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How to stop a farm pond from leaking

How to stop a farm pond from leaking

Unlike landscape and gardening ponds, farm ponds are vital for the farm’s sustainability, as they are usually an important source of water for stock and any other animals and plants around.

One of the most common problems for farmers and ranchers is the water level of their farm ponds dropping. And usually, after pumping (if the water is being pumped in) and any other similar problems have been discarded, they start to think about the water leaking into the underground. While there are many reasons why a pond may be leaking, if you can’t find an apparent reason, it is likely being lost to the underground.

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Why is my farm pond losing water?

While there are many reasons why your farm pond may be losing water, in most cases, it has to do with plants or animals somehow damaging the slopes of the pond. Many times, even plastic or rubber-lined ponds start leaking through a hole peered by the roots of a tree or a tear caused by stock animals or wildlife. In some cases, after a meteorological event, conditions in the pond can change, causing it to lose water rapidly when it hadn’t before.

What can I do to stop a farm pond from leaking?

Many possible solutions can be applied to this problem. The trick is finding the right solution for your particular case. There are also many products available in the market, advertised for seepage prevention or as sealants for ponds.

Our 50+ years of experience have taught us that bentonite is the most cost-effective solution to stop a farm pond from leaking. Bentonite is also a 100% natural clay, making it absolutely safe for fish, stock, plants, wildlife, etc.

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How does bentonite work?

Betonite is a natural mineral that is delivered to you in a powdered presentation. When mixed with water, this powder can absorb up to 10 times its size, creating a muddy sort of clay mix that prevents the water from seeping through holes and cracks.

What do I need to know before applying bentonite to a leaking pond?

While it is ideal for applying bentonite to the pond while it is dry (before building the pond or during the draught season), it can also be applied to ponds that can’t be dried for the time being. What changes is the application method and the amount of bentonite required?

  1. The Pond Measurements – The first step is to know the size of your pond.
  2. The nature of the SOIL – The second step is to define the nature of your soil. Soil composition is very important in defining the amount of bentonite required to seal a farm pond.
  3. If possible, define the Point of Leakage – Do you know if there is a particular area where the leak is located? If so, it may not be required to seal the whole pond. However, keep in mind that if the leak is not located where you think it is, the pond will continue to leak.
  4. Define the amount of bentonite needed and how it should be applied. We have a Bentonite Calculator that will help you to know how much bentonite you need for your pond
repairing a pond with bentonite pond liner

How to apply bentonite to stop a farm pond from leaking

Over the years, many of our customers have come to us with serious doubts about the effectiveness of bentonite due to having friends and neighbors use it without success.
To achieve effective results, you need to be aware that the two most important variables when using bentonite as a pond sealer are the quality of the material you are using and the application method you use.

There are 3 different methods to apply bentonite to stop a farm pond from leaking:

  • The Blanket Method
  • The Mixed Blanket Method
  • The Sprinkle Method
bentonite pond sealer sack

The Blanket Method

Keep in mind this bentonite application method can only be used on a pond that can be drained or it is currently dry (or almost dry).

  1. Remove debris and any unwanted materials from the bottom of the pond.
  2. A mix of bentonite and soil is applied to any hole or crevice present in the pond’s bottom surface.
  3. A nice and even blanket of bentonite pond sealer is applied along the entire surface.
  4. The pond is ready to be filled with water, careful to maintain a smooth and steady water flow to disturb the bentonite pond sealer blanket at least as possible.
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The Mixed Blanket Method

Keep in mind this bentonite application method can only be used on a pond that can be drained or it is currently dry (or almost dry).

  1. Remove debris and any unwanted materials from the bottom of the pond.
  2. A mix of bentonite and soil is applied to any hole or crevice present in the pond’s bottom surface.
  3. A nice and even blanket of bentonite pond sealer is applied along the entire surface.
  4. Till the surface, about 2-3 inches. The purpose is to create a smooth and consistent surface along the waterbed.
  5. The pond is ready to be filled with water, being careful to maintain a smooth and steady water flow to disturb the bentonite pond sealer blanket at least as possible.
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The Sprinkle Method

Keep in mind this bentonite application method is for ponds that can’t be drained at the moment, whatever the reason. It is also possible to apply this method when the leak has been successfully identified and isolated.

  1. There is no preparation for this method. The bentonite pond sealer is sprinkled on the surface of the water. Depending on the pond’s size, it can be sprinkled manually or pumped over the surface of the water.
  2. The bentonite takes a few days to fully hydrate and form a solid lining at the bottom.

It’s important to mention that the rate of success is lower than the two previous methods, and when pumped above water, the accuracy is limited (could be a hit and miss). However, depending on the particular case it may be the best solution for stopping leakage in the short term.

More information about the Bentonite pond sealant application methods

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After applying bentonite, what can I expect?

It takes a few days for the bentonite pond sealer to reach its full hydration capacity and form a solid lining at the pond’s bottom surface. Once the time has passed (less than 1 week), there should be a reduction of water seepage, and the farm pond should stop leaking.

Why trust Lonestar Minerals?

Lonestar Minerals is a bentonite bulk supplier, proud to have a certified ISO-9001 processing plant. We test every single batch of bentonite pond sealer we process, offering high-quality minerals to stop your farm pond from leaking.

Over the years, we learned what works best for each particular case. We have the expertise and facilities to provide different grain sizes and different mixtures of bentonite pond sealer according to your pond’s specific needs. This is what makes Lonestar Barite your best ally when figuring out the best way to stop your farm pond from leaking.

Many of our customers (read our reviews here) have saved time and money compared to neighbors and friends because they have trusted our expertise (and then they recommended us to their neighbors and friends!). By using one of our mixes (depending on the variables of your pond), we can improve your chances of success in stopping the leakage.

Lonestar Barite is a company proud to provide turnkey service and exceed expectations. We can offer bentonite for your DIY projects or build a pond for you. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Talk with an expert and stop your farm pond from leaking (210)378-2008

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