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Thread: An Isaan Pond

  1. #1
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    An Isaan Pond

    I wondered where to put this thread... Construction or Isaan? But as I'm still hoping for a job with the Isaan tourist board and there is little enough traffic in the Isaan Forum, I stuck it here. Please, to the powers that be, move it if you think best.


    Several years ago some land became available adjacent to our house.

    I love land and if it was down to me I'd live way out in the sticks where land is cheap and we could have a few rai.

    But, it's not down to me so we live close to the metropolis of Korat where land is expensive. Well, now it is, but seven years ago the land was a lot cheaper round our way so the two available building plots were affordable.

    Added to that, I had money back then. Plenty of tax free work in Brazil and West Africa and a relatively strong pound... can you believe I worried at only getting 50 odd Baht to my pound since the 2009 crash... but things were picking up a bit and in 2012 I actually thought we'd see 60 plus again. As they say, hindsight is a wonderful thing.

    I (we) bought the land...

    This was the available land. Two residential plots, I think at around 120 Talang wah each. A section of planned road was also included to add a few square metres. I have tried to keep a neighbour's house in the background in most of the pictures to keep some kind of reference.



    First thing, as we'd done before when adjacent land became available, was to wall it off...



    This was when I started to think about a pond. Thinking back I don't really know why, but maybe it was inevitable... I love water and as a kid we always had a pond in the garden back in Somerset. These garden ponds were for frogs, toads and newts - reptiles is another fascination for me, handed down from my mum. But these ponds were normal UK garden pond size, a few feet long. But as I say, back in 2012 I still had some spare dosh and decided to stick a stupid great pond in our new 250 odd Talang wah garden.

    I marked out my future pond with stakes...


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    Once everything was ready I spent a few days building up by drinking this whey shite and going for a some brisk walks, then applied meself and started digging. It's all down to 'going through the wall' as they say, and to be honest it was surprisingly easy. By the end of the weekend I'd dug meself a nice pond!


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    OK.. Ok... so that wasn't strictly true.

    I had a little help from my mate Sumitomo... breaking ground...



    ... who helped out a lot with the difficult soil conditions...



    However foolhardy building this ridiculous pond has proved to be, the building up of our access road with the spoil has been a God send. The surrounding land used to flood every wet season, and while I loved the absence of inlaws who stopped visiting due to the water, it was a pain for me and my dog walks. Besides, a locked gate keeps 'em away just as adequately - don't need a moat.



    Things quickly progressed with Sumitomo's help...



    And we struck... the water table!!!


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    And here's where we were, at the end of the day...



    And yes, I still question the wisdom of turning an entire garden into a pond. Also, I question the wisdom of listening to local advice. Everyone said the pond would fill of it's own accord if left alone. I couldn't see this. How could it ever fill above the water table, which even in the wet season was a few feet below ground level? However, back then I still listened to the local advice, not believing that the local people could be so ignorant of their surroundings.

    Should have known better of course, especially considering I'm a geologist. I could see we had sandy soil, not the usual clay for the area. Still, I went with the local advice and lived with a muddy swamp for a couple of years. But that's a later story!

    Here's the Mendip family posing in front of the pond the day it was dug!



    I'm going to digress here. See the lovely white dog...

  5. #5
    Utopian Expat Chittychangchang's Avatar
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    Nice Mendip ,nice.

    Our house in Thailand has a large pond full of fish.

    The soil from the pond was used to raise the house foundations and surrounding road to stop flooding in rainy reason.
    The thread is here....
    http://teakdoor.com/farming-and-gard...-pictures.html (The Thai family farm in pictures..)


    There's a white dog in there also

  6. #6
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    Really interesting mate.

    I'm looking forward to the rest of this thread.

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    Thailand Expat David48atTD's Avatar
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    Great start, don't stop.

    What is the pond designed for? Anything going in?

    The Thai Family are fish/shrimp/prawn Farmers ... everywhere is a pond there.


    Assuming you have kids ... teach them to swim.

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    Whitey, or Cow (of course) was my first street dog rescue project (apart from our residents). She was absolutely lovely.



    She used to hang out the back of our house with Blacky (Dam)...



    Two girls, and they didn't get on (as 'Oh Oh' rightly pointed out, these dogs will fight to defend their patch). This was back in 2012, so well before all my 'Anna the Dog' participants. I had Cow and Dam spayed, and before I found a good home for Dam, they always came for the morning walk with us and tolerated each well enough to live in a house I built just out the back of our new land.



    They used to come for the walk with us every day (and the lovely little black and white puppy who I had forgotten about before finding this pic...)



