A dirt pond adds beauty and value to any property. Properly sealed, a farm pond lets you water poultry and livestock, farm fish, irrigate crops, swim, and canoe. A backyard pond becomes a landscaping feature that attracts birds, lets you harbor hobby fish and grow aquatic plants. Because the soil in ponds makes them prone to seepage, you need an impermeable base to prevent leaks. There are several ways to seal a dirt pond, and the one that's best for you will depend upon the size of your pond.
Things You'll Need
- Farm animals
- Agricultural tractor
- Fertilizer spreader
- Sodium bentonite
Fence off your pond site and place livestock, such as pigs, cows and goats, in the enclosed space. The animals' movements will compact feces into the soil in a relatively short time and provide a natural seal.This centuries-old method used by farmers is known as "gleying."
Mechanically compact the soil. Mix water with the spare clay dug from the pond and spread it in several 6-inch layers. Drive over each layer repeatedly using the tractor tires to compact the base. Keep the compacted basin moist until rainwater fills the pond.
Mix a natural clay, such as sodium bentonite, with porous soil for small landscaping ponds or for larger ones where clay is unavailable. Bentonite absorbs many times its dry weight when wet to create an impermeable seal, and does not harm wildlife or affect water quality. Apply a layer of the mix evenly to the entire pond basin with a fertilizer spreader or shovel, and rake if the pond is small. Rainfall will swell the mix and seal the basin.
Tips & Warnings
- Six inches or more of fecal matter is needed for gleying.
- Although bentonite is the best choice for smaller ponds, it can also be used on a large-scale agricultural pond. A popular commercial brand is called Pond Sealer.
- Keep large livestock away from the finished pond, as their hooves can puncture the pond's seal and cause leaks.
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
How to Seal a Farm Pond
If you own a farm and have always dreamed of having a pond so you could fish, swim, or boat whenever you...
How to Seal Stock Tanks
Water for livestock is not a luxury, it's a necessity. Animals must have a readily available source of fresh water. A leaking...
How to Repair a Leaking Dam in a Farm Pond
Damming is one of the easiest ways to create a large pond. By using excess dirt from the pond dig to shore...
How to Seal a Pond With Gypsum
Gypsum is a calcifying agent that is useful geologically for rock formation. It can be useful when sealing a pond. The process...
How to Line a Pond With Clay
The natural way to line a pond is to line it with clay. This keeps the water in the pond instead of...
How to Seal Ponds With Soda Ash
Constructing a pond can be as simple as digging a ditch or hole in your landscape, and as complicated as adding lining,...
How to Clean & Seal a Concrete Basement Floor
Sealing a basement concrete floor will extend the life of the concrete and help to keep it in good condition. Concrete sealers...
How to Seal Concrete Ponds to Hold Water
An outdoor concrete pond can add beauty and sophistication to any external living space. A pond that is not properly installed or...
How to Seal a Pond With Sodium Bentonite
Man-made ponds built on unsuitable soils are prone to seepage through fissures and gaps in the soil structure. There are several options...
How to Seal a Pond the Natural Way
A well-constructed pond is a valuable asset to a farmer or suburban landowner. It can provide water for livestock, fishing opportunities, soil...
The Best Way to Seal a Dirt Crawl Space
The best way to seal a dirt crawl space is to use a combination of methods to seal joints and openings in...