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  1. #1
    Veteran Member
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    Jul 2003
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    1,969
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    Kansas
    Tractor
    2003 BX2200

    Default Pond cleaning questions (long)

    I searched and read a lot of pond cleaning info today on this site--some very good reading. Since it was dated 2001, I thought I'd ask again to see if there are more or new ideas. Obviously, hiring a drag line is the easist and most costly approach.........

    I'm trying to help clean up my uncle's pond, which is about 2-3 acres in a hilly area with sandy loam type dirt. The pond is 30+ years old, spring fed (the spring runs ALL the time), was originally about 20 feet deep near the dam, but has silted in to about six feet or less all over. Cattle have always been near the pond, and cultivated fields are above the pasture where the pond sits.

    This past year, the uncle's family, after finding out how much it would cost to hire a drag line, had a second pond built below the first one for fishing. (It was cheaper than cleaning the original one.)

    Now, the family would like to clean out the first one. Some thoughts are try to drain it and after it dries, doze the silt out. I doubt this is possible, due to the spring feed.

    The terrain is such that it is likely cost prohibitive or technically impossible to dig a trench to divert the spring water around the old pond.

    Some of the earlier posts mentioned using a trash pump, and that might be feasible, as the sludge could be dirverted away from the new pond.

    As a takeoff of an earlier post, I thought about rigging a five foot box blade so that it could be towed across the pond, using a large tractor and cable from each side of the pond.

    Or maybe a box blade mounted on a 40 foot long hitch that could be backed into each side of the pond and pulled out with a large tractor. That wouldn't reach across the whole pond, but would be a start.

    And I plan to tell the family about their cottonwood tree growing in the dam--where if it dies, its roots will become a pond drainer, as stated in a earlier post.

    Any thoughts welcomed and appreciated. THANKS.

    Ron [img]/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif[/img]

  2. #2
    Veteran Member
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    Jul 2003
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    upper central Connecticut
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    case dx45 cab

    Default Re: Pond cleaning questions (long)

    Around the New England area silt is a high priced commodity. All the towns buy it for their ball fields. I would check your silt first, and if up to par, ask around your surrounding towns by talking to the various recreation committee's. If you have an out for this silt for the towns, you may be able to ask a large town area to help clean this pond in lieu of them keeping the silt for their ball fields..

  3. #3
    Veteran Member
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    Jul 2003
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    Kansas
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    2003 BX2200

    Default Re: Pond cleaning questions (long)

    Wow, what an interesting idea! I've never heard of anyone selling silt around here. I would think it would have to dry out REALLY well or the smell would be pretty intense, after any rain as well.

    A few years ago, we helped landscape a new church in Arkansas, using the "stuff" that mushrooms were grown in in caves in Oklahoma. That stuff was RICH and it SMELLED to high heaven! The kids helping us thought it was something much fouler than mulch..........

    THKS.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    7,386
    Location
    North East CT
    Tractor
    2003 Kubota BX-22

    Default Re: Pond cleaning questions (long)

    The reason that silt is such a high priced commodity in New England is that it takes a lifetime to get the permits to do anything in, near, or around water. Once you manage to get the permits, it is also a fortune to get the work done because of the hazards of the job..... read that as the State is looking at everything you do and just waiting to fine you for some perceived violation. Once you turn the corner at New York and enter New England, it is like a different world for environmental regulations.... In CT, you are not even allowed to cut a tree within 100 feet of the water....

  5. #5
    Veteran Member
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    Jul 2003
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    upper central Connecticut
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    case dx45 cab

    Default Re: Pond cleaning questions (long)

    I use to pick up a lot of silt for Holland and for their ball fields. Not cheap to get. Also, the water continuously runs out the tailgate of the dump on the way back into town. They always hand spread the silt and let nature dry it out. I'm trying to remember the costs and think it was 7.00 a ton loaded at the pit in Willington CT. Of course wet silt dds up in a hurry when you pass over the scales.