    Anyway, I found a good home for Dam, and Cow continued to live out he back.

    You may notice I use the past tense for Cow.

    One day she was poisoned and she died in my arms with white foam frothing out of her mouth. It was heartbreaking and I think the last time I cried. I buried her out the back near the pond, and still feel guilty that I hadn't taken her in.

    It seems that it was our evil neighbours who poisoned her. She used to run into their garden and steal their dog's food. Only for fun, she didn't deserve that. And they kept a dog, FFS.

    These are the same neighbours who have received every single one of our scorpions and centipedes for the last 7 years, lobbed over their wall. They run a laundry service, and for the last 7 years I have saved all my bonfires until we get a), a south-easterly wind heading towards their garden, and b) they have hung out their washing.

    Moral of the story... don't mess with my dogs!

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    David, this is all retrospective... but am very open to advice in the future.

    I'll continue tomorrow! Way too late now and an early start.

    And yes, my daughter swims like a fish. We have a pool, she was swimming at two and a half!

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    Utopian Expat Chittychangchang's Avatar
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    Respect!

  11. #11
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    looks like i might be paying you[no not that way] its a visit for free ADVICE that's close to my heart and yours.a clue 8-10weeks time,GOT IT ?

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    'ello 'ello 'ello Luigi's Avatar
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    Very cool Mendy.


    TD POTY this year I reckon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Luigi View Post
    Very cool Mendy.


    TD POTY this year I reckon.
    yes L.TOP DOG FOR SURE.

  14. #14
    Utopian Expat Chittychangchang's Avatar
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    I concurr, Mendip is the dogs bollix this year.
    A refreshing change.

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    Quote Originally Posted by headhunter View Post
    looks like i might be paying you[no not that way] its a visit for free ADVICE that's close to my heart and yours.a clue 8-10weeks time,GOT IT ?
    well mendip and all our followers I cant keep it to myself any longer.[THE ADVICE]
    a few weeks ago a neighbor of ours is a sucker for picking up injured dogs,so the other week while parking her car in town a dog with a nasty lump on her face approached in a not so nice way,but she held her hand out to her and got a bit of food for her[bitch] when our neighbor came back to the car the dog was sat waiting for her,so she took it to the vet,left it at the clinic and told them to do what they could for this poor unfortunate dog.6days at the clinic the vet phoned with the news.the operation was succesfull and she was ready to go home.BUT the clinic found out the bitch was with pup and on the 5th.day at the clinic a [one] puppy was born.the mum and pup came back with our neighbor[who already has 3dogs] but they loved their new aditions.after 2-3 weeks the wife couldn't help seeing this puppy and ONLY spoke with the neighbour ,who then asked the wife if she would like to hold her,well you all know how I have been suffering this past 20months since our beloved SAM passed away and I just cannot come to terms about getting another.that was till I saw the look on my wife's face when she held this puppy,it was a look that I hadnt seen for almost 2yrs.i then new what I had witnessed the love was still there.so its taken till now to ask the wife if she would like to have the pup,well she also had not slept properly for 3days thinking about it,and what would be my response.
    as I have never had a dog so young and it will be the first bitch I will make a visit to MENDIP FOR SOME ADVICE.
    I APOLOGIZE TO MENDIP FOR USEING HIS STORY TO TELL MY OWN,but I feel it will keep the interest in the thread alive.
    yours SINCERERLY HEADHUNTER.

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    THE RESPONSE YES YOU CAN.

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    ^^ That's great HH, let's meet up when I get back from this spell of work!

    Why not stick up a couple of pics of mum and pup on the 'Anna the Dog' thread? Don't know what advice I can give though, I'm no expert. One thing, if the pup is only five weeks old I would leave her with the mum a while longer yet - she'll be getting a lot of nutrients and I think antibodies from mum's milk, and getting good discipline that will make her a better dog. If she's an only pup there will be no shortage of milk. You have to weigh this up against the risk from the road, etc. My wife tells me there's been another litter of eight on my patch, so I'll be busy again when I get home...

    Anyway, before developing our pond I first put in an overflow. I've started to realise why I've put on so much weight the last few years... we've run out of space now to do any more silly projects. Back then I was busy all the time.

    So I dug out a trench alongside the wall to lay some pipe. Don't seem to lay much pipe these days either...



    In the foreground of that pic above is one of those cylindrical concrete markers the government land surveyors use to mark out plots. It will have a government stamp on the top.

    There, pipe laid...



