Pond Seeping? Ask About Polymer Treatment :: Bob Lusk Outdoors

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Pond Seeping? Ask About Polymer Treatment

Locating and sealing pond leaks is like finding a needle in a haystack.

Our friend T.J. Hudson at Innovative Property Solutions represents a polymer product that forms a solution to plug seepage.  Review these commonly asked questions to see if the material would work for you.

Wet areas behind dams reveal seeps.

What is a polymer?

Polymer is a large molecule, or macromolecule, composed of many repeated subunits. Polyacrylamide, which composes this product, (IUPAC poly (2-propenamide) or poly (1-carbamoylethylene), (abbreviated as PAM), is a polymer (CH2CHCONH2-) formed from acrylamide subunits. It can be synthesized as a simple linear-chain or cross-linked (Acrylamide & Potassium Acrylate). Both compounds are present in Soilfloc Sealant.

Is it safe?

Soilfloc is 99% insoluble, non-toxic, biodegradable, environmentally friendly, and USDA approved for use in agriculture.  It will not harm plants, marine life, or livestock. Applied as directed, there is no danger to  fish.  However, circumstances beyond Aquaben’s control, such as wrongful application or sudden winds, can cause the product to pool in a localized area.  If such events occur, Aquaben cannot be responsible for potential loss of marine life. Typically, the firm receives reports of a few fathead minnows or shiners being lost following application.

Check out a video about polymer treatment here. Parts A and B must be mixed thoroughly.

How does it work?

Two handlers should guide boat.

The draw or pull of a leak is what transfers polymer material into seepage areas, even if specific leak locations are unknown.  As Soilfloc Sealant finds its way into fissures, it begins a two-part process. First, the linear polymer (Product A) fills cracks and crevices and flocculates surrounding soils. Flocculation binds free-floating sediment molecules together, causes it to become dense, and sink to the pond bottom. This process, created by linear polymer, can seal leaks. Next, cross-linked polymers (Product B) is carried into fissures and continues to expand over several days.  Together, they effectively create a seal. As linear polymer continues flocculation, soil structure improves, cross-linked polymers continue to swell, and enable a tighter seal. Depending on water temperature, polymers can continue to expand for weeks. The warmer the water, the more expansion will occur. Hydrated polymers on the surface or along the pond basin are not uncommon and not a concern. This is a normal occurrence.  Eventually, they will become part of the soil structure. 

Where will it work?

Soilfloc Sealant is designed specifically for earthen dams, lakes, and ponds. Some competing brands are not consistent, but Soilfloc works with most soil types including :

  • Clays
  • Loams
  • Sandy Clay Loams
  • Decomposed Granite
  • Limestone/Sandstone
  • Alluvium
  • Rocky soil (where rock is exposed, even after compaction)
  • Pebbles
  • Granite
  • Slate
  • Shale
  • Gravel

Obvious holes, cracks, dying root systems, or areas with large boulders may require a specialized formula to appropriately address leak issues. Please relate such conditions to your consultant prior to treatment.

When is the best time to treat?

Parts A and B are mixed on the surface, bind to become heavier than water, and sink to the bottom.

Treat immediately if your water source is full and leaking. The draw of a leak and water pressure help ensure most effective treatment. The pond leak must exist below the waterline and be underwater for up to 14-days. If the leak is in a pond wall, it must be filled completely, and kept full, or the leak may not seal. Do not apply on windy days [over 8 mph] or during rain. Newly constructed ponds with limited vegetation and organic material/silt layers are ideal candidates for treatment. Excessive pond vegetation or excessive organic material/silt layers may impact the polymer’s ability to navigate toward, and enter, fissures.  Such conditions will require increased application rates. For ponds with excessive vegetation, ideal application may require waiting until vegetation dies-off (Late Fall) or before it emerges (Early Spring). 

How to apply?

Existing Ponds: Application instructions are included with the product.  The company recommends applying from a small watercraft with ropes tied on the bow and stern.  It should be guided by two people on shore who control the boat and application location. When applied, do not travel back through treated areas. Apply 2 oz. Soilfloc® Sealant Part A to the approx 11 sq. ft. section first.  Then immediately apply 2 oz. of Soilfloc® Sealant Part B on top of Part A before moving to the next section. Both products should be thrown at the water to ensure they mix and sink.

New Pond Construction: May require a specialized polymer design depending on soil types present. A soil sample should be provided to customize polymers. Apply by tilling product to a 4-inch depth in the pond dam, basin, and sides.  Then apply a 6-8-inch lift of clay before compaction.  Aquaben recommends wearing, gloves, safety goggles, and a breathing mask during application to protect mucous membranes. 

Results

 

When interacting on the surface, the solution forms a gel-like substance before sinking.

Results may require monitoring up to 14-days before reapplying. While most leaks seal in 2-7-days with one application, there are scenarios where reapplication may be needed. This might occur from applying too little product or an application procedure error.  Such incidents are reported in less than 5-percent of all cases. When attempting to spot treat a suspected leak, there are risks the pond will not seal. This could occur if multiple, unidentified fissures exist.  In such cases, additional applications may be necessary.  Directions emphasize success is contingent on using appropriate application rates during initial treatment.  If not done, reapplication will be necessary.

We’re a dealer for T.J.’s product.  Call with other questions or to place an order.

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