Measuring Your Pond Volume in Gallons

Simple homesteading solutions that have been around for centuries…and still work

Measuring Your Pond Volume in Gallons

Ponds. They seem so harmless. Until, one day, when you wake up and algae is blooming all over and you find a dead fish in strange weeds that shot to the moon overnight. We all learned from Florida recently that if things get out of balance in your water system, it quickly becomes toxic. And if you have to add chemicals to your water system to restore its ecosystem, you have to know your pond’s volume in order to  determine how much to use.

Here’s an example of how to do it (originally published in Countryside & Small Stock Journal in 1999):

Step 1: Find the pond’s acre-feet. A pond’s volume is its surface area multiplied by the average depth, so we have to find those two numbers. Say we have a 1-acre pond that is an average of 4-feet deep. Since 1×4=4, we know that our pond is 4 acre-feet.

Step 2: Convert acre-feet to cubic feet. This gets a little trickier. First, we convert acre-feet of water to cubic feet of water. One acre-foot is 43,560 cubic feet, so 4×43,560=174,240 cubic feet.

Step 3: Convert cubic feet to gallons: Since 1 cubic foot equals 7.48 gallons, this means 174,240×7.48=1,303,515. So, our 1-acre pond that is 4 feet deep has 1,303,315 gallons of water.

Final Steps: Measure your dilution rate. If directions call for one ppm (part per million), then you can measure out 1.3 liquid gallons to be evenly applied to the pond. And one note, from experience: you have to follow those directions exactly.

Published in the November/December 2016 issue of Countryside & Small Stock Journal.

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