The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK


September 14, 2013

Expert: Take care of pond dams

ENID, Okla. — Most of Oklahoma has been wet this summer, proven by all the water in our ponds.

To keep them full and healthy, Marley Beem, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension aquaculture specialist, reminds pond owners to keep their dams in mind.

“We tend to focus on the water and the fishing but pond dams need our attention, too,” he said. “Dams fail because people either don’t understand how they work or they just forget about them.”

A dam failure is at best expensive and at worst disastrous when roads, homes and other structures are in the path of the flood. To avoid these costly events, Beem offered a reminder of the three main enemies of pond dams that require attention. The first being burrowing animals, such as muskrats, beaver or pocket gophers.

“A gopher burrow may look minor but you need to take steps to eliminate the pest and properly fill the burrow as soon as it is noticed,” said Beem. “Even a small burrow is enough to get water flowing through the dam and it’s all downhill from there.”

The burrows can interconnect or be dug very close to each other, greatly weakening the structure. The second threat to a dam is one many people have a misconception about. Oftentimes, trees are thought to strengthen a dam, but the roots can become a serious problem.

“Tree roots loosen the compacted soil of the dam and provide pathways along which water can begin to move through the dam,” said Beem. “When a large tree dies or blows over, the roots decay leaving a network of small tunnels that often lead to dam failure.”

The final of the three dam killers is erosion of the slopes, top or auxillary spillway. These areas should be refilled with compacted soil and revegetated. Caution should be used in dam reconstruction.

“Seek engineering help whenever in doubt about the safety of a dam,” Beem said. “An earthen dam can look massive and solid but there are millions of Beem recommends walking the faces of your dam at least once a year to be able tocatch problems before it is too late.

“If all of these steps are followed, you will be doing yourself a great favor by protecting the useful life of your dam and pond,” he said.

Text Only
  • farm - Rick Nelson web.jpg Wheat tour to provide crop information

    Damage to wheat from the recent freeze will depend on growth stages and temperatures. It will take approximately seven to 10 days following a freeze to determine damage.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • FFA logo.jpg Drummond students receive honors

    Several members traveled to Alva for the Northwestern Oklahoma State University Interscholastic Contest.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • farm - garber ffa web.jpg Garber FFA members place in speech contests

    The Ag 1 quiz bowl team placed fourth and qualified for state. On the second day of the event, the animal science quiz bowl team placed second and qualified for state.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Danna Zook cutout web.jpg Producers need to consider cow supplements

    Springtime for many Oklahoma producers often means calving time.

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Master Gardener logocmyk.jpg It’s time to dirty hands

    Bees are venturing out to visit the new flowers. Keep a close watch on your garden. Often, helpful pest-destroying insects are out, getting ready to work for you, also. These, and the bees helpfully pollinating flowers, shouldn’t be discouraged by the undiscriminating spraying of insecticides.

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • farm - 4H web.jpg 4-H’ers meet with state lawmakers

    Sen. Eddie Fields spoke to the group upon their arrival at the Capitol.

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Canola tour to have stops in area

    The tour will be held at the canola field of Flying G Farms located 91⁄2 miles west of Orienta on U.S. 412 and then north into the field.

    April 12, 2014

  • farm - Rick Nelson web.jpg Money up front can mean bigger returns later

    Implants are a safe, effective technology that typically offer a 10-to-1 return on investment.

    April 5, 2014 1 Photo

  • FFA logo.jpg 9 area students to receive WLC program scholarships

    FFA members will tour our nation’s capital, visit with members of Congress and perform a service learning project within the Washington area, while building friendships with fellow FFA members from across the nation.

    April 5, 2014 1 Photo

  • FFA logo.jpg NW Oklahoma FFA members named proficiency finalists

    Three finalists are selected in each of 49 agricultural proficiency award categories. The state winner in each area will be announced April 30 during the 88th State FFA Convention held at the Cox Convention Center in Oklahoma City.

    April 5, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads