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Old 04-01-2008, 01:35 PM
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First recorded activity by GardenBanter: Jan 2008
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Default Low level of water in clay lined pond - how do u use water tracing dyes?


I completed 3 months ago our long awaited pond. Its around 500sqm in size so fairly large!

Before we started we had numerous months and discussions with so-called experts on its location, depth, water levels and other issues surrounding building or digging a pond!

We dug 3 test holes down into the clay (around 1.2m in depth) and watched them fill and settle. leaving them for a couple of months to see what happened. The levels of water in the test holes did vary but the lowest level was always constant over this time. (if you ignore the rises after rain!). The lowest level was approx 1ft below grass level if you can imagine what i mean!

The ground when we then start to dig was made up 1-2ft of top soil, 3-4ft of sand and gravel, and then clay.

We certainly dug more out than we expected, but now have a pond that is in some paces almost 7ft deep below grass level.

During the dig we discovered a number of land drains all of which were running into the pond. and this is most likely where our problem is, we could only find 50% of the land drains the other side of the pond, ie the outlets. Those we found we dug back and filled with a fair amount of clay that we dug from the bottom of the pond.

on completion we stood back and wondered at our wonderful masterpiece and then only had to wait for rain and nature to fill it!

This of course did not take long, being Gloucestershire! and the land drains running into the pond certainly were flowing!

However the apparent final level of the pond is much lower than we expected. a good 3-4ft lower than the lowest test hole level we originally dug.

Even after some rather heavy rain over 3-4 days the level did not rise above its current point.

which leaves me to believe that i have water disappearing possibly through some of the land drains we did not discover? or is it something else?

i am considering how to find the leaking points, assuming that is the case, and thought water dyes may assist. however i have no idea if it possible to use water dyes in a pond of this size or even if they would effectively show me the leakage point? does anyone have any experience of using them or this situation and can make any suggestions?

I look forward to hopefully hearing your ideas!

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