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Manayan Farm, Malalam, Ilagan

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Ponds

Planning and Building an Excavated Pond

 A well planned and built pond
A well planned and built pond blends with the terrain and characteristic features of the land

Excavated ponds are the simplest to build in relatively flat terrain. Because their capacity is obtained almost solely by excavation, their practical size is limited. They are best suited to locations where the demand for water is small. Because excavated ponds can be built to expose a minimum water surface area in proportion to their volume, they are advantageous in places where evaporation losses are high and water is scarce. The ease with which they can be constructed, their compactness, their relative safety from flood-flow damage, and their low maintenance requirements make them popular in many sections of the country.

Read more: Planning and Building an Excavated Pond

Planning and Building an Earthfill Dam

A core trench is cut on the centerline of a dam
 A core trench is cut on the centerline of a dam.

Foundations—You can build a safe earthfill dam on almost any foundation if you thoroughly investigate the foundation and adapt the design and construction to the conditions. Some foundation conditions require expensive construction measures that cannot be justified for small ponds.

The most satisfactory foundation consists of soil underlain at a shallow depth by a thick layer of relatively impervious consolidated clay or sandy clay. If a suitable layer is at or near the surface, no special measures are needed except removing the topsoil and scarifying or disking to provide a bond with the material in the dam.

Read more: Planning and Building an Earthfill Dam

Building the excavated pond

 A well planned and built pond
A well planned and built pond blends with the terrain and characteristic features of the land

Building the pond. The kind of excavating equipment used depends on the climatic and physical conditions at the site and on what equipment is available.

In low-rainfall areas where water is unlikely to accumulate in the excavation, you can use almost any kind of available equipment. Tractor-pulled wheeled scrapers, dragline excavators, and track-type tractors equipped with a bulldozer blade are generally used. Bulldozers can only push the excavated material, not carry it; if the length of push is long, using these machines is expensive.

In high-rainfall areas and in areas where the water table is within the limits of excavation, a dragline excavator is commonly used because it is the only kind of equipment that operates satisfactorily in any appreciable depth of water. For ponds fed by ground water aquifers, a dragline is normally used to excavate the basic pond.

Read more: Building the excavated pond

Water Needs

This pond supplies water to a stockwater trough used by cattle in nearby grazing area
Fig. 02. This pond supplies water to a stockwater trough used by cattle in nearby grazing area

The demand for water has increased tremendously in recent years, and ponds are one of the most reliable and economical sources of water. Ponds are now serving a variety of purposes, including water for livestock and for irrigation, fish production, field and orchard spraying, fire protection, energy conservation, wildlife habitat, recreation, erosion control, and landscape improvement.

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Preliminary [Pond Site] Investigations

Potential main pond site in the Eugenio-Magano Farm 03
Potential main pond site in the Eugenio-Magano Farm 03, Caddu, Ilagan, Isabela.

General considerations. Selecting a suitable site for your pond is important, and preliminary studies are needed before final design and construction. Analysis and selection of pond sites should be based on landscape structure and associated ecological functions and values. Relationship of the site to other ecological features within the landscape is critical to achieving planned objectives. If possible, consider more than one location and study each one to select the most ecologically appropriate, esthetic, and practical site. Weighing both onsite and offsite effects of constructing a pond is essential in site selection. Refer to figure 1 and the glossary to become familiar with the components of a pond and associated dam.

Read more: Preliminary [Pond Site] Investigations