Thursday, January 8, 2009

Mike Otto comes for a visit

Mike Otto, pond builder extraordinaire, came out to look over the pond dam to make sure everything was in order. I sure did not want to build anything that was going to be in the way of any repair work. I had tried to describe the pond over the phone, but he had to come in person. It is one of those "you need to see it to believe it" sort of situations. We walked around the entire pond. He figured out that the drain pipe is only for extreme emergencies and is fine. The main means of removing water is a carefully engineered rerouting of a seasonal creek. It drains directly into the pond until full. The water then becomes high enough to travel north into the creek bed, around the end of the dam, and south again in the original creek bed. No spillway needed and the chances of dam problems from it is virtually nonexistent. He also discussed putting in a gate instead of the culvert at the end of the dam for a foot more water in the pond. It could work to seasonally flood the shallow end for duck habitat. One other important detail he informed me about was trees on the dam. He said they are no problem on my dam. We found 3 very large stumps, and they are not producing leaks. If you need a pond dug in north Texas or have a question about one, then Mike Otto is the man to see: Overall, it was a productive day learning what I should and should not do, and even got a little work done trimming trees around the pond.

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