Building a spring fed pond : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Hello from upstate South Carolina.

I LOVE this site!

I have a spring on my property which flows out about 5-6 ft below ground level. This is a fairly swift spring (or would it be a brook?), very shallow (2 - 3 inches) and narrow (2 - 3 ft) and does not freeze. The area immediately surrounding the spring had a block house built over it. This blockhouse lost it's roof (which would have been at ground level) before I bought the property. I want to remove the blockhouse (and the remains of the pump) and make a small pond. There is another spring a few yards away which I would like to incorporate into the pond as well. In this part of South Carolina (north west corner) the soil is almost totally red clay. I can have the blockhouse removed, that is not the problem. My first question is, can just anyone come in and grade the area around the springs, or could that possibly cause a collapse and redirection of the spring (is that something that could happen??) if they aren't experienced working around streams. Also, I know that I will probably have to put down some kind of liner -- any suggestions?? I have read a lot of information about building ponds, but none of them deal with the building of a pond fed by spring(s).

I would like to stock the pond with fish for my own use, have a waterfall and a lower pond, also. The stream runs the length of the pasture, and I was considering a couple pigs at the far end of the stream (for their access to fresh water), in the pasture also.

Like everyone else, I am trying to be as self-sufficient as possible, and money is in short supply!

Any comments, suggestions and information would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you


-- MissJudi (, November 21, 2001


ADDENDUM: How would I figure out how big I can make this pond with the springs feeding it, so that it would not become stagnant?



-- MissJudi (, November 21, 2001.

Go talk to your local Soil Conservation Services Office. They can do a pond site assessment for you and may even have some grant money available to help finance the cost. If you have red clay, I doubt you would need a liner. Basically a dozer would be brought in and kept in use until the pond has been scooped out enough to bank up sufficiently around the pond site. You could have an upper and lower pond with a waterfall or spillway in between, but this would likely be rather expensive. Whatever the pond water exit point is, you will need a rock spillway there unless you use a pipe which elbows up into the pond and then comes out on the other side of the dike.

-- Ken S. in WC TN (, November 21, 2001.

Hi MJ, We have done much the same thing as you are thinking of doing with your site. the difference being that our spring is 800 feet from where we wanted the pond! However, we perservered and with some help from the lumber company in the area and the wildlife conservancy we now have a lovely pond with an island. Think ahead on this and do have a island left in place. Wildlife will be drawn to your pond and it will be safer for ducks etc. with the island. The points I want to stress are these. Be sure and control how much water can go into your pond(we had a gate valve installed in the 2" pipe that brings our spring water down to the pond site) and make a controllable exit for the water(a 4" pipe takes the excess overfill out of ours and has an moveable elbow on it so it can be tilted up or down. Ken is right about not needing a liner if you are on clay. We have clay also and there is no problem keeping water in. It sorta self seals. Good LUck. LQ

-- Little Quacker (, November 21, 2001.

Once your pond is built, it will need to season for a bit before adding fish. You can accelerate the process by dumping in a pickup truck load or two of fairly fresh manure.

Two good books are: Earth Ponds: The Country Pond Maker's Guide by Tim Matson, Countryman Press, Woodstock, VT and Ponds: Building, Maintaining and Enjoying: The First Complete Book of Farm Pond Management by Carolyn Garrick Stern. It was published by Progressive Farmer magazine, Box 830069, Birmingham, AL 35283-0069.

-- Ken S. in WC TN (, November 21, 2001.

The Soil Conservation folks are the ones to call. They are a division of the United States Department of Agriculture. They have programs that you may take advantage of for partial funding. They paid 80% of my pond construction, but there was extensive erosion going on at my place at the time.

Boy! I would really take a look a saving that well house. What a great thing to have natural refridgeration. Imagine fishing out a ripe cold watermelon when its 100 degrees! It would make a neat architectural detail for your new ponds as well.

-- Rickstir (, November 21, 2001.

I would suggest building your pond "below" the blockhouse, taking advantage of having it & the pond. About the pigs down stream, you might want to check with your neighbors first. Some could be using that water for drinking. If not, that would be a good idea.

-- Tony O. - NE Okla. (, December 10, 2001.

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