Digging out a pond: Excavation  -- Home Building Discussion Forum and Review Digging out a pond: Excavation -- Home Building Discussion Forum

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 09-28-2004, 12:12 Post: 97328
bcripe

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 Digging out a pond

Hey guys, first post. I have 15 acres in NW Montana. I am landscaping the place and preparing it for a future RV Park and campground. I have about a 1 acre swamp/pond that I want to dig out to deepen. Any ideas how to go about that? It would be hard to just drain the pond since I think its spring fed.

Thanks,
BC






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 09-28-2004, 12:37 Post: 97329
yooperpete



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 Digging out a pond

With it being wet, the only method that I can think of is getting a dragline in. If you are not familiar with nomenclature, it is basically a crane with long boom and big heavy bucket with big teeth. Drop it in the center and drag it toward the bank. Water runs off, back into pond.






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 09-28-2004, 13:17 Post: 97331
Murf



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 Digging out a pond

I think Yooper has it pretty well nailed there.

Although we have had good luck in the past using pumps top drain the pond and then just walking a regular tracked excavator in to dig from inside.

If you do this however, a word of caution, either make sure you check the pumps regularly or walk all equipment out of the pond every night. I've seen some very expensive submarines in my day.

Best of luck.






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 09-28-2004, 13:24 Post: 97332
shortmagnum

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 Digging out a pond

One of our larger ponds is just over two acres. We had it dug with a dragline. The big challenge with this is that even a dragline with a 90' beam will only reach about 70-80' and a one acre circular pond would be about 115' radius.

Our operator had to start with the machine in the swamp itself on hardwood pads so that he could reach the middle. These pads were logs cabled together to resemble a Tom Sawyer raft and would distribute the machine's weight over a larger area. He would crawl onto one and then swing the second in front of the machine, then crawl onto it, leapfrogging from pad to pad. Then when he finished the middle he moved the pads so that he could dig the pond edges (as well as the dirt he'd already moved).

Draglines and operators are still out there but they tend to be doityourselfers who bought an old machine that still runs.

I think an excavator could do the same job much faster than the dragline but weight may be an issue.
Dave






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 09-28-2004, 13:28 Post: 97333
ncrunch32



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 Digging out a pond

My Dad had a 1 acre pond dug from a swamp when I was a kid. He first let a local farmer pump the swamp dry using irrigation equipment to water a nearby apple orchard. Then he hired a local family with dozers to start digging. About 2/3 way through one of the dozers got stuck and they had to bring in another dozer to pull the first one out. They finished the job with a crane like Yooperpete describes.






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 09-28-2004, 13:55 Post: 97335
beagle

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 Digging out a pond

Depending on the soil at the bottom of the pond, you may be able to slurry pump the bottom of the pond. We have done this to several boatwells over the years that have sandy bottoms. As long as you aren't in a huge hurry, it works pretty well. We have deapened wells up to 5 feet without any trouble. You do need someplace to pump the slurry where it can drain and dry.

Our issue has always been the Department of Natural Resources. They are more interested in where you are putting the slurry than where you got it from.






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 09-28-2004, 14:09 Post: 97336
bcripe

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 Digging out a pond

Thanks guys. There isnt any drag line guys or excavators around that I could find. I thought about a dredge but that is just too complicated and I am afraid it would take a long long time. I do have plenty of area to put the mud to dry/drain. I was hoping it would be something that we could do ourselves.

Maybe a small dredge type pump with a weighted pickupline on a small raft with a 5 gallon fuel tank might work. Every once and a while pull it to another area? anybody know how well they suck vegitation? Ill try to post a picture of the pond later today after work.

Thanks,
BC






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 09-28-2004, 14:47 Post: 97339
yooperpete



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 Digging out a pond

There is another way. Do you have access to two tractors and have a little time on your hands? You can make a dirt box which is to boxes back to back. It digs in both directions. You attach a long cable to each end. One tractor pulls it one way, the second tractor the other. If you make a yoke over the front of the bucket at each face and attach a plate with holes the cable can attach in adjustable positions to find the best dig point. Attaching at the front will pull the tip down for digging. Going back and forth digging in both directions and moving slightly at an angle each time will get you around the pond. It may take some practice but you will get it done.






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 09-28-2004, 21:52 Post: 97353
beagle

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 Digging out a pond

We used a 3" trash pump on a raft. We tied the intake hose to a piece of pipe for forraging around at the bottom of the well. You do need to support the outlet pipe, it gets darn heavy when it's full of slurry. A lot of vegitation could be a problem. Causes plug-ups in the hoses and the pump. If you have soft soil, you can suck the daylights out of the bottom with that set-up.

I've been considering doing my pond (see pic. 9). If I dredge it, I'll slurry pump it, same as we did the boatwells. I have all sand.






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 09-28-2004, 23:25 Post: 97356
bcripe

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 Digging out a pond

Check out my pond on pic 1 and 2. The real tall grass around the outside is soft dirt. Picture 2 really shows it best. Its pretty much full of weeds but the water/muck/vegetation is about 3-4 feet deep on the sides. The outlet pipe/hose would have to be pretty long... Maybe too long to push it out good. The hose might just fill and get plugged up easy.

BC






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