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Question about a pond at potential homestead

 
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Glad to have found this site and forum

Is this pond too close to the house?  Location is in East Texas.
A8760C82-0477-4A60-B122-BFF2223838C0.jpeg
pond location
pond location
 
pollinator
Posts: 708
Location: Canadian Prairies - Zone 3b
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Some initial thoughts:

Is it a natural pond or a dugout? What is the source of water that keeps it topped up?

What's the soil like? Would it leach water into a basement?

What's the drainage like? Where would flood or storm water naturally go -- toward the house or away from it?
 
Kris Swan
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Hi Douglas,
Thank you for your reply.
Unfortunately I won’t know the specific  answers to your important questions until Monday.

My hunch is that it’s a dugout / tank of sorts.

There isn’t a basement.

There isn’t drainage.

Water source is unknown but it’s natural. Either rain and/or underground.

Looking at the shape, it appears the water heads to the house as well as gains circumference when it rains.

The house is 20 years old and made of wood. Location is van Zandt county Tx. Zone 8a / 8b

I will make sure that the inspector addresses your questions.

Thank you again,
Kris

 
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Hi Kris,

Have you been there physically, or just looking at pictures?  Just wondering what the topography is like - whether the slope is toward or away from the house. There are some topography resources at USGS if you want to see a topographic map.  
 
Kris Swan
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Hi Artie,

Thank you for your reply. My sister has an offer on this property and I’m going to see in person on Monday when there is an inspection. I will look at the USGS topographic maps to see what I can find out now.

Thank you,
Kris
 
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Location: California Zone 10b / Wyoming Zone 3b
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Make sure you take a look at the spillway, that should give you an idea of where the excess water should go.
 
pollinator
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Location: Bendigo , Australia
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Its my guess there are no problems, if there were the dam would have been cut or filled in.
The green edge suggests the level is fairly constant.
If you have frogs, habitat and fish in it, mosquitos should not be an issue.
 
Douglas Alpenstock
pollinator
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My knowledge of Texas is limited (had an interesting business trip to Houston once) but I'm thinking of big rain events like hurricanes. I suspect they're close enough to the Gulf to get sideswiped. So, where does all that water go?
 
pollinator
Posts: 415
Location: Central Texas zone 8a, 800 chill hours 28 blessed inches of rain
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To clarify your concern, are you concerned about a flood event reaching the house; or about the soil suitability for a foundation close to wet ground?

Van Zant is in the Trinity River basin, I believe.  If you have been in Texas long you will understand what that means.  The Trinity gets "Big Water" at least every 50 years and leaves its banks.  How close are you to a creek or stream?  Flood Plains are hard to identify in East Texas, as they can be miles across; and one can be in low water plain without noticing.  

The good news is that pond is a cut stock tank, or artificial pond.  Unless you are in a low lying flood area, you have little to worry about if the pond has a spillway properly installed.  You can download the FEMA flood map for the county here and see where the property is compared to known and projected flood risks.

Flood Plain

As far as foundational concerns you can download the County's soil survey here  Soil Survey.  Look for issues with expansive soil in the area.  In areas with expansive soils, the ground will shrink in a drought, and swell in times of high precipitation.  This plays hell with a foundation.  The pond may actually help keep the soil neutrally hydrated during extreme weather periods.

My biggest concern with a house that close to a pond in East Texas would be mosquitos.  Keep that pond stocked with fish and wildlife to combat the bugs.  Otherwise they will drive you indoors for large parts of the year.  
 
Douglas Alpenstock
pollinator
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Jack, excellent comments. There is no substitute for experience on the ground.
 
Kris Swan
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Thank you everyone for the replies

Jack, thank you for all the info.  Greatly appreciated.  I’lm concerned about both flooding and the soil stability near the foundation. Mosquitos, too. I will look now at the flood plain, fema, and soil surveys. I’ll make sure the inspector is asked the excellent questions brought up by you all. It just occurred to me to think about snakes and young kids. Knee high boots and education of course!  Glad it’s a cut stock tank. Feeling more positive now thanks to you all. I’ll report back with what I learn. Maybe this post will help someone else in a similar situation. At least about what questions that need to be addressed and answered.
Thanks again for being so helpful.
Kris
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