Filling a pond
Radio interview source: Ron Duvall, natural resources engineer, South Dakota Department of Environment & Natural Resources
Consider the source
The pond at the back of our acreage has been there a long time, even before we moved in. It's deep, clear and cold. We've never had to worry about the water levels because there's an underground spring that constantly feeds it. Whoever built the pond put it in just the right spot.
If you're thinking of building one on your land, the soil has to be able to hold water. And of course there has to be water for the soil to hold! There has to be a consistent water source to rapidly fill the pond and maintain a relatively constant water level throughout the year. Dry spells and evaporation will take a toll, so without water flowing in your pond can slowly dry down to a mud puddle.
Ron Duvall is a Natural Resources engineer in South Dakota and says there are two options to tap into -- surface water from rainfall and ground water.
"If you happen to be building the pond on a drainage way, you can catch some surface runoff," Duvall says. "Just be aware of who's downstream of you, and what the drainage area is compared with the size of pond you want to build, so there's enough runoff to fill your pond up and take care of your neighbors downstream."
It's helpful to look at a topographic map because it gives an overview of the area that drains into your pond. It'll be easier to judge if there will be enough runoff, and could affect how big you build the pond.
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