First time pond DIY installation


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God gave me lemons and I'm going to make lemonade.

I have a natural spring in my basement which creates 2000 gallons of water per day. You read that right, 2000/day! I pump 800 gallons per day via a sump pump to the backyard corner area which is where I will install the pond. The water is crystal clear and tastes fine (and I'm not dead so it must be fine).

I've been saving rocks I've dug up in my yard, bought some awesome flat mica rocks, and collected rocks at the rivers and creeks I've visited. My wallet is prepared for more rock purchases.

Along the 9' wide edge I'll go 3' deep which should not freeze even without pump. I'm hoping I can add fish that will love the 3' depth. Along the 7' wide area I'll put a few shallow steps because I want to walk out into the main pond area (2' deep) and sit down to get cool in the summer.

Digging starts in earnest TODAY. I've been watching the videos, reading HowTos, and asking people that have installed ponds for advice. The building of the steps has me confused. What I'm seeing is gravel on each step and rocks along the edge. I'm seeing pretty large rocks being used that are basically stealing the pond area. I'm hoping that I can use flat rocks at an angle for the wall of each step instead of large rounded rocks. Will that still give a natural look?
  • Planned features & facts
    • natural looking (highest priority)
    • water features
      • waterfalls
        • 3' high for the big plunge
        • 3' high going into 2 or 3 pools for a gentle flow
      • concrete spitting frog
      • concrete lady with a bowl
    • cheap goldfish
    • plants
    • somewhere that 2 people can sit in the pond
    • my dogs can get in the pond to cool off
    • 10' long by 7' and 9' wide and 3' max depth.
    • hardiness zone 7A
    • water level just an inch or two above ground level

Please feel free to add advice to any of my plans. Sincerely THANK YOU for your attention.
Paul
 
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addy1

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Welcome! How neat!

With that sort of change over of water, you would not even need to have filters, constant water change!

Get some nice goldfish, like shubunkins they are pretty. Make sure you start a build thread and share the journey!
 
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Sounds like a fun project! As to your question about using flat-ish rocks for the sides rather than large round boulders - yes. That is exactly what we had to do for our pond, since flat-ish rocks were pretty much all we had available to us. Just make sure to put a bit of underlayment down to help cushion & protect the liner underneath them.
 
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Do you have a plan for overflow? 800 gallons a day still has to go SOMEWHERE!

We built "steps" into our pond that are basically just shelves holding boulders. They are mostly flat, but not entirely, but easy enough for even this middle aged lady to climb in and out. If you want more formal steps, you could use flat rocks on the shelves. But the idea is to create the steps with the sculpting of the shelves, not build steps inside the pond, if that makes sense.

You didn't mention it, but I'm assuming you intend to line this pond with EPDM?

And careful with those 3 foot high waterfalls - if your goal is a natural looking pond, depending on your terrain a sudden rise of 3 feet may look more "volcano" when you meant "waterfall".
 
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Do you have a plan for overflow? 800 gallons a day still has to go SOMEWHERE!

We built "steps" into our pond that are basically just shelves holding boulders. They are mostly flat, but not entirely, but easy enough for even this middle aged lady to climb in and out. If you want more formal steps, you could use flat rocks on the shelves. But the idea is to create the steps with the sculpting of the shelves, not build steps inside the pond, if that makes sense.

You didn't mention it, but I'm assuming you intend to line this pond with EPDM?

And careful with those 3 foot high waterfalls - if your goal is a natural looking pond, depending on your terrain a sudden rise of 3 feet may look more "volcano" when you meant "waterfall".

My neighbor downhill from the pond also has a natural spring in her basement and dumps water into her backyard. When I first re-dug the pond area a few years ago there was quite a trench of water flowing into her yard. Now it is only 2' long and the water miraculously disappears. I had the county extension office stop by, he looked things over, saw my discharge was 5' from the property line and said- "this is fine. Don't over think it"

Will definitely be using EPDM.

Thanks for the caution on the 3' waterfalls. I have a local creek that has a very high waterfall that looks great with the water going Ka-Bang. I was hoping for the Ka-Bang but now I'll noodle making it smaller since we don't have volcanoes where I live :)
 

j.w

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1623686311682.gif
@phomlish
Wow sounds so cool! Would be great if you could show photo's of your area and pond build.
 
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One caution - you'll want to make sure your fish can't escape your pond if that discharge will eventually end up in a natural waterway.

And you can get a lot of KA BANG from a much smaller waterfall than one that's 3 feet tall.
 
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This is the area where the pond will be located.
This is pre-fence when I tried to use a pit to deal with the water. Totally didn't work because the pit never drained due to my clay soil.

version 0.0.JPG


This is after installing the fence before I dug out the pit.
version 0.1.jpg

version 0.1a.JPG


And this is what I called bird bath version 1.0.

version 1.0.jpg

version 1.0a.JPG


And a video of the sump pump discharge. Turn on sound to hear the critters.

And finally, prepping for the pond

version 2.0.jpg


I wanted to install the pond last year but built a privacy wall & cabernet sauvignon grape trellis with swinging bench instead.

privacy wall2.jpg


grape trellis.jpg


wall3.jpg
 
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Jhn

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In the last pic, you look like you have a mutiny on your hands from your workers. The little guy especially he looks like the boss and is giving you the death stare....
 
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In the last pic, you look like you have a mutiny on your hands from your workers. The little guy especially he looks like the boss and is giving you the death stare....
All there of them were mad. Privacy wall? Grape trellis? They wanted a pond!
 
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