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Robin T – Digging a pond

contributed by Robin T

image p1tractor.jpgThis is the biggest – PC200 Bucket size 1yd^3 or 0.8m^3 heaped

A neat way to build your house is to excavate a pond and use the dirt to raise the floor area of your house. WOW

This is common practice in rural areas. The pond can be used to keep fish, Pla Chon (snake head fish), Pla duk (common catfish) Pla Sawai (Shark catfish), Plan Nin (Tilapia). The first two need to be fenced in with plastic netting otherwise, when it rains, they will go walk about (literally). They need feeding and poultry scraps from your local market were a favourite before the Bird flu arrived. Pla Sawai is very easy to keep and grows very large. After one year you can expect a 1.5kg specimen.

It’s good to eat but unfortunately has a lot of under-skin jelly fat accretions which you should scrape away while eating. It’s not that popular with Thais for that reason but otherwise very healthy (around 15B/kg vs 40B/kg for catfish). Pla Nin is a very fast growing Tilapia fish, very good to eat. You can feed it on vegetable scraps from the market (cabbage leaves etc). It will also eat pond weed (Pak Boong). Plant water lilies (Bua Khao) also, very attractive. Do not let your pond become contaminated with dish or washing machine water. It will die and smell Don’t worry about mozzies. So long as you have fish in the pond, they eat the mozzie larvae

But this site is not about pond life

image p2pondschematic.jpg

So you want a pond, hire a crawler excavator. If your soil is easy you can use a model 120 type (weighs 12 tonnes, thais know what this means. If your soil is compacted hard or you have large trees to remove, use the model 200. A contractor will quote you a fixed price for a pond based on its cubic meters.

image p3dughole.jpg

Depending on your land layout, you may be able to get away with just using the excavator to dig the pond and pile the dirt on your house site. Otherwise you need a 6 wheel tipper lorry which can hold 3 cu m to run around your site.

image p410wheeler.jpg

Don’t be tempted to use a 10 wheeler on a small site

Make sure your land can take a 20 tonne excavator

You can also sell spare dirt to other house builders as was supposed to happen here.

Anyone wants the latest prices, mail me.

image p5lakeview.jpgNice plot on the Moon River needs des. Res.

As a good estimate, the volume of your pond is the average of the outer rectangular volume and the inner rectangular volume. This estimate slightly over by around 5% for a 10 x 10 x 2m pond

A pond is a useful catchment area for your own land’s flash flood

image p6finishedpond.jpgThis pond cost around is 3000m3 x 2 meters deep for fish farming. It fills up in the rainy season and evaporates to half full throughout the year. At the end of the year the pond is pumped out and the fish are harvested in the mud (lots of fun, traditionally grannies work and my papa in the background there.

You will see that you have 200m^3 soil for your house but you only want to raise your house about 0.5m. You use the remaining soil to raise the surrounding land verging on your house together with the access pathway to your house. Your land needs only to be about 200cms about grade to mitigate normal flooding (assuming that you are not inheriting someone else’s flood problem next door. You can also consider a small earth dyke around your land if this is a problem (not needed if you have built a compound wall, though beware if there is likely to be a build up of flood water against your wall, they are not designed as dykes and will fall over). If you look at your local Wat you may see how they overcome the problem. The ground beam of the perimeter wall is built up 300cms above grade. The underneath can then be earthed up. If an unusual flood occurs, then these earth dykes will give (better than your wall falling down).

Don’t panic about flooding, it occurs naturally sometimes and normally disappears in a few hours. Of course if your in a valley Som nam na

editor: useful info about digging a pond! thanks robin T.

1 Comment

  1. have just don the same for 334sm homestead but we created a L shaped moat to the rear of the 2acre property so the dog dose’nt get bored going straight up & down

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