Ponds and Droughts

Ponds that have lived through a drought have a potential to leak once the water level fills back up. Scary thought but follow along and see what can happen.

As the summer months get hotter and hotter evaporation continues to remove water from the pond along with any seeps or leaks that allow the water to lower. As the water recedes it exposes the sides of the pond where the sun and dry air can start to dry out the clay.
Not too big of a deal yet but if weather continues to be dry or even go into a drought the chances are the clay will dry out. Typically clay in the dry form is dense, lighter than when its wet and can crumble apart. When the clay is wet its sticky, mold able, stay together expands to a certain degree and very heavy.

But once the compacted clay starts to dry it wants to shrink, become lighter and eventually crack. For an example find a clump of clay, get it wet and mold it into a shape and let it sit in the sun to dry. Once it is dried out you’ll notice the cracks. Another example is mowing the yard when its been hot and dry. The spot where grass is thin you can see cracks there too.

So why would this cause a leak? These cracks can allow water to escape through them for a period of time until the clay becomes saturated again and seals up the crack. And with nature we find anything is possible, the cracks could seal up as the water level rises or take a month or even a year to seal back up again depending on the type of clay and how big these cracks had been.

Next time when we have a drought or extended period of low water level take a walk around the pond and check for any kind of crack or separation. Take a note of the locations and when the water level comes back up see if they seal up again.

We cover more details of the leaking pond in the How to Build a Farm Pond E Book  get your copy today. Actually the book is on sale now! Look on the left for the Birthday Specials and click the picture.

About the Author: Darrell Rhoades is the founder of Whatpond.com. A one man business, works full time in tool & die. It all started when he built his own pond for the family. Ran into pond issues and started the research with pond suppliers and conferences for pond management. He writes about pond building and pond management and sells pond management supplies, aeration & fountains and Practical hands on experiences at Whatpond.com. . No physical store, but has items in stock.