A backyard pond can be a refreshing place to spend your evenings, fish with the grandchildren, or even swim with the family. If you’re considering digging a pond for your property or backyard area, there are a few important things that you need to know and plan for. The better prepared you are, the sooner you can have a private oasis to enjoy!
Select the Size and Location of Your New Pond
Most likely you already have an idea for where you want your pond to be dug. If it’s small enough, consider outlining the area with a garden hose (it’s heavy enough to stay in place, but flexible enough to easily adjust.) Once you’ve finalized the shape, use spray paint to draw the pond’s outline so that construction can begin. Always take special care to avoid existing plumbing, electrical work, drainage lines, etc.
Map Out Your Filtration
Small backyard ponds should have a filtration system to keep debris to a minimum and control bacterial colonies in the water. As the filter recirculates the water, oxygen is reintroduced into the pond to keep plants and fish healthy. Adding fish can help keep buildup and algae to a minimum, but they won’t be able to do it on their own. If you’re not sure where to start, many backyard landscaping and pool supply companies sell DIY filtration kits.
Dig Your New Pond
Digging is the most labor-intensive part of putting a pond in. Obviously, the level of exertion depends on the size of pond that you’re digging. A small area just inside your flowerbed can easily be dug the old fashioned way: by hand. But a medium to larger pond is best tackled with a small personal dozer with an attachment such as a bucket excavator or backhoe.
Smaller Ponds: Install a Liner
Small to medium ponds should be lined to keep water inside and retain the shape of the hole that has been dug. A waterproof liner that is made specifically for landscaping purposes is ideal. Don’t worry, once you’ve covered the new pond base with the liner, you’ll be able to cover it up so it’s not visible once the project is completed.
Add a Base to the Pond
Rocks and gravel serve several purposes in pond construction. Not only are they aesthetically pleasing in smaller, shallow backyard ponds, they also provide an area for bacteria to colonize so that the pond can be cleaned more easily. Take are when you’re placing your gravel or rocks so that the liner to your new pond isn’t punctured or torn.
Fill the Pond
Large ponds on homesteads are best filled by nature; that is, waiting for some heavy rains to come through. But small ponds can be filled with a water hose. Keep in mind that if you’re using chlorinated water, you will want to wait a few days to introduce any fish so that the chlorine levels can go down.
If Desired, Add Landscaping
Aquatic plants filter bacteria and add color to your new pond. Take care to select varieties that will be easy to control. Landscaping rocks and small waterfalls can be integrated with your recirculating system for added flair.