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    Thread: Alarakalama's Pond Build

    1. #1
      Alarakalama is offline Supporting Member
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      Alarakalama's Pond Build

      Hey Folks,

      I'm finally wide-open on the pond build after a slow winter of building a retaining wall and revising by design over and over. I am going to re-run the numbers when I have a better idea of the final shape but it is between 25,000 and 30,000 gallons. Some features include:


      • 6 x Rhino II Bottom Drains - 4" Pressure PVC + 1/2" PEX for Air
      • 12 x 1.5" TPRs - 3" Pressure PVC
      • 2 x Pond Return Skimmers - 2" Pressure PVC
      • 8 Foot Diameter island
      • 2 x 24 inch x 48 inch windows
      • 70 linear feet of CMU retaining wall with a hefty footer and way too much rebar.
      • Earthen retaining wall for the remaining perimeter



      The Utility/Filter/Business end is in the back where I have trenched in filtered well water, unfiltered well water, 2 x 20A GFCI Breakers circuits and a backup air supply from the garage (not on GFCI for no lightning trips) and 2 x Cat6 cables to the house. The island has a dedicated 3" drain and a branch circuit in case I want power some day.



      CMU Wall Construction
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      Pond Windows Newly Set into Wall
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      Wall Complete
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      Excavation in Progress
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      Ready for Laying Pipe that goes under earth retaining wall. Trying to move as much dirt as possible before excavator rental is over. It looks like my son is playing in the mud.
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      4" BD Drain Lines are rough-in where I need to backfill.
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      I finished backfilling the wall. I'll get some new pictures soon.

      So... as you can see, I am dealing with some groundwater. I am wracking my brain as to hope to cast the BDs into concrete while dealing with so much water. I can try to wait out the water by running the sump pump and hope for dry weather. However, the slopes wound up being much steeper than 1:1 (I was having too much fun on the excavator). The bouncing water table is causing erosion and eating at the slopes slowly. I think it's stabilized for now but I'm a bit anxious that it will become a structural problem by undermining the soil supporting the footer. If anyone has dealt with this situation before, I am all ears!

      ...more to come. As always, any wisdom from you guys/gals is welcome as I go. This forum and the guys at Play It Koi have been phenomenal in helping me!

      Regards,
      Brent

    2. #2
      icu2's Avatar
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      I'm not much help with any of the engineering parts but it looks like it's going to be one incredible pond!

      --Steve

    3. #3
      coolwon is offline Senior Member
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      All for the love of Koi!
      Find more about Weather in Durban, ZA

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      msegger is offline Senior Member
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      depends on pressures - will your pond out do the groundwater? Maybe you need to go taller and leave the groundwater alone.

    5. #5
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      I ran into the same problem with groundwater here recently. I used a pond vac to suck out as much water as I could. Then let that dry out as much as I could, then laid a layer of mason sand and a little bit of mortar mixed in and laid it out on the bottom of the pond. .My pond is a bit smaller, so I decided to cement the whole bottom to be safe. Yours looks a bit bigger, so that might be out of the question. But the sand made my bottom a lot more manageable. The pond looks great by the way, That thing is gonna be beautiful!

    6. #6
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      Groundwater pressure is one of the reasons that I elevated it above grade. I should have about 24 inches of head above the worst possible winter-time groundwater conditions. God help me if I ever need to drain the level down in the winter time. It will fluff up and tear its self apart I imagine.

      We are also in a coastal flooding zone but it would have to be a 1000+ year event to overtop the wall. Plus, that's what flood insurance is for

      I attached a float switch to my ShinMaya submersible pump. it seems to be doing a good job dewatering so far. I'm becoming more optimistic that I can dewater this as long as we don't get a downpour. Mason sand sounds like a really good idea for leveling the surface if the mucky native soil is too much trouble. Thanks for the tip!

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    7. #7
      coolwon is offline Senior Member
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      Quote Originally Posted by coolwon View Post
      All for the love of Koi!


      Normal people don't understand.
      Find more about Weather in Durban, ZA

    8. #8
      Alarakalama is offline Supporting Member
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      Maybe I am just too indecisive but it is difficult to determine how to locate and orient TPRs. It doesn't help that most of my lines are under the pond and have to 90 or 45 up first! I think a lot of them are going to be shaped like a goose head when I'm done.

      Brent

    9. #9
      icu2's Avatar
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      I bought some flanges with fipt so if I screwed up and was way off where one should have pointed I could
      put a threaded street fitting and point it where ever I needed.

      http://koienterprise.com/Pond-Return...tor-p-453.html
      --Steve

    10. #10
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      That's a really good idea. I'm not sure if I want to go through the trouble of returning the 12 TPRs I have on hand. I'll look at it closer when I'm not exhausted from hand digging ��

      Thanks!!
      Brent

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      Groundwater is finally getting under control. I'm running two pumps on either end to help draw it down faster. I am hoping to set the first BD this weekend but we'll see how the soil is once I get into it.

      Does anyone have any recommendations for fastening/taping/staking the underlayment? I'm wondering how well the 800lb liner will slide over the underlayment without dragging/wrinkling the underlayment. Just trying to think ahead

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    12. #12
      Alarakalama is offline Supporting Member
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      I'm really thrilled that two BDs were cast into place this weekend. I think it went well overall and I kinda overdid it with 7 bags of 60lb quickrete each but at least I know it won't move too much. My biggest concern is the weight on the air fittings on the bottom of the BD. I'm super paranoid about threaded connections so when i threaded them all the way on they were both pointed 180 degree from the correct direction. I opted to use extra elbows to turn it around. I trust 3 glued elbows over a backing off half of a turn on a threaded connections. I'm also painfully aware that i'm not able to pressure test any of this stuff for leaks.

