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Ponds - Planning and Construction Guidelines

John Huang, Ph.D., PE and John Poullain, PE

This four-hour online course provides general guidelines and practices for planning, designing and building ponds for multipurpose uses. Ponds are built for various water needs including irrigation, livestock, recreation, fish production and storm water management. It discusses the methods used to estimate storm runoff, spillway requirements and pipes through earth fill dams. Storm runoff estimates are based on several factors including type of soil, types of ground cover and condition, rainfall distribution, and time of concentration similar to the rational equation method. Other storm water management and protection practices are briefly described. Methods and materials used to seal pond sites and dams, establish vegetation, and maintain the pond are also considered. Pond construction and operations must comply with federal, state and local regulations to protect public safety and water quality. It is estimated that the world’s fresh water resources amount to only about 3% of the worlds’ available water. Demand for fresh water has been ever increasing and shortages have appeared around the world. Ponds are an economical and reliable means to meet these water needs. The course will serve as a guide for ponds, which covers all phases from the preliminary planning stages to construction, and range of topics include:

a. Water Needs. Criteria and recommended water needs for meeting a variety of purposes.

b. Preliminary Investigations. Siting the pond for adequate drainage, minimum pond depths and capacities, topography, and the watershed resistance to erosion.

c. Estimating Storm Runoff. Factors include soil groups and cover conditions, rainfall distribution, runoff curve numbers, storm runoff volumes, and time of concentration.

d. Embankment and/or Excavated Ponds. Requirement for dam embankments, (widths, slopes, overbuild and freeboard) spillways and pipes through the dam and estimation of earth embankment and excavation quantities.

e. Required Data. Soil types, conditions, watershed conditions, slopes, rainfall distribution, and type of surveys and topography data.

f. Sealing the Pond. Methods used to seal the dam and ponding site with clay blankets, bentonite and liners.

This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of the course materials.

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NY PE & PLS: You must choose courses that are technical in nature or related to matters of laws and ethics contributing to the health and welfare of the public. NY Board does not accept courses related to office management, risk management, leadership, marketing, accounting, financial planning, real estate, and basic CAD. Specific course topics that are on the borderline and are not acceptable by the NY Board have been noted under the course description on our website.