Replacing a pond dam.

I have to replace the dam on my pond, after maintaining the old one for 20+ years. The dam is concrete over earth, and the April floods caused a top-to-bottom crack in the concrete part, and now a whole section has shifted.. I can get some $ help from the vol fire dept, because they created an area to pump water from a few years back, and rely on the pond for local fire protection.
Back then, they drained the pond with huge pumps in order to dig their holes and line them, so I suppose that's the best way to allow for a pour once the old cement is pulled out.
I just don't know much about this, and haven't been able to find an engineer locally who know a lot more than I do.
The hydraulics are this: The pond is about 1/3 acre in size, with an average depth of about 5 ft, and a pocket that goes down about 15 ft. It's fed by a brook that floods with rain, and never, ever goes dry. Also,spring water bubbles up in three different areas. It was originally dug out and dammed around 1950 as a swimming hole for the then owner
When we moved here, there was a local source of clay: a brickyard, which has since closed up. I could patch leaks with that clay and, believe it or not, brown plastic bags.
I can get an idea of the original construction just from looking. The lower dam is boulders and dirt, probably clay, and the concrete was poured on the uneven surface of the rocks. The uneven area at the bottom is where I did a little patching every year.
The concrete portion is 15 ft wide by about 3 ft high and 18" thick, and it's concrete with a lot of stone in it, probably 2" stuff.
My question: what do I do to get this right, and earn a permit without a year's worth of inland wetlands intervention? I realize I'm looking at some serious money, but I have some equipment to mitigate that. I still have to hire somebody for forming, and someone else to do the pour, but what do I need to make it right?
I'm hoping for real-world experience, but speculation from other smart people is certainly welcome.
thanks in advance, Keith
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On Tue, 12 Jun 2007 00:17:51 +0000, k wrote:

Go subscribe to news://rec.ponds.moderated and post there. It's a moderated news group that keeps the jerks out and has some good discussion and knowledgeable people. Your post won't appear immediately because it is hand moderated and could take up to 12 hours or so but it is worth the wait. I don't post there but read it and was a supporter of it's creation after the unmoderated group was destroyed by a handful of idiots.
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Where are you located? Seems like there should be a local CE who could hep you out with this.
This should be a pretty straight forward situation for CE after a site visit.
Do an internet search for small dam / pond regulations for your locale / state....many states have very helpful programs that encourage pond creation without a lot of red tape....you've already got a pond that needs a little help..
The fact that your pond is 50+ years old, averages ~5ft & only ~1/3 acre ....I doubt you'd get any hassle (rather you'd get help in making it right) about your repairs.
Providing water for fire protection is a big plus as well.
The concrete portion of your dam is pretty small ...how deep (tall) is the soil / clay portion of the dam?
Does the pond have an emergency spillway, overflow pipe & a pond drain? These are features that a well designed pond should have.
cheers Bob
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k,
Call the local agriculture extension office, they may know who builds dams in your State.
Dave M.
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Here in texas, you check with Agriculture County office.
wrote:

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Thanks to you who have responded so far.
This is Connecticut, and it's not a friendly place if you want to mess with water. A long time ago, after hurricane Gloria, I pulled the plug on the pond because it was full of broken trees that the town ordered me to remove , and I got in trouble that took three years and about three thousand dollars to get out of. I've tried to avoid 'help' ever since. A company not far from here had to pay about 80K in inspections, evaluations, fees and fines to clean up an old pond that they wanted to donate to the town as a park. Mind you, that was just for the permits, and it was twenty years ago.
The only good thing that came out of my earlier experience was a ruling that Inland Wetlands didn't have the jurisdiction over 'forces of nature' which they had claimed prior to that.
Basically, I'm saying that they are not friendly to landowners here, and the public resources others have, I don't. I haven't found an engineer yet who will admit to knowing about dams or ponds. At this point I'm hoping the fire dept. will get an 'order' to force me to repair the dam in the most expedient way, which will be my salvation from the permitting process.
So I just want to know how to do it right. Hasn't someone here poured concrete across a watercourse? I want to do this right, but I can't take another round with the wetlands group, whose regulations are written to put the same requirements on homeowners as they do on riverfront manufacturing facilities. I can't afford it.
thx
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wrote:

You really have no choice. Just repair the crack.
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