Building a farm pond with out using a pond liner. Brings up a few points to take note of.
Not having a pond liner means we have enough clay content in the ground to hold the water.
There are a couple issues that do come up. First is the action of the pond, waves, and ripples from swimming, boating and the wind will slowly erode the sides of the pond.
Second are unwanted visitors like the muskrat which will make one heck of a mess by digging their underwater tunnels and escape holes above the surface. Over time these tunnels and holes will cave in leaving voids in that area and creating a mess but more important if they are at the dam, leaks could happen and a potential dam breach.
How can erosion and muskrats be stopped?
The best and most effective way is to add rip rap, which is heavy stone so that the waves and ripples can be diffused by hitting the the rock instead of the earth pond edge. Using the big stone makes it hard for the muskrat to dig into the earth dam.
Even using a pond liner the muskrat will be able to chew through it. Some folks have suggested using chain link fence to deter the muskrat from digging their tunnels. This may work for a while but the fence will rust away after a eventually and the rust is not good for the fish.
Adding the rocks to the 3 to 1 slope can be tricky as they will just keep falling to the bottom of the pond. To remedy this a step or shelf will need to be left approximately 5 feet below the pond water surface. The reason for the 5 feet is muskrat do not like digging at that level. Also if you had a bad drought and the pond water level dropped a foot or two you will still be protected from erosion.
Let’s say you are planning on a bigger pond. You will need a larger liner, one that has strength and a greater degree of being punctured and the best part is the liner is custom built to fit your pond. Manufactured in the USA. When you are ready to build your pond please contact me, that way I can hook you up with the experts of pond liners.
Along with building a pond to reduce stress and relax, we should be thinking about our body, getting in shape to to build the pond and to enjoy the pond when it is finished. The best way to do this is by eating correctly and exercising.