• Effectiveness of Sealing Southeastern Arizona Stock Ponds with Soda Ash

      Osborn, H. B.; Simanton, J. R.; Koehler, R. B.; USDA, SEA-FR Southwest Rangeland Watershed Research Center, Tucson, Arizona 85705 (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1978-04-15)
      Pond seepage losses are a particularly serious problem in the semiarid southwest where runoff-carried calcium normally causes well-dispersed clay particles to aggregate and increase the porosity of stock pond sediments. Reported are the results of laboratory and field tests carried out by the USDA Water Conservation Laboratory in Phoenix, Arizona to determine the success of sodium carbonate (soda ash) as a soil sealant and to establish criteria for its use. Following tests two leaky ponds on Walnut Gulch, Arizona were treated with soda ash broadcast over the dry pond surfaces to the spillway elevation at a rate of 3365 Kg/ha and mixed with the pond sediment to a depth of 10 cm with a disc. Seepage losses were compared following the summer rainy season, and generally represent 20 day periods in September or October when the summer monsoon rains have ended. The late season seepage loss for the after treatment period each year from 1968 through 1974 was reduced about 50% and the treatment on one pond seems to have lasted much longer than anticipated, thus increasing the value of the treatment. A pretreatment laboratory seepage test is suggested to better determine the likelihood of treatment success.