      First BD ready for concrete. note the funny airline PVC work.
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      First BD cast in concrete. I did my best to smooth it flush with the 'top face of the bottom flange'
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      Second BD ready for concrete. Mixing in a bucket was a bear so I got a small plastic container which worked out much better.
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      Both BDs done. Ready for backfilling between them.
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      Brent

    13. #13
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      Oh - if I did anything wrong on these two PLEASE let me know so I don't repeat it four more times!

      I promise you won't hurt my feelings.

      Brent

    14. #14
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      Quote Originally Posted by Alarakalama View Post
      Does anyone have any recommendations for fastening/taping/staking the underlayment? I'm wondering how well the 800lb liner will slide over the underlayment without dragging/wrinkling the underlayment.
      These won't work their way up through the liner over time. Don't use the bent wire ones.
      Attached Images Attached Images  
      Last edited by batman; 4 Weeks Ago at 03:42 PM.
      The real Batman wears polyester! Don't be fooled by the plastic imposter.

    15. #15
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      Eagerly watching this build! I am hoping to start another pond this year and am also wanting an island! Mine will not be this extravagant no budget for that but am anxious to see how yours turns out.... I am sure it will be amazing!

    16. #16
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      nice job, believe most just go with regular pvc for the airline but I dont see why the flex tubing wouldnt work and probably easier to work with. How level / gap between bottom flange and concrete? Just curious once the underlayment and liner are installed, will there be a seam to catch debris? Mixing by hand is no fun.

    17. #17
      Alarakalama is offline Supporting Member
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      Quote Originally Posted by msegger View Post
      nice job, believe most just go with regular pvc for the airline but I dont see why the flex tubing wouldnt work and probably easier to work with. How level / gap between bottom flange and concrete? Just curious once the underlayment and liner are installed, will there be a seam to catch debris? Mixing by hand is no fun.
      pex is much cheaper at the moment and has a number of benefits. That said it's new to me but I'm loving it so far. I did snap one of the plastic fittings and decided to go all brass from here on to be safe.

      I ran the concrete flush with the top of the bottom flange and tapered downward as i went away from the BD. I'll come back and level it with Mason sand once all BDs are done. Finally getting started on the other four this morning. I'm hoping to knock them out by Sunday evening!

      Brent

    18. #18
      Alarakalama is offline Supporting Member
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      Quote Originally Posted by schreiberkoi View Post
      Eagerly watching this build! I am hoping to start another pond this year and am also wanting an island! Mine will not be this extravagant no budget for that but am anxious to see how yours turns out.... I am sure it will be amazing!
      I'll be sure to provide more info on the island later on. It definitely required some special considerations. I plan to put a small ornamental tree on it, perhaps a weeping cherry.

      Brent

    19. #19
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      BD Repair

      Last weekend I was shooting for rough installation of the last four of six BDs. I only got two in due to my pickiness with getting them level. Unfortunately however I managed to break one of the BDs. The first three slid onto the 4" PVC Pipe with no issue. The last one unexpectedly seized going on. I'm not sure why it seized but I panicked and grabbed what I could to yank it further down the pipe. I'm not a big guy, but managed to somehow break the air riser assembly at the bottom threads. It was not a manufacturer defect in my opinion.

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      There was no way I was getting a fernco or any other fitting to fix this one. After a few expletives, I devised a plan to glue (green/white can of Heavy Duty Clear PVC Cement) a PVC flange and reducer bushing over the broken assembly. I think it worked out pretty well and is probably stronger than the original riser. I talked to a Aquadyne (Rhino II manufacturer) and they felt it was a good plan.

      3 inch flange: https://www.grainger.com/product/GRA...d-Flange-2PMK7

      3 inch to 1.5 inch reducer bushing: https://www.grainger.com/product/GRA...Bushing-22JY76

      Out of curiosity, I first tested the strength of gluing pvc in an abnormal way. The bond was really strong and I couldn't pull it apart by hand.
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      I found a 3" solid flange (NOT van stone) on Grainger that would clear the welds on the broken riser. The outside diameter easily fit into the BD as well.
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      I didn't get a picture, but most flanges have a lip to retain the gasket. Using an orbital sander, this came off pretty easy without leaving and valleys.
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      I glued a 3" to 1.5" reducer bushing into the flange and found that it slightly hit the top part of the broken riser. A Dremel tool quickly took about a half inch off the top and the flange sat flush on the bottom of the BD afterwards.
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      I thoroughly cleaned the BD and sanded the bottom. Aquadyne said primer wasn't necessary but I did it anyway because I'm paranoid and it doesn't hurt anything.
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      Aquadyne recommended dumping a quarter of a can of pvc cement. I didn't think to ask what size of can... Either way, there was plenty an abundance of glue on the bottom and the flange definitely feels like it is one with the drain. The final height of the valve hasn't changed much. When I'm ready for the air diffuser lid, I expect to trim maybe a half or 3/4 inch more than I normally would have.
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      I hope this is helpful. I'm curious if others have even better solutions. This cost me maybe $60 and would have been cheaper if I used someone other than Grainger for parts and if PVC wasn't in such high demand. I used Grainger because their shipping is typically next day and very reliable. I wanted to repair this quickly and move on with my build.

      If you learn anything form this post it should be to ensure your pipe is deburred, clean and clear of debris and properly glued But when you are working alone with 4 inch pipe and a need to level the BD, it's not as easy as it sounds!

      Brent

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      Nice mod - question thou - are you able to take off the cap? I just used pvc tape to screw on the cap incase I need to get at the BD. Did you buy the spring check valve or did it come with the BD? How much pressure does it take to open the spring check valve? Some say the rubber membrane of the air disc acts like a check valve, therefore you dont need a separate swing/spring check valve on the stem.

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