Ponds add scenic beauty to a property and provide opportunities for boating, swimming and fishing. There also are many practical uses for a pond — livestock watering, crop irrigation, fish production, wildlife habitat and as an emergency source of water for fighting fires.
PHOTO: DAVID CAVAGNARO
To create a dug-and-dammed pond, like the one in the illustration, first remove the topsoil covering the foundation area, and dig a core trench (shown as a dark gray triangle) that extends to clay or bedrock. Then fill the trench with well-compacted dense material. To prevent the dam from washing out during heavy rains, install a vertical overflow pipe and horizontal spillway pipe with anti-seep collars (to prevent leaks from developing along the pipes) at the base of the dam. The top of the overflow pipe should be about 2 1/2 feet below the top of the dam. After the pipes are installed, dig soil from the pond area and construct the dam over the core trench, with the front (water) side of the dam at a 3:1 slope and the back of the dam at a 2:1 slope.
A small dug-and-dammed farm pond makes a great gathering place, enhancing an already idyllic setting.
Adding a dock or floating raft to your farm pond will create more opportunities for summer fun.
A reborn pond is full of bass, bluegill and bullfrogs, and attracts a variety of other wildlife.
A landscaped pond provides scenic beauty as well as habitat for wildlife.