers.

    Well, when they fixed hole #1, they removed dirt from the other side of the pond, and built up a large thick area over the top of where the first hole had been.

    What they did not do was to go down some further, and then replace the dirt and roll it in as well, they just scraped it off the top and let the rest be. They also have a slope that is much steeper than a 3-1 slope.

    And as you can see in the photo, a rock about 3 inches below the dirt where they scraped off the dirt for the other side. A shovel handle is also shown to show how shallow the rock was under the surface.

    This hole was very unstable, so I did not venture but a few feet in. Those clay clods are each the size of basket balls. That size hurts when they hit.

    To the right of the larger hole, there is a smaller hole. This was caused by the collapse of the clay when the support under the clay was washed away.

    They dug all this out and were told that the large vertical wall to the right of the hole was going to cause the same problem as hole #2, they needed to get rid of the seam in the clay and work the clay next to it back into the hole. In addition, the internet guy told them to use ground cover cloth at the bottom of the hole they were filling in.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails How to Build a Mud Pond-hole-hill.jpg   How to Build a Mud Pond-root-cause.jpg   How to Build a Mud Pond-root-cause-shovel-scale.jpg   How to Build a Mud Pond-inside-hole.jpg  

  9. #59
    Sansai
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    This is the fourth hole I will be posting about.

    This one occured right next to where the other hole had been. They did not get rid of the vertical seam on the patch job done on hole #3. Again, they tried to save a couple of days work and a few hundred dollars.

    THe hole collapsed right where the seam had been and washed out a bunch of the new clay they had pressed in with the trackhoe. Notice, they did not sheeps foot it at all. So it had no compaction anywhere. If you will also notice, the areas next to the main hole, those were where they had used the ground cloth under the fill. Did not keep the water from washing away all the support again.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails How to Build a Mud Pond-fourth-holes.jpg   How to Build a Mud Pond-hole.jpg  

  10. #60
    Sansai
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    May 2005
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    Now, I know, many of these holes are much bigger than many of the ponds we see every day. THe pond should have been close to two acres and 16 feet deep. IT was fed by a well that put out 120 GPM (no that is not a typo) of really good water. A bit high in Iron, but otherwise great.

    We built a water fall to off gas the Iron, the water fall is 130 feet long or so (at least that is what it was designed to be with a full pond) I showed a photo of the rock at the top. It was one of several we used that came out of the pond. We also supplied the fountain, photo of which was taken the day before the first hole blew.

    End result, a downhill neighbor that said "OK, enough is enough", and is sending signals that the next time will see the owner/contractor (not me) in court, a muddy hole in the front yard that refuses to hold water, and a bill that is now well over 150 grand, and has taken almost 18 months.

    My estimate to do the water falls, fountain and pond, plus fill it totally was only 90 grand, and that was doing it the right way. With a written warranty. The other way only cost 75 grand, or so he was told.

    Moral. Do it right. Do it right the first time. Resist the urge to cut corners, even a little corner cutting will cost big time down the road.

    d
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails How to Build a Mud Pond-rock.jpg   How to Build a Mud Pond-underground-stream.jpg   How to Build a Mud Pond-fountain-e.jpg  

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