Dams have been used for centuries, and are prized for their ability to manipulate water. They are occasionally used by pond owners on a smaller scale, but it is crucial to make sure they are properly managed. Here are some tips on how to manage pond dams:
Trees And Pond Dams Don’t Mix
Trees that are situated near dams may look visually attractive, but they can cause the dam to fail. The reason for this is because trees have roots which penetrate and grow within the same soil that the dam uses, which inevitably results in numerous tunnels that will intertwine and extend from one dam side to the other. Although the tree itself is no threat as long as it’s healthy, once the tree dies its root system will deteriorate, failing to fill the void which allows water to enter and flow inside the tunnels which will threaten the integrity of the dam, creating leaks.
Dams Are Vulnerable To Erosion
Dams constructed within ponds are susceptible to erosion, especially if the dam was built recently. The dam must have sufficient protection against surface runoff; otherwise deep channels may be removed from the back and front before you can put grass in place. This is both unattractive visually and might result in a part of the dam becoming lower than the spillway. The best solution to erosion issues is adding aquatic plants.
It should also be noted that erosion is a particular problem for ponds built on land which is also used with livestock. Animals that graze after heavy rain might rapidly harm the dam’s surface integrity, so keeping your livestock away from the pond dam is extremely important.
How To Construct Your Dam Correctly
Poor construction is the leading cause of dam issues. Your goal should be the construction of a dam which properly holds water, and to do this, you must use the right materials while having sufficient compaction. Additionally, you must design a quality spillway for emergencies, otherwise flooding will occur. You can usually tell when a dam is leaking because either you will have a wet area which is perennial, or vegetation that constantly needs water in order to thrive.
Dam construction is not a task that should be left to novices. If not constructed properly the first time, you could find yourself with all sorts of problems that are both difficult and costly to fix. Using a professional pond contractor is the best way to ensure the dam is built correctly, out of high quality materials that will stand the test of time. Afterwards, it is important to ensure the dam and pond is properly maintained. Erosion should be minimized, trees must be kept at a safe distance, and you will need soil coverage so that you can establish your vegetation. In the event that adult trees are already present near the dam, it is best to leave them alone as tampering with the dam or trees can create problems.