How to seal a pond

By eplegrand on Thu, Apr 16, 2015 - 9:05pm

Last year my wife and I bought a piece of land in the mountains in the North of Thailand (we currently still live near Bangkok, Thailand. The land has a little slope and we are planning to get one or 2 ponds in it. Our main concern is to get it sealed. We prefer not to use concrete or pvc. What other options do we have? 

We still don't grow much on the land but plan to work on that later this year when the rainy season starts.


VTSkier's picture
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Sepp Holzer recommends pigs

This article gives you the general idea:  He also covers other techniques in his book Sepp Holzer's Permaculture, pgs 18-19, 47-51.

Bytesmiths's picture
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The technique is called "gleying," and a number of animal manures will work besides pigs.

In particular, waterfoul will eventually gley a pond. Think of it for a moment, and it makes perfect sense!

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Phil Williams
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What is the Soil Profile

If you have 30% or more clay, you can seal a pond with a compactor. I like to use a sheepsfoot vibratory compactor. If not, you can still dig the pond out and compact it. It will leak, but if you keep ducks, they can help seal a pond as well. (All earthen ponds leak. It just depends on how much leaks out and how much goes in.)'s picture
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sealing ponds

If you can get some bentonite drilling mud the pond area can be sealed by spreading the bentonite over the bottom of the mostly dry pond and then letting the animals churn up the bentonite into the mud in the bottom of the pond. Also you can use the mud from oil well or water well drilling as they both tend to use a lot of bentonite.


Best Regards


eplegrand's picture
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Thanks for the suggestion. I

Thanks for the suggestion. I wonder where I could get Bentonite. It is part of clay correct?

The ideas of animals is still difficult as I don't live on the land yet. I would like to prepare the land before going there. We plan to move there in 2 to 3 years. Also I think it would be good to have a pond before you have animals. So it is kind of a chicken and egg thing.

One more thought but would like to see your ideas as well. Around the area there are lots of rice fields. At the time of growing rice, these rice fields are all kind of ponds. So somehow people have ponds around there. Funnily enough though all the other areas where other vegetables are grown don't have ponds.

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