Sunday, October 13, 2013

Houston, we 'have' had a problem." By: Shelly and her Anoxic filter build with new pond.

Houston, we have had a problem." By: Shelly, and her Anoxic filter build with new pond.

As of last Saturday evening, we had the two rocks 'outcrops' indicated on our design completed. We happily filled the pond, eager to continue our progress in the morning! But, by morning, the water level had dropped 16". We were SO disappointed, plus puzzled! And perplexed, faced with the potentially complex process of deduction. We were concerned, since nearly all the PVC runs are now underground. And a bit grumpy about the whole thing (me anyway... Rick never gets grumpy :). But, oh well. Nothing left to do but roll up our sleeves, locate the problem, and fix it. Late Sunday morning we closed all the valves and started draining the pond.

Longer story short: We finally found the 'mystery' leak after work yesterday. We were so relieved!! We actually had *two, which complicated and lengthened the process of deduction. Both were 'drop' punctures about the size of a quarter. We found the first one Monday, re-checking where a capstone had fallen in. Thankfully, PPL24 liner repairs so easily, and BTL Liners sends a 4"x12" repair strip with every shipment just for accidents like this. A healthy paranoia has now settled in: We pressure-tested all our PVC runs while the pond was empty again: tight as Scrooge!

So we're back on track! Should have the pond filled and ready to bed down for winter this weekend. I'll send an update with photos, a.s.a.p. Btw, It would have expressed blissful ignorance, considering there was a second puncture hole we had yet to realize or discover.

* "Rookie mistakes 101":   (see attached)

-- The very first time we filled the pond, the weight of the water pressed the liner into the wall, dragging a large, sharp, heavy capstone into the pond while we took a break for dinner. It had been holding the liner in place. We investigated, but obviously not very well, since we did not initially see the puncture.

-- Our 'mystery leak' was caused when a large boulder we'd set aside rolled into the pond during the night. It was one of the huge ones we needed the tractor to move, so we just left it there until we were ready for it. We did not realize a puncture had occurred. Should have placed that boulder more securely, and looked for damage more thoroughly!

I have been making Biocenosis baskets, both planted and unplanted, and photographing the process. I put the Laterite in nylons ('knee highs'... cheaper and less wasteful than full length) as you suggested to keep the Laterite segregated. Boy -- that works great, and makes the cutest little 1-cup balls! Also, for those with access to a WalMart, I can report that 1 bag of WalMart "Special Kitty" litter fills roughly 2.3 11" aquatic baskets. I'll put a PDF together and get it to you soon.
...In scenic western Oregon

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