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Discussion Starter #1
I am needing to dig a hole and mount a pole for a friend of mine near his pond. The pole will have a very large bird house on top so it will catch some wind. He wants it near the bank of his pond, I am just not sure how far the edge of my hole should be from the bank. The pole is 3 inch square and will be 15 foot high, the martin house on top weighs near 100 pounds. Obviously I don't want to be too close and have it blow over due to soft soil. I know nothing about ponds or excavating for that matter and didn't know if there is a general rule for such things?
 

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Really tough to say by that discrimination. The soil when you're digging should tell you. If it's muddy as you go down the pond is leaching out and will most likely always be wet and soft, if it's solid all the way down it should hold if you compact it about every foot as you backfill. I would recommend a whole about 3 times the diameter of your poll and concrete. If dirt only big enough to go around it with a jumping jack and a foot deeper.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I forgot to add the entire hole will be filled with concrete and not backfilled with dirt.
 

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What location? What is your local standard frost depth?

I sunk 30' telephone poles next to my pond 6' deep (no concrete just packed dirt back in around them) and they are solid. Area around here is mostly clay and the local frost depth is 3'.

I did guy wire them though, as I stretched a 1/2" cable across the pond from one to the other for a zip line and wanted the counter force support.
 

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You may think about setting it up like a deck footer, bolting the 3” square tubing. This would give you the ability to use one bolt as a hinge to raise and lower if any repairs are needed. Then add the second bolt once in the upright position for securement. Obviously you don’t need this large of a concrete footer but you get the idea I hope.
653133
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks guys. I went out tonight and dug a hole. I ended up going about 8 foot from the water and dug the hole about 34 inches deep. The dirt was solid the entire depth and not wet at all. The guy said the lake level has never risen since he has lived there. They system I used included a 4 foot ground stake that gets put in the ground and the pole slides over the 2 foot tall portion sticking above ground so it can be moved or removed in the future. The pole has a winch system on it that allows the house to be lowered and raised for cleaning, repairs, etc. I put about 6 inches of stone in the bottom of the hole and the 5 60 lbs bags of concrete. Once I saw the dirt and how dry and packed it was I know it will be fine. It is a little further from the water than originally requested but he was fine with it once I explained to him the possible issues with the soil.
 
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