14 December 2008

Hockey Pond

This post is borne out of my search for information on how to build a pond solely for the purpose of playing hockey.

(Yeah, I love playing hockey that much.)

The ponds on which I currently play have a number of drawbacks. Our favored location (a friend's pond) was built for hockey and swimming. It is NHL regulation size and between 1 and 4 meters deep. It is also 20 minutes from my house. It sounds great, but its inflow keeps it from freezing on one end (and occasionally floods the ice), and its depth makes it the last of our playing areas to freeze. I have a pond on my farm, but it also has a number of drawbacks. For starters, it's located a quarter of a mile uphill from my house. That distance prohibits a morning skate before work or an evening skate before dark. Other problems include its small size (a circle about 15 m in diameter) and its tendency to silt up. As a result of these difficulties, I have begun planning der Über Teich - the Super Pond.

The hypothetical Super Pond has a number of attributes. It has a rounded rectangular surface area of 20 m x 40 m. It freezes early in the season and thaws late in the season. It freezes completely - it does not have places of weak or thin ice. It is located within 200 meters of my house. It is located "close to" a water source (to facilitate resurfacing). It does not require periodic silt removal.

When I list the attributes, it doesn't sound very difficult. Unfortunately, it's a lot more complicated than that. What type of pond is appropriate? If I locate it in a wet spot, will it remain filled? Will the soil support a pond? Will it require a clay liner? If it's located in a natural funnel, will I have a problem with silting? Will the inflow end freeze? Will the ice be flooded by mid-winter thaws? How deep should the pond be?

Now it sounds a little more complicated.

These are just some of the questions that require answering before I can begin construction of a pond. I have intensively searched the internet, but I have not found a website with the answers I am looking for. Next spring I will contact my county soil and water conservation office. They are supposed experts on pond construction, and I plan to make full use of their knowledge.

In the mean time, I'll continue to hope for cold days and even colder nights.

No comments: