Pond gravity control watering system | Living the Country Life

Pond gravity control watering system

Use your pond to water livestock without them walking around in it
Photo courtesy of University of Missouri

If you’ve never siphoned water from your pond to water livestock, it's not a bad idea. Gravity flow systems can do this, and is the most inexpensive way of moving large volumes of water.

Water Quality Specialist Bob Broz at the University of Missouri says for an existing  pond, one option is to have a pipe that runs over the top of the dam with a simple on-and-off mechanism. Gravity will force water through the pipe. If you're constructing a new pond, a gravity-flow system can be built right in.

"They will put in a pipe that will come up from the bottom of the pond several feet, so that they can allow water to pump from that pipe, down to the base of the dam," says Broz. "And then at the base of the dam, they'll put on a concrete structure-type thing and have a float system that turns the water on and off.  As the level of the water in your tank goes down, that becomes one of the most viable ways that we see people doing this."

In order to have enough gravity force to move water where it needs to go, make sure the water level is at least three-feet higher than where it will come out of the pipe. Put a screen at the end of the pipe to filter out silt and debris.
If you install a floating intake extending down into the pond, you won't have as much gunk to worry about, because the water is usually the cleanest about 18" underneath the surface.

"By doing that you're going to miss a lot of the silt that's going to be closer to the bottom, you're going to miss a lot of the algae growth that may be in there because of other things, and if you have a small screen on it, that should keep most of your water fairly clean and allow it get to your livestock without much trouble," says Broz.

To determine how big of a catch basin you'll need, Broz says to estimate what the average daily water use is going to be in gallons, and how many days the animals will be in that area.   

Learn more about gravity flow systems and other alternative watering methods for livestock

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