    And another perspective, looking back towards the new land with the pond. This pic reminded me that we used to have a police box. I think it was about 1000 Baht a month to have the police visit twice a day and sign a little book in the red box. Supposed to be at random times, but you know how it is. I was away a lot more back then and it was before the gardener became permanent, so a bit of extra security seemed like a good idea. You live and learn...

    The land is pretty well flat round here and i had very little leeway to keep a fall in the overflow pipe from pond to out the front. Eventually it will be connected to proper drainage, if ever we are linked up. For now I dug a pit and built a soak away, but I have a feeling if ever we get any flooding the water will flow back along the 'overflow' pipe and into the pond. Thankfully in the seven years since I put the pipe in it has never been tested.


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    This was the status after putting in the overflow pipe. Our house is to the left behind the previous access gate. I put in a temporary fence at the front, mainly to keep our dogs in while the works were going on.



    I linked in the overflow pipe from the pond to our grey water outlet. In this pic, our house grey water outlet comes from the left, the new pond overflow outlet heads to the top of the view and the trench to link the pond is off to the right. This is now seven years later and I can't for the life of me think why I designed it this way, but I must have had a reason at the time... but... I used to have a lot of spare time back then and used to drink a lot...



    So we linked in the pond overflow to the junction box. The gardener is helping here. Back then, before he moved in permanently, he used to come up from Jomtiem to stay at weekends (he was an old friend of the wife's... no, not in that way!) but I made him work for his keep!



    And there, nearly finished. We had to do this early on in the project as a garage/car port went on top of this area.



    And the finished job...



    Incidentally, for anyone embarking on a building project I can't recommend enough to take as meany photos as possible during the ground works. It's amazing how quickly you'll forget the location of buried pipework a few years later. I've discovered this to my cost when trying to find the location of leaks which will inevitably happen - a big issue when the plumbing is beneath concrete.

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    Nice thread and thanks for the tips. We built a new bridge on our last tour. I was thinking about putting some rocks down stream someday to make it a pond. Funny it was all undewater a few months ago. It may be a bad idea.

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    Some final pond ground works were necessary before the serious business of the garage, sala and chicken run (phase 2) could be started. I had a waterfall planned and needed to put in the pipework before the surface construction projects could start. Also, this had to be done before the pond filled with water...

    I stuck in a concrete pipe section for the footings for the waterfall inlet and dug out another trench for the the waterfall plumbing.



    Carefully shaped, pre-constructed plumbing went in. This may look easy, but in 35 degree heat with muddy, waterlogged ground and nothing but flip flops on yer feet it was bloody hard work.



    Here is my water inlet design...



    And finished off with concrete - strong enough to last forever!



    Even topping the inlet off with concrete was unbelievably hard work. The heat, the humidity, carrying down 7 or 8 bucketfuls of concrete down the steep, wet, muddy slope. Just ask my gardener, he was fukin knackered! To be fair though it wasn't easy keeping my sweat off the camera lense to take the pics either.

    And there, all prepared for the next phase. The vertical blue piping protruding straight up from the ground at the back of the pond was all ready for the future waterfall.


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    Ok, I lied. They built it, I just chiped in a few million kip. It's down stream of the old one. Talk about scary. It may have collapsed by now.

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    ^ That looked like a good bridge. I love bridges and used to want to be a bridge engineer until I finally accepted how bad I am with heights. Instead I went the opposite way and my first proper job was geotechnics in tunnelling.

    Looks like you have land. I would love that, but instead had to squeeze all these projects into residential plots.

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    Thailand Expat David48atTD's Avatar
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    Mate, I appreciate that the pond has been dug a long time but ...

    Given that it's not huge, and assuming it's above the water table thus relying on run-off to replenish the pond, any thought given to a liner which would could keep the water clearer and reduce water loss through seepage?

    It's really deep, almost conical. All the ponds we have and average depth of about 5 feet allowing a Thai to standup (or at least push of the bottom) if they fall in.

    Plus, if you are keeping fish there is an issue of sunlight penetration, stratification of the pond levels and oxygen depletion towards the bottom of the pond.
    As below ...




    What water supply feeds the pipe you've placed in the pond?
    Great work BTW.

    “Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago”

    .

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    ^ Ha, you have pretty much highlighted every problem i subsequently came across.

    As they say, hindsight is such a wonderful thing!

    All will be revealed... but suffice to say there was an expensive combination of inexperience, lack of forethought, a hint of stupidity and a general over reliance on a bunch of complete fukwits!

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    ^Ha a similar story we could all tell.

    Thanks for the pictures looks great. I love your dog stories too. Such nice work.

    We bought a place with a pond and filled it in only needed 550 loads of dirt .

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