Determining The Best Location For Your Pond

How to Determine Best Location For Your Pond or Dugout

Sept 25, 2013 – Ponds and dugouts (farmers in Canada call their farm ponds – dugouts) are a great way to store water especially in areas that can endure long periods without any moisture.

Many government agencies will recommend that before you start digging out your pond one crucial item that you should do in planning where your pond should be located is soil testing.

Soil Testing for a Pond or Dugout

Soil testing your future pond or dugout sites is not an difficult task. You need to dig at least 3 feet or 1 meter deeper than the bottom of the proposed pond locations. You can use an auger or farm backhoe to conduct these tests. Take a soil sample at this depth and it should be composed of one of the following soil formulations; Clay and/or any mix of clay composition such as – silty clay, sandy clay, clay itself, or a heavy thick clay.

Pond bottoms which have large cracks or spaces between the clay patches at this depth that contain layers of gravel, sand or silt are considered unusable for pond purposes.

The reason is simple and quite obvious – these compositions will allow water to seep out of your pond and you will need to continually refill your water. Unless these areas are relatively small in comparison to the whole pond size you may choose to over excavate these areas and fill them with a clay liner.

Lining a Pond or Dugout

For ponds or dugouts that have need to be located in a certain area and no other spots will do, then you may have to install a liner at the bottom of the pond. Check to see if the soil composition is supportive of a pond before you go to this extra expense.

You can make natural pond liners out of compacted clay or there are other ways to make pond lines by using polyethylene or PVC. All liners must have a layer of about 1-2 ft of soil covering them to protect from the following:

  • Human, livestock or machine damage
  • Sun’s rays damaging plastic liners
  • Drying out of clay liners and cracking
  • Soil uplift from moisture and cracking liner

For further assistance on pond locations and soil testing contact your local government agencies for support. Many have local water specialists that will come out to your locations and help you choose the best spots for your pond.