View Full Version : so i was watching the science channel....

07-07-2011, 10:32 AM
maybe it was history but im almost certain it was science channel.
but any ways i saw this program about the panama canal, and how some other ideas helped inspire the new expansion... one idea was from england and apparently some one used a whole bunch of clay to line this canal to stop the water from seeping threw.
my question is.
has any one tried this with a pond, seems more natural than the liner and less likely to puncture...

oh by clay i dont mean clay dirt i mean legit clay like modeling clay i think they used.

07-07-2011, 07:56 PM
No idea...but if it worked in the panama canal it should work anywhere you don't have freezing etc.

It's likely just too expensive for the average homeowner and/or too difficult to DIY.

07-07-2011, 09:02 PM
i dont remember if they used if for the panama canal but it was some place in england lol.

how would the freeze affect the clay?
i was just thinking it would be a more natural solution for ponds :P

07-08-2011, 01:27 AM
Bentonite is the clay usually used in the US.
It's quite common on dug ponds and land fills. Ponds to keep the water in and landfills to keep the water out.

07-08-2011, 03:20 AM
how would the freeze affect the clay?
Freezing could cause cracking in clay

07-08-2011, 03:56 PM
Freezing could cause cracking in clay

...and cracking = leaks...

07-08-2011, 05:04 PM
I live in the Toledo ,ohio area,which was known as the "Great Black Swamp".All of the country side around here is heavy clay and there are alot of ponds dotting the sides of roads.When this area was farmed the farmers had to dig large ditches all over the place to drain all the free standing water.The large ditches still remain.

07-08-2011, 05:22 PM
Yup, all that clay extends up here as well. Pretty funny when you think about how Michigan gave Ohio the Toledo strip in exchange for the upper penninsula after the Michigan-Ohio "War".

07-08-2011, 05:34 PM
Lakes and ponds have a natural hard bottom. I don't know if the sides are also hard, but I would think they would be.

I think that would be pretty cool though to use something natural to fix a leak.

07-09-2011, 02:40 AM
maybe when i get a yard big enough ill have to try this clay XD

07-10-2011, 04:14 PM
They use clay regularly here as a liner for sanitation ponds, liquid manure lagoons and landfill liners and caps. The depth and thickness they work at are past frost depth so frost cracks are not a problem. We have large land areas underlaid with a gooey heavy clay that they 'mine' for that purpose. It is a very expensive process so it is necessarily only used for serious projects where ground water contamination can be a problem due to what the sealed pond contains. Generally farm and fish ponds are just dug where ground water nearly reaches the surface to keep them full. Clay probably wouldn't be practical for small backyard ponds due to the many feet depth of clay required for an effective seal. Lots of serious digging and trucking.