The benefits of having a lake on your property are many. Lakes can serve as a recreation venue, water supply, fishing hole, swimming pool and landscaping feature and are a magnet for kids and wildlife. If your property is not of sufficient size to contain a lake, you may consider digging a pond, which differs only in name and size and is created with the basic process. Digging a lake is a difficult process that demands know-how, skill, time and a great deal of effort but one which can be tackled by the intrepid do-it-yourselfer.
Things You'll Need
- Hydraulic digging equipment
- Dump trucks
- Garden hose
- Diesel-powered water pumps
- Water source
- Diesel fuel
Pick the location of your lake. Test the soil to make sure it has the proper makeup to contain water without too much seepage. A high clay content will help in this cause. Make sure your lake area is easily accessible to heavy equipment so you do not have to damage other land features to get near it. The lake location should have a sufficient drainage area so water is in constant natural supply and does not have to be provided from an outside source. Make sure there is no hazardous runoff feeding into your drainage area like cesspools, farmland or chemicals.
Test your soil makeup by digging in the area where you plan to locate your lake. Go down as far as you expect your lake bottom to be and fill the hole with water. Wait a day or two and monitor how much water seeps out. If all or most of the water is gone within a few days, the soil in that location is not suitable for a lake bed. If all or most of the water remains in the hole, you have found a suitable location.
Use hydraulic equipment including bulldozers, hoes and dump trucks to excavate the earth from your lake-building site. Dig along a slope so that equipment is able to move up and down to remove dirt and to access all parts of the lake bed. Dig down to a depth just over 20 feet and use the excavated soil to fill any sink holes, marshy areas or indentations elsewhere on your land. Leave at least one sloped area to use as a ramp for equipment removal when all is completed. If you wish to create a shoreline for your lake, create a gentle slope leading to the lake bottom on one side of the pit instead of just one ramp for equipment removal. The result will be a lake with one shallow side and one deep side similar to many swimming pools.
Fill your lake with water using diesel-powered pumps and a nearby water source. Wells, collected rain water and ground water are great no-cost options. Water also can be trucked in if there is no other suitable source nearby. Electric-powered water pumps and city water supplies are not practical or financially sound for providing the large amount of water a lake will require. Leave enough space for normal rainfall and runoff to enter the lake without causing overflow.
Plan an escape route for overflow caused by precipitation. A runoff area located downhill from the lake or a channel leading to a suitable deposit area will suffice.
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images
How to Dig and Store Tuberous Begonias
Tuberous begonias have magnificent flowers. To keep them growing year after year, the tubers must be dug from the ground and stored...
How to Use Hydraulic Car Jacks
Unlike traditional screw jacks that are manipulated with long cranks, hydraulic car jacks use high-pressure liquid displacement to lift cars. If employed...
How to Dig a Hole With a Backhoe
Using a backhoe can make a small digging job a lot easier and a large job possible. As more families are purchasing...
How to Make a Pond for Fishing
Building a fishing pond is a considerably large undertaking. It involves more than digging a hole, filling it with water and planting...
How to Dig Up a Concrete Floor in Your Home
If you have to dig up a concrete floor, be prepared for some heavy work. Even if you rent a concrete cutter...
How to Use an Auger to Dig a Hole
Digging fence post holes can be backbreaking work. If you only need one or two holes dug, traditional handheld post hole diggers...
How to Grade Your Yard With Fill Dirt
Fill dirt has many applications when landscaping is done around your house. However, if you yard has low spots or is uneven,...
How to Dig Your Own Turquoise in Utah
Utah is a plentiful supplier of pure, natural turquoise. Turquoise is a blueish-green mineral composed of copper and aluminum. Turquoise is found...
How to Dig a Hole to Plant Ornamental Grasses
Learn how to dig a hole to plant ornamental grasses, in this free gardening video.