Filling in a pond

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by bertbou, Jun 10, 2012.

  1. bertbou


    Jun 10, 2012
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    We've recently moved in to a new house and the previous occupants had a pond that seems to have been unloved for some time as the lining had come away from the surrounding walls and it was full of a lot of old rubbish from around the garden. As we have a young child I thought the best thing to do would be to fill it in (I hope I'm not hated on this forum for getting rid of a pond, I plan to have another one when my son is a bit older!!)

    The pond is about 12 feet by 5 and had a surrounding wall about 4 bricks high, I emptied out the water then spent the best part of the weekend removing all the old lining and rubbish so I was left with just a muddy hole. Now what I think is key to all my failures so far is that the soil here is thick clay so drainage is very slow, once everything was out of the pond I grabbed my fork and turned the soil to give any water a better chance to train away. I then used all the old bricks and various other bits of hardcore I had to fill the pond up to about a foot below the level of the rest of the garden. Then it started raining.

    After about 2 days of very wet weather the pond had filled up with water again well over the hardcore I had thrown it. I left it a week or two and following some sunny weather the water level did start going down so I tried another tactic. I dug a 5 foot by 5 foot hole at the ponds 'deep end' and filled it with just hardcore (The ponds depth is about 1-2 foot) my reasoning being that as our garden is on a slight slope hopefully the water will soak/drain into the hole. Then it started raining.

    The water level is back to where it was before and the hole seems to have made no difference. After spending 2 weekends on the pond I'm still nowhere closer to adding topsoil and turf, I think this clay soil is the cause to all my problems but I'm now out of ideas of what to do.

    I know this forum might be more for the managing of ponds and looking at some of the pictures there are some beauties but if anyone knows how I can get rid of one I'd be very grateful.


    p.s Everyone I spoke to has suggested a bog garden but as the pond is fairly central in the garden I don't see this being an option.
    bertbou, Jun 10, 2012
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  2. bertbou


    Apr 10, 2010
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    Phoenix AZ
    I've filled in many a pond.

    I do like a bog garden, but not an option.

    Plan A
    So to fill it in you just go ahead an fill it in. As soil goes in water will be pushed out. Mound the soil a bit above grade and let it sit at least a few days to give water a chance to work itself out. At some point you can level it out and plant turf. You're likely to get some settling, so yearly you may have to add some more soil.

    Plan B
    Plan A was the easy way. The professional method would be to remove all the hardcore, trash, etc. Then pump out the water. Then fill with the same soil type, clay, up to the top soil loam layer. The fill soil is tamped (compressed) every 4-6" of added clay. This greatly reduces settling. Loam top soil is added at the same depth as the rest of the yard, also tamped every 4-6". Can be leveled off right away and seeded. Should be very stable.

    If the hole is filled with just top soil there's likely to be settling for many years. Not only from compression but also as the organic matter in loam decomposes it reduces volume. That spot can also stay swampy as loam can hold more water than clay.

    I'm world famous, infamous really, for burying hardcore. Every time I want to plant a tree, add sprinklers, run an electric line, guess what I hit? Every time. These days I don't bury debris.

    There are many other options if turf matching the surrounding yard wasn't a requirement.
    Waterbug, Jun 10, 2012
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  3. bertbou

    DrCase Moderator Moderator

    Dec 29, 2007
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    Fill it with a mix of sand and dirt , the sand will help with the drainage
    I would guess if your dug any were in your yard it would hold water
    DrCase, Jun 10, 2012
  4. bertbou

    sissy sissy

    Jan 17, 2011
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    Axton virginia
    fill with dirt and make a veggie garden .The best way to find out is to check the rest of your yard and see if water is soaking in or sitting on top .You may have drainage issues in the whole yard ,you sure don't want a mosquito breeding ground around your whole house .
    sissy, Jun 10, 2012
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