Friday, February 24, 2012

The Hole: A Pond Saga, er I mean Story: Part Five

Way too late last fall, I started to start building a pond.  It ended up way bigger than originally planned.  Here is part five of the saga.  Part one starts here.

November 2nd, 2011
Near Tragedy Averted

6" of dense yellow clay packed down and primed to kill the trees
I was feeling pretty good about the hole being dug, and was ready to move on to liner then I had to stop again.  When I hired the guys to dig out the rest of the pond, I didn't watch them every second.  When I first looked at the site when they were done, all looked great.  Unfortunately today I found this. 

The not so sharp picture is of 6-8 inches of dense yellow clay.  It turns all of the clay didn't get hauled away.  A whole lot of it got spread around and rolled over and flattened.  This is a big problem on several fronts.  First the clay is going to kill the maple and the magnolia that is surrounds.  It is going to suffocate them.  Second, the new grading is going to not work so great with keeping water away from the house.  I have to spend today and tomorrow digging this all out, finding a place for it and then laying down some new sod that you see in the picture to prevent the whole area from becoming a giant mud pit.  Two steps forward one step in goo...

At least I got the bottom drain done.  This needed to be set in concrete to prevent it from moving.  A moving bottom drain can tear your liner.  I am very proud of how this came out.  It was nerve racking because you had to get the concrete in while keeping the pipe at the perfect height and making sure it all was level.  Then the concrete had to be shaped in such a way so that there were not rough spots sticking up AND no depressions.  Believe it or not this thin little groove took 480 pounds of concrete to fill!  OK a bit of that went into the tunnel under the collar but still!  Getting 80 pound bags down into a 3.5 foot slippery hole without killing yourself is quite a workout.  I mixed it all in the little pink tub thing again because 1) I still didn't want to get my new wheel barrow dirty and 2) I didn't feel like trying to wrestle it down into the hole.

Check out the foam under the edge, scraping that flush was fun!
My pond is going to be a pit of leaves by tomorrow at this rate.
I learned a very important lesson about concrete today that I knew but had completely forgotten.  It BURNS.  Yeah fresh concrete can burn your skin.  I wore gloves when I mixed it, but they were porous and some leaked through.  I felt my hand stinging and thought at first it was just irritation from friction or something.  Nope.  In one place it blistered.  I don't even mind because this scary part of the journey is DONE! 

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