Which is a better pond sealing option- Bentonite or SoilFloc?
Struggling to make a decision on what treatment option would be best for your leaking pond? Here are some leaking pond scenarios and the sealing solutions:
Constructing a new pond, unsure how well it will hold water:
Sodium Bentonite would be our recommendation. Bentonite works well in new pond construction. The application rate is determined by the existing pond soil. SoilFloc may be applied over the compacted bentonite/soil mixture as an added measure of sealing.
Built a pond that doesn't hold any water:
Sodium bentonite is a great option. The pond may have poor clay content or was constructed improperly. When applying the bentonite be sure to properly compact the soil using a vibratory roller for best success. Ponds with very poor soils may require a geomembrane liner in order to hold water.
Pond water level varies with the water table:
SoilFloc would be our preference. The SoilFloc seeks out the leak areas. The pond does not need drained to have this product work effectively.
Muskrats dug holes through my embankment:
Sodium bentonite Holeplug is the best solution. Bentonite can be poured and compacted into the holes created by muskrats and other critters. Click here for more details on muskrat hole repairs.
Pond with underground springs that I don't want to plug:
SoilFloc is perfect for ponds with underground springs. This treatment can allow the springs to flow. If the springs dry up mid-summer the SoilFloc will re-swell to seal those water channels!!!
Sealing around an outlet structure:
Sodium bentonite would be the first choice if water can drawn down to where the ground meets the pipe. If water cannot be removed then SoilFloc should be used. SoilFloc performs best in water to seek out leaks.
Pond with unknown leak source:
SoilFloc would be the best option for ponds that still contain water. SoilFloc can seek out leaks.
Fixing pond leaks without draining the pond:
SoilFloc should be used for these situations. This product is designed for this purpose and falls through the water to form a barrier at the pond bottom. Bentonite does not perform well when applied through the water in most cases.
Embankment or dam seepage:
SoilFloc should be used in situations where water is still in the pond. If the pond is drained then bentonite can be used. Once the embankment is dried, bentonite can be spread evenly over the soil, mixed into the top 4-6 inches, and then compacted with a vibratory roller. It is VERY important to compact the bentonite into the dam embankment so that once the material is hydrated, it doesn't slide down to the bottom of the embankment.
Pond sealing option that is safe for fish and wildlife:
BOTH. Sodium bentonite clay and SoilFloc are both safe options for ponds with fish, swimming ponds, and ponds used for farming/irrigation.
Pond bottom soil containing little or no clay content:
Sodium bentonite should be applied, mixed with the existing soil, and compacted. SoilFloc may be applied over the compacted bentonite/soil mixture as an added measure of sealing. Ponds with very poor soils may require a geomembrane liner in order to hold water. A variety of testing methods can be used to determine the best application rate for bentonite. The most basic is the bentonite bucket test which uses a small sample of soil to test the rate. A more thorough and exact method is laboratory testing for saturated hydraulic conductivity.