Does Your Farm Need A Good Water Source? DIY Tips For Planning & Building A Pond

Even though farms produce vastly different products, they still share a common need for a dependable water source, such as a large pond. Ponds collect and hold rainwater and moisture produced by melting snow like a reservoir so that these farms have a plentiful supply of water to irrigate crops or water animals. Because ponds can, in most cases, be located and built to supply a specific need, they are often a more convenient method of supplying water, than attempting to pipe water from natural water sources, such as springs, rivers and streams. If your farm would benefit from the addition of a dependable water source, the following DIY tips will help you with planning and building a pond. 

Determine the Best Size Pond for Your Needs

To get the most benefit from any pond, it is important to determine the size that will best serve your needs. This process is especially important because it involves many factors, including:

  • the amount of water the pond will provide and how it will contribute to overall farm water needs
  • the size and topography of the parcel of land where the pond will be built
  • the amount of funds that can be allocated to the project
  • any local restrictions on pond size, dam height or other regulations that apply in your area

Each of these factors will need to be researched and considered before construction of the pond can proceed. 

Consider Your Soil

A farm with soil capable of growing abundant grass for animals or vegetables to sell can present a problem when building a pond. This type of soil is generally rich and deep, with a higher sand component that keeps it from compacting easily. Heavier, denser soils that contain a higher level of clay retain water making them a better choice, due to their ability be compacted easily by the heavy equipment used to build the pond. In most cases, soil testing is available through your local Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry office. 

Decide Ideal Location

The topography of the area where you plan to build the pond is a deciding factor in the final cost and capacity of the finished project. If the proposed site is relatively flat, building the pond will entail digging a large hole in the ground and moving a tremendous volume of dirt to create a bowl-like depression large enough to capture sufficient rainwater.

However, if the pond can be located in an area where the land forms a natural hollow or depression, building a dam may be all that is necessary to form the necessary shape. In addition, the expected flow of incoming water from precipitation and snow melt will likely be much greater when the surrounding land slopes toward the pond. 

Reduce Costs

Once you have determined the size and location for your farm pond, there are a number of steps you can take to reduce the cost of the actual construction. 

  1. Clear away timber, brush and any debris at the site so that you are not paying for the pond construction crew to do this (if the timber is large, consider selling it as logs or firewood to help offset project costs)
  2. If possible, consider selling any topsoil that must be removed for the project instead of paying to have it hauled away (if you have low areas on your farm that need to be filled, consider using this topsoil in these areas to minimize hauling fees)
  3. Consider building the pond yourself, instead of hiring a construction crew (in most cases, the equipment rental fees will be lower than what a contractor will charge to do the work) 

To get more information about the equipment needed to build a pond and the costs involved, contact a local equipment rental company in your area that specializes in the heavy construction equipment necessary for this type of project.