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Is it possible to make your own lake?

Old 01-18-2007, 09:53 PM
  #1  
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Default Is it possible to make your own lake?

Hey guys,

Dumb hypothetical question: but say a person had like 40 acres of field-type land, could you dig a majority of it out and turn it into a deep pit and then put in some type of clay or perhaps a plastic tarp-like liner to hold water in?

Would something like that be possible?
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Old 01-18-2007, 10:56 PM
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Default RE: Is it possible to make your own lake?

I don't know about 40 acres worth of tarp or plastic. Before you did anything you should contact soil people to take soil samples to make sure that your land could even hold water good enough for a lake. Then you'd have to see about underground cables, pipes, etc. Once you got that cleared you could. The first thing you need to make though is a boat ramp. Got to be able to get out of the lake that you create. Make sure you have a shallow end that you can get the digging machinery in and out, and make a levee that is strong enough to hold the water pressure. Depending on depth and location it could take anywhere from half a year to 5 years for it to fill up fully. If you have the land and resources, I'd say go for it. It's something I've always wanted to do. It's your oppertunity to design your own fishing paradise.
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Old 01-19-2007, 03:38 AM
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Default RE: Is it possible to make your own lake?

If you have enough money you can do anything. For instance, an HDPE liner will cost about $1 per square ft. to install.Without a dependable water source and the right topography, what you are talking about would be expensive to build and maintain. I know of individuals who've built lakes in clay soil and drilled deep wells to keep them filled. A pretty spendy proposition.
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Old 01-19-2007, 05:26 AM
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Default RE: Is it possible to make your own lake?

Cost being the limiting factor, yes, you can.
I have a settled out sinkhole on the front end of my property that would make a dandy little fishing hole for me and my grandkids, now all I need is a buttload of fill rock and dirt for a berm, truckloads of bentonite clay to line it, about $6,000 to pull it off, and some way to get the heavy equipment in and out. For a 40 acre lake you could select a large low spot or large gully on the property and dam it off, but if the soil perks well you'll need to compact the crap out of the soil and clay line it at least 1-2 feet thick to retain water. Unless you can divert a small creek or spring into it you'll have to wait for rain to fill it, which can take months unless the eveaporation rate exceeds the rainfall. Don't forget that adding a lake to any property will jack up your property taxes too.
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Old 01-19-2007, 07:19 AM
  #5  
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Default RE: Is it possible to make your own lake?

Depending on the state and what the laws are in your state. Digging a l0 acre lake 8 feet deep will require you to remove over 6,200 21 yard loads of dirt. You have to have a place to move it to. If there are wetlands involved you open a whole other can of worms. VERY expensive for what you get.
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Old 01-19-2007, 07:34 AM
  #6  
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Default RE: Is it possible to make your own lake?

How much land do you have and where is it located? There are some NRCS programs that may be able to help you. What is your ultimate goal in making the lake? Fishing, waterfowl habitat, etc.?
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Old 01-19-2007, 08:15 PM
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Default RE: Is it possible to make your own lake?

You have to look at it as an investment. This one gives you a lake and a ski hill at the same time Forty acres sounds like a very large area unless you have a natural water source (stream) and a low lying area or damable terrain to start.

An acre would supply plenty of water and fishing.

Dan O.
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Old 01-20-2007, 10:41 AM
  #8  
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Default RE: Is it possible to make your own lake?

I would contact your local USDA-NRCS office. A lake that's 10 surface acres and 8 foot deep requires over 29 million gallons of water to fill, and millions more each year to maintain. Most 40 acre tracts of land aren't going to have locations that will catch that much water, much less hold it.

And study carefully before you dam a stream. You may have to get state approval, and you also need to look into your state's water rights system. If building your lake impairs somebody else's water rights, the lake you just spent mega $$$ on will now cost you mega $$$ more to tear down and fill back in.
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Old 01-20-2007, 01:40 PM
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Default RE: Is it possible to make your own lake?

And even worse..........It might make some lawyer rich in the process :-)

Dan O.
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Old 01-20-2007, 08:03 PM
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Default RE: Is it possible to make your own lake?

ORIGINAL: Dan O.

And even worse..........It might make some lawyer rich in the process :-)

Dan O.
You make that sound like a bad thing.
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