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Dutchess_III's avatar

Calling all engineers! Would it be possible to make a continuous, running loop out of my stream?

Asked by Dutchess_III (42445points) August 5th, 2013

On our land we have about a 1 acre pond. It is so very cool. It’s surrounded by a U shaped earthen dam. The dam starts on the north west corner and runs around the west, south, and east side of the pond to the north east corner. The north end has no damn.
When it floods, like it is now, there is a natural outlet on the south east corner, a stream that takes the overflow and runs around at behind the dam on the south side, and diverts it to other areas to the south and west (not sure exactly what other areas. It’s not controlled yet. I think, basically, the south side of the property just gets soggy.) This is good because it keeps the area to the north, where we want to build the house, free from flooding.
When the stream is running it is so pleasant to see and hear. The water gurgles over rocks and stuff. But it only runs when the pond is flooded.
I would like to widen and deepen the stream and engineer it so that it runs in a continuous loop from the south east side and flows back into the pond at some point, so that we always have a running stream.
It would have to be engineered so that if the water got too high, as in a flood situation like we’re in now, the over flow from the stream would be diverted to the ditch that will eventually be running along the road to the west of the property, so the north end doesn’t flood. I think that would be easy enough to do if we install a culvert at a certain height, so if the water gets that high it flows into the ditch.
As for a continuous flow….how could we do this?

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16 Answers

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Call a pond or water feature pump company. Yes it is possible and could be done with simple switches and floats in the pond. The overflow would be a high level drain (top of water) and pump would shut off on high water. Some ponds at town and large public gardens are set-up that way.

LuckyGuy's avatar

A small low power lift pump will do it. You will have to pay for the electricity but it might be worth it to you. A ½ hp pump costs something like $0.05 per hour.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

@LuckyGuy She would only need to pay for electricity during dry times. Recirculating the water would reduce stagnant water.

Dutchess_III's avatar

90% of the time the stream doesn’t flow, so I’d be using a pump most of the time.
That’d be about $37 a month. :(

Tropical_Willie's avatar

The pond will smell LOTS better with aeration.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, if we have to use a pump, then we’ll put in a waterfall at the end where it would cycle back in. :) Pretty pretty! And much better for aeration.

rojo's avatar

What about something low tech like a water wheel that lifted the water up and deposited it into a return trough? No addl. power sources required.

Dutchess_III's avatar

But something would have to power the wheel, be it running water or whatever….

ETpro's avatar

Of course it’s possible. But if you want it all to run with no external energy input you need to get M.C. Escher to design it for you.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I just want a stream, not an acid trip @ETpro!

rojo's avatar

That is pretty much what I meant. No external source needed as long as you have water.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Actually, that’s what I was hoping for was some way to use gravity feed….but you’d have to have your starting point always higher than your ending point and I just don’t know how I’d do that in one pond.

rojo's avatar

You would definitely need an elevated spillway but that could be an attractive (albeit rustic) landscape feature.

Dutchess_III's avatar

The problem would be how to get the water UP to the elevated spillway.

rojo's avatar

That is what the wheel is for. See Undershot Water Wheel or you could use the waterwheel to power a pump to pump the water back up.

Dutchess_III's avatar

But where would we get flowing water strong enough to run the wheel?

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