While we are talking about equipment, the most important job of the dozer is the tracking in the fill.
For every layer of fill being applied to the dam or any other area it must be tracked in.
Tracked in means compacting the fill. You’ve seen how hard it was to dig out the virgin earth, now it needs to be packed just as hard as it was. Construction companies have to be tested, some times daily, when they are preparing a site for building purposes, areas that are filled are tested to be sure they are compacted properly. As an example, Have you had the opportunity to have the utility company dig a ditch in your yard ? The ditch gets filled in and tamped down to pack it tight, but still next year the fresh filled ditch has sunk deeper.
Tracking in or vibratory rollers, compacts the fill in the dam making it stronger and binding the small fill particles together. Kind of like making snowballs.
There will be great pressure on the floor, sides and dam once the pond is full of water. Remember swimming to the bottom of a swimming pool and the pressure on your ears ?
Another part about the dozer digging a pond. While getting the grade finished around the pond on some what level ground seems a little tricky. Once you start digging down to depth, pushing out to the dam creating a hill, the 3 to 1 grade. This becomes increasingly more of a safety factor for the dozer and operator. While going up and out of the pond and going back in, the dozer’s weight plays a big part in the action of the controls. One small mistake can allow the dozer to become sideways and possibly roll over. Take a look this dozer safety report.
Now we are stuck with two ways of thinking. The steeper the sides are in the pond the less aquatic weeds will grow.
The steepest for any pond would be 2 to 1 = walking 2 feet into the pond you go down 1 foot.
This brings up why we want 3 or 4 to 1 on the outside of the dam. A couple reasons for this.
The farther the dam goes away from the pond the more fill is placed, holding back all the water pressure of the pond. The next part is to make it easier to mow. Yes mow. I thought that building a pond would help to cut down the mowing, it kind of did, but now that is the main area to get mowed first. The reason mowing around the pond is to keep unwanted critters out of pond like snakes, or from digging into the dam like groundhogs. Even muskrats will do major damage damage to the dam.
Still have more to cover, stay tuned.
PS. To discover even more information about ponds, check out the store. My personel picks are of the first four book by Tim Matson, he even has a movie. Or check our books below, How to Build a Farm Pond is $14.95 download and the others are free.