Monday, June 24, 2013

Building a Small Pond

We wanted the pond to be an escape, a natural place to enjoy, and a destination for a picnic.  We wanted to stock the pond with gold fish so that we could come out and feed them every morning.  We wanted a place for the frogs to lay their eggs, serenade us in the evening, and control the mosquito population.  The purpose for the pond was to give us pause in our walks through our Park and break up the monotony of a field of green grass.

There was an indentation in the lawn and it became a perfect location for our pond.  It received plenty of morning sun; it had shade in the heat of the day; and it was protected from winds from any direction.

During the construction of the pond, we roped off the area for safety reasons.  We didn't want anybody to wander into our Park, fall, and hurt themselves.  The pond was going to be at least three feet deep in the center so that the fish could hide from the heat in the summer and the cold in the winter.

The hardest part was to dig out the dirt.  We had to make sure that the bottom surface and the sides would be smooth to prevent snags or puncture to the pond liner.   We had the sides sloping in case someone should fall into the three foot deep pond.  This way, the person should be able to climb to safety.

We used a 6 mil black construction plastic for a lining.  The roll of plastic was 100 X 20 feet.  We only used about 20 linear feet.  It is probably available in lesser sizes at home improvement centers.

We fist laid down a layer of plastic.  Not only did the plastic have to cover the bottom and the sides, it also had to cover the edges, leaving a generous piece on top of the ground to be secured with dirt.  The finished pond is 15 feet long and about 8 feet wide.

We thought that the water was leaking out through a tear, puncture, or a rip so we added another layer of plastic; afterwards we were still losing water.  After we placed a third layer of plastic in the pond, we realized that the earth and vegetation were "wicking" out the water similar to a wash rag hanging on the side of a bathtub full of water.  That's why it is important to keep an open strip of plastic as a barrier between the water and the topside of vegetation.

Another important factor for the pond is the water supply.  We do not want the water to become stagnant which could harm the fish and vegetation.  This hasn't been a problem for us because we have a water-to-air heat pump system to cool and heat our house.  The outfall of this system provides water for the pond when the air condition or the heat is running.  At other times, we use a garden hose hooked to the pump to add water to the pond as needed.

1 comment:

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