I had leaks in my natural log dam, I got some old carpets put them up side down. No leaks for about a year now.
Thought I would give an update on the pump. After about 3 or 4 days, the air that was trapped in the fire extinguisher was dissolved away, and all that was absorbing the shock was the foam. It still ran, but got a bit noisier. there was also a much larger pressure spike on the gauge - going up by 10 psi with each stroke. The outlet water started coming in spurts, and the flow was reduced to just shy of 1gpm. So it would seem that the size of the expansion tank (that is not full of water) does play a big role in efficiency. I also found that the surges in the delivery pipe made it want to creep back down the hill, so I had to to anchor it.
This morning I went over and emptied the system and restarted it, and that has gotten it back into its original operation. I will probably just muddle through this year, and maybe think about trying to add a snifter valve to it next season to keep the air in there.
The pond came up about 6 inches and then basically stopped filling. I have been taking out quite a bit of irrigation water, but I suspect the leak is going to make it impossible to actually fill. For now it is working, so I am going to file it under “fix it next year”
Carl, thanks for the ram pump report and explanation. Makes me want to try it. Our local land elevation changes are measured in inches, not feet or meters, so not much use for that technology. We had a storm-water retention area at work that used to filter down to the subsoil. Now, it has “sealed” itself and has become a frog pond over the last 2 years or so. My point? Your pond might seal itself as well!
Too bad about your terrain limitations, playing with running water is fun! I think what you are describing happening to the frog pond is a process called gleying. Here is an article I came across a while back that was really fascinating: My Progress Gleying a Pond With Pigs (ponds forum at permies)
They basically turn a gravel pit into a (initially very gross looking) pond by penning pigs in there to line it with their filth. In an anaerobic environment the organic matter cant break down, and a gelatinous bacterial goo forms. We have beaverdams here on our little creek, and the bottoms are always covered in a foot of dark muck that is quite watertight. I have even heard that the wood that ends up buried in the dams can persist for 1000 years.
I had thought of trying to seal my pond with grass clippings, but I will see if I have time to get to it. I will keep you all posted at any rate.
I believe the 1,000 years survival of material in beaver dams. The creek running through my land is ridged with beaver dams, clearly beavers working on dams left long before. In one location I know of a dam over 60 yards long and roughly 8 ft high. A dam of that size is not an individual feat. The lake dammed has 2 levels, low and high. As fire renews the forest new beavers will fix the breach and do well on the aspen, willow and birch. In 75 years the forest will transition to spruce and fir, the beavers eventually succumb to predation having to go too far from water to forage. (In between many beaver families might be killed out by wolves, lynx etc, but young loners cross the landscape every August, vacant niches are always filled).
They may get taken by predators, but usually they move on after the food is depleted. Some will stay chewing on anything wood to survive and they get taken by predators usually within a year. Often in spring around me you will find adult beaver pairs and a pair of 2 year olds with them crossing fields. It’s amazing how far a beaver will travel from water to feed, even more amazing how far a big adult male will travel looking for a mate. Iv heard of a single big male being found 3 miles from the nearest water. Once the pond lake stream or creek begins it’s new cycle of growth within a few years the beavers will be back. Predation isn’t common around me as the only predators are raptors. Iv caught many beaver over 50lbs which should be a 4-5 year old. Close the the average life expectancy of a north american beaver. Last year a fellow not far from me caught a 72lbder. There are pictures of a 111lb that was caught in lake chelan back in the 20’s. Pretty amazing creatures really. If they were in my back yard creek it would make a ram pump setup so much easier! Tear a hole in the damn about 2 feet down lay in a pipe and the beaver will patch the damn over night sealing the intake under water perfectly