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2 acre pond muck removal help

 
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Looking to tap into the knowledge on this site. I am stuck in a bit of a conundrum balancing my environmental ethic, government regulation and economics.  I have a 2 acre pond on my property that is about 6feet deep. I would say it has 3 feet plus of much on the bottom.  In the last few years the plant growth has really taken off. I have started to explore the option of getting the pond cleaned out and run into some road blocks. The pond was dug in the 70's but is now considered naturalized and because of its location is now considered to be part of a provincially significant wetland. To do any work on the pond I need to have over 20 thousand dollars worth of environmental reports.  Which does not even guarantee that I am allowed to clean out part of the pond. My goal is to clean out and deepen half the pond for swimming and improved fish habitat.  The other half I want to leave as is for the ducks, frogs.....  As the cost to get the repots are prohibitive i am exploring options to remove the muck in the pond.  Does anyone have any direct experience with the pellets that are supposed to eat the muck? Or have any other ideas for the pond?

Your input is welcome and appreciated.

Regards
Brayden
 
pollinator
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I think sepp would say use a 5 gallon bucket and a rope. A bucket a day.
 
pollinator
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Location: Central Texas zone 8a, 800 chill hours 28 blessed inches of rain
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I was researching aeration for my ponds, when I found this.  Very interesting.  The concept is "nano bubbles" are small enough that the water pressure keeps them from expanding and rising to the surface.  So they stay in suspension and even sink to the bottom.  Like soil biomoe, much of the life in the pond is at the bottom, in the muck; but it does not get enough oxygen and turns anaerobic.  Nano bubbles puts the air on the bottom where it benefits the entire food chain, as well as keeping it from bubbling off.  A Japanese company made the discovery that carbon ceramic in front of a flow will make nano bubbles.  

Here is what I am considering:  Ceramic filter cartridges are readily avaialbe for a cheap price.  (I have found them as low as 3/$20 on a clearance.)  A water pump (I already have a sump pump without a purpose) with the output flowing past a ceramic filter at the end of a tube leading to the surface.  The venturi effect of the water past the filter will draw the needed air.  The question I am sorting out is how long a horizontal run the pump will tolerate; or if I need to do solar at the pond.  The video shows a case study with good results.  I don't know Canadian law (my assumption); but I don't think they can regulate a pond pump to aerate the water.





I am thinking of placing a filter like this:  ceramic filter , as a venturi valve similar to this system only on the output side instead of the input.



 
pollinator
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Brayden:

 Don't know your regs but I have two avenues to consider, hope they might be helpful.

1) language & phrasing.  Try flipping "cleaning" and "muck" to "maintaining essential wetland function" and "deleterious excessive silting caused by human activity in the watershed" ("DESCHAW") and see if that gets you anywhere.  Getting a swimming spot is very much a tertiary benefit to creating a better place for the fishes.

2) low impact, no heavy equipment. a 3" rigid wall hose shoved into the, um, DESCHAW can move a lot of m_, um, DESCHAW.  Better if it can be a siphon, but given this seems to be a wetland complex I'm guessing you don't have a lot of vertical to work with.  But a hose and a pump if far less noticeable than an excavator.  And maybe it gets rated as a backup water source in case of fire?

and a concern ... you're talking about removing something akin to three acre-feet of material.  Even half that is a lot.  Where is that going to go?
 
Jack Edmondson
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My last post missed the mark a bit.  The point to it all was if you can get cleared to dredge it up, (Eliot makes great points) you can't at least clean up the muck, so one does not come out of the swimming hole smelling like they swam in a septic tank.  
 
gardener
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Location: France, Burgundy, parc naturel Morvan
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20 thousand dollar will get you a nice natural swimming pool. And a hydroponic set up for fish might not be ecological, but at least the government can't say no, which let's face it, they love to say, especially after squeezing out your last dime for a report... "Saving" the environment and saying no while at it to a powerless individual who is paying your wage is just, too tempting for the average jealous civil "servant". If they would really serve they wouldn't ask for a report of twenty thousand.
I don't like the power they're wielding over us at all, here where i live it's much,much worse, they're totally killing rural France, don't let it happen to you folk as well!


 
pollinator
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Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even Soil:SandyLoam pH6 Flat
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Your NEED: swimming hole

Solutions:
A) Build a brand new natural swimming pool, don't ask for a permit, cost $3k
B) Legally retro-fit existing 2 acre pond, get permit, cost $50,000

