The settlement pond

The Settlement pond is a large pond that we have that we don’t keep fish in and that has the sole purpose of settling out any solids that are discharged from the farm, before they go back into the brook. It has been doing a good job for the last 20 years but last year it was decided that the time had come to give it a major overhaul.

This is an important job as we are licenced (something we pay for) by the Environment Agency to abstract water from the brook and also to discharge waste water to it. It is our responsibility to ensure that the water that goes back into the brook is not polluted in any way and the Environment Agency visit us about once a month and take a water sample from our discharge point and test it. The tests look for several different things but includes suspended solids, dissolved oxygen levels, ammonia etc.

During 2008 Mark has drained and dried the settlement pond and has also done a great deal of work on it. In fact, he has re-designed and re-modelled it so that it works more efficiently than ever before. This was our “big project” on the farm for 2008 and now it is finished I thought you would like to see how it has progressed and also to see the type of work that goes on that doesn’t include breeding, growing and selling Koi.

Here is the settlement pond in April 08 after it had been drained down. Mark has already dug some channels at this point and the pond has dried enough to start digging them deeper.

Drained down

Ready for digging?

The hard work of digging!

Manual Labour

After the channels were dug the rushes and other plants were allowed to grow. These will eventually act as a reed bed. This picture was taken in July 08.

Reeds and other plants

In October 08 the reeds and plants were dying back and so were strimmed and any off cuts removed.

All strimmed back

In November, Mark used a digger to shape the base of the settlement pond in order to channel the water so that it meanders for as long as possible before leaving the settlement pond, allowing for maximum settlement and for as much exposure as possible to the reeds and plants that will grow there. He also cut back many of the trees surrounding the settlement pond so that less leaves will end up falling in the water and decaying.

The fun of a digger

Here is the settlement pond today. The channels are now finished.

Channels complete

Flow pattern

Here you can see the additional settlement chamber, aeration chamber, sampling point and steps that Mark has constructed near the discharge point.

Additional chambers

Aeration chamber and Environment Agency sampling point.

Aeration chamber

Sampling point

There are lots of things that go on on the farm that take time (and money!) which aren’t always obvious to people when they visit us and the chances are, because they are visiting us, we won’t be working on it whilst they are here. The work done on the settlement pond has taken a considerable amount of work this year but hopefully it will work well for the next 20 years!