  6. #6
    Silver Member
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    Jul 2003
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    234
    Location
    West Michigan
    Tractor
    Century 3045

    Default Re: Pond cleaning questions (long)

    If you have a dam then you can siphon the water out and lower the level quite easily. I did it several years ago on a 7acre lake and worked out very good. even if you have water coming back in from springs you should be able to lower the level down so that you can work in it cheaper. A couple of 4 or 6 in. plastic pipes will siphon out a large amount of water per min. Depenting on how much fall you have it will make a small river. I lowered the 7 acre spring fed lake in less than 6 weeks with a 4in and had 5000 yds of black dirt taken out.
    leaddog

  7. #7
    Elite Member
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    Mar 2002
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    Iuka Mississippi USA
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    3550 Fard Backhoe and a 1948 Farmall Cub,

    Default Re: Pond cleaning questions (long)

    Ron Id rent the dragline and operator if there is one in the area, most of the dragliners folks here have past away or cant access a dragline. Im about to buy one here for some pond work because it costs so much here to rent a long reach excavator. One thing I like about a drgline cleaning ponds from what little Ive run one you can set the drag chain angle to where the bucket wont dig ast the silt and into the clay liner. A clambucket may also work with a smooth shell. Theres an old man here that used to have a LinkBelt Pipeliner dragline he cleaned ponds out with and it had a cresant shaped bucket with a small bottom and it made a big cresent shape. It was used to drag ponds and creeks like a giant box blade. He'd rake the silt out and drag it up on the bank and let it dry then take an old backhoe and load it up and spread it on fields and the like He got good money for the silt as it makes a good soil for gardening. I saw a a small pond get dredged in the summer by an old pull type grader and a big tractor. They used a long cable and the old grader and the tractor driver would make a wide circle to drag the cable around the pond so the grader would line up. Hed drag the grader and the operator that had to ride it through the pond back up the other bank. It got to the point where the grader man would nearly go head deep, Folks laughed at it but it got the job done they disasembled the old graders hubs and repacked them to prevent damage. Later they made a trailed boxblade like farmers use out of a 24 inch pipe 8feet wide and hada long hydraulic line on it.that was around the tow cable. I think they still use it the last time I saw them they had a pond to clean in the next county that had alot of trees on it so theyd drag it back across with another smaller tractor then drag out. It looked funny to watch but the father and 2 sons that built the contraptions can do anything like that or say theyll die tryin.

  8. #8
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    Kansas
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    2003 BX2200

    Default Re: Pond cleaning questions (long)

    Some great ideas!

    I'm almost thinking that if I took my five foot boxblade, manufactured some sides on it for the back blade, rigged up some more framework (so it would look like the front end of a box blade either from the front or back), then we could use two big tractors and cables and pull the silt BOTH WAYS. Of course, that assumes the terrain fits for doing so, and for this pond, it would be do-able.

    I have to admit though, the mental picuture of a man riding a old road grader (I've seen those around here!) neck deep in a pond creates an interesting picture! The units I've seen are relatively small though, and don't appear to me to move much material with each pass. Maybe the blade could be enlarged....

  9. #9
    Elite Member
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    Oct 2003
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    3,261
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    the Steernbos (Holland)
    Tractor
    Zetor 3011, Zetor 5718

    Default Re: Pond cleaning questions (long)

    My brother did some sidewall renovation of an old bridge, with a miini- excavator. He drove it into the canal, to get under the bridge, to restore the basalt stone ballast that was sunken into the canal.
    He said that the water allmost ran into the cab.

    At the manufacturing company i worked, they made quite some pontoons for the municipal ditch cleaners.
    Those guys just have a pontoon or old boat, and have an excavator on the deck, and dig up the dirt into another old mudboat that carries it to the side.

    At a contractor i have worked in the school holidays some years ago, they had a job, with a 22 ton O&K excavator on a pontoon, restoring the sides in a medium sized river.

    If the long reach excavators are that expensive, i'd say go for the pontoon.

    The drag bucket with two tractors, i think you cant handle it. Either it goes to deep, so that you cant pull it, or it just wobbles over the dirt without proper filling.

    Draglines have not just a drag line, but also the upper cable to lift or drop the bucket.

    Good luck with the work

    Renze

  10. #10
    Elite Member
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    Iuka Mississippi USA
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    3550 Fard Backhoe and a 1948 Farmall Cub,

    Default Re: Pond cleaning questions (long)

    Ron they had left the blade in the stright position and then bolted endplates to the end like a boxblade. THe balde was 18 inches tall and about 14 feet wide. They also adjusted the Moldboard to a less agressive angle so it wouldnt dig in too much. It did prety good But the big boxblade they made des a little better. I wont do the grader thing because here we have water mocassins and contrary to science class they do bite under water.
    Renze my father and brother and I operate excavators for a living, Iremeber dad diggin out a silted in golf coures pond with a 921 Liebherr and walking ot acros to the deepest part using trees Id push up with a 230 Mitsubishi excavator. The fun thing to do in a dragline is to try to cast out the bucket past the boom, i havent gotten good enough on one yet to get it very much past the boom.

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