Let me know if you would like some more info on option A

Now lets say you can only do option B, let define what the problem is and possible solutions.
PROBLEM: settlement of organic matter(muck) that hasn't been oxidized by aerobic bacteria.
B1 = More dissolved oxygen by using nano bubbles, and other aeration techniques
B2 = Inoculating the water with the right mix of microbes
B3 = Re-suspending the settled particulates
B4 = Providing an alternative site for the organic material to settle/resettle aka a reed/sand filter, settling pond, undercover swale around the pond
B5 = Not all of that much is organic matter some is silt that flowed into the pond, so lets add swales upstream
B6 = Use septic tank technology/tool to vacuum up the muck in the pond, then have the filtered water drain back in the pond
B7 = Use a bucket and manual labor to move much 3ft deep, 30ft wide, 60ft long (133 cubic yard)

 
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might be able to get the muck out with some sort of muck pump, diaphragm pumps are pretty good at moving muck. we used to have a fish farm, totally different scenario than what you have and when muck build up was too great we would drain the ponds and use a big old cat bulldozer to push the muck out. with such a scenario not available to you a 4" to 6" pump with weighted inlet hose might just do the trick.
there may be some organic solutions like an organism that will eat the muck or depending on composition aeration might be of some help.
 
Brayden Plummer
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Wow, thank you so much everyone.  I have a bunch of research to do now and see some other options.  I will re-read and respond to individual comments soon.

Many Thanks
Brayden
 
pollinator
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If you want to spread the muck for fertilizer anyhow, maybe spraying it around at time of pumping is more efficient? Spreading material is a big job when you have big qties..

Maybr some sort of cart-mounted nozzle able to handle chunky goop?
 
Brayden Plummer
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I would be spreading the muck in a very different area.  The pond is located about 300 feet down a hill from my garden area. I just have to find a cheaper version of those dewatering bags and smaller as well. I am sure they are out there.
 
pollinator
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Can you send some images please?
With my Civil Engineer back ground, I look at this as a project.
Some points need consideration;
- how much time to you want to be actually involved in the pumping?
- Big machinery has been excluded
- actual time for the project seems to be open ended.
- Dewatering bags may be just an unnecessary extra item
-Moving and emptying those bags may be difficult
- Is an aluminium boat worth using
- If a mascuarting pump  is used, the leaves and sticks will be cut up before passing through the pump
- can the liquid be pumped somewhere such that any water can drain back to the pond without causing problems
-  which means upstream from the pond.
- small straw bales  set across the contour will filter water from the solids moved by the pump
- using the boat you may be able to vacuum small areas of the ponds at a time, moving enough material to soak the dam built with straw bales
 but not too much to overwhelm the filter system
- new bales could be set elsewhere to slowly filter as much solids out of the pond.
 
pollinator
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Woven poly bags work.  Sand bags, feed bags, etc.
 
Brayden Plummer
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That would be awesome John,  I will take some pictures and post as soon as possible.  I agree about the bags.  There are a few spots that I could pump and filter into with the cloth or hay bales.  I can poke away at this when I have time.  Just researching which pump would be best to buy/rent.



Regards
Brayden
 
S Bengi
pollinator
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Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even Soil:SandyLoam pH6 Flat
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Reach out to these guys and see which unit they recommend and pricing.
https://www.gnsolidscontrol.com/sludge-vacuum-pump#:~:text=Sludge%20vacuum%20pump%2C%20also%20named,working%20performance%20and%20less%20maintenance.

Do realize that after you clean the small pond area, the much form elsewhere will slowly 'flow' down to the area that you de-muck. So keeping that swimming area muck free, will be a yearly job. The good news is that it will only be a perimeter sweep, vs a full project.
 
John C Daley
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Whether the mulch will wash back into the pond depends on a few things;
- Bad luck
- steep slope
- high rainfall

The mulch could be moved with the tractor as mentioned initially.
It would probaly dry out to be 'good stuff' and well worth using somewhere.

I am not aware of the cost of theses units, but I guess  hire or buy is something that will depend on how quickly you will use it. IE 1 week or 3 Months.

Here are some to look at
Dewatering pump

or a piston diaphragm sludge pumppump
 
gardener
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If you have not personally verified that 20000.00 figure, do so.  
 
Brayden Plummer
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I have a friend who works in the industry as a restoration biologist. He verified the requirements but is also helping me strategize on how to reduce them.
gift
 
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