How to raise a pond...not just the level of the water.

Discussion in 'Newbies to Garden Ponds' started by Slicvickie, Jun 18, 2018.

  1. Slicvickie

    Slicvickie

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    Hi all, I'm a new member from Minnesota.
    My current pond is about 7 x 4' with an additional 5-6 feet of creek bed and a waterfall at the far end. We have added a paver patio next to the pond area last fall, and now with the additional landscaping around the patio, the edges of the pond are no longer the high spot of the area. We had a severe rainstorm yesterday, and much dirt from the adjoining new grass plantings ran into the pond and overflowing it. It was enough that I couldn't see more than half an inch into the water. I had just put my goldfish into the pond that morning, so I had to quickly get them back out. I got most of the 6" goldfish out safely, but sadly, one did not make it.

    The picture I have attached, (I hope) shows the general layout. What is the bottom of the photo is the area that is higher than the rest. My original intent was to leave well enough alone this year and to tackle making a bigger pond next summer, but I think I may have to deal with it now.

    I realize that I will have to raise the pond edges so the liner is higher than the surrounding landscapes, but I'm not sure how to proceed. The patio level is almost a foot higher than the pond edge at this point, and the other side is still at pond level.. Can I just add a dirt berm around the existing area and add a new liner? I'm hoping some folks here may have some better ideas. I have a family friend getting married in my yard in mid-august, so whatever I do, I need to get it started. TIA!
     

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    Slicvickie, Jun 18, 2018
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  2. Slicvickie

    Mmathis TurtleMommy

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    Hello and welcome! Not my area of expertise, but I know there are others on here who have dealt with this issue.
     
    Mmathis, Jun 18, 2018
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  3. Slicvickie

    MitchM

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    Welcome Slicvickie.
    You can simply add a new larger liner over the old liner and new berm height.
    Make sure that you allow for any adjustment to where the stream enters the pond.
    A new liner will mean a temporary loss of the majority of the biofilm so make sure you understand that you need to monitor ammonia and nitrite levels. Ammonia and nitrite are poisonous to fish.
    The basic steps are:
    -set up a separate holding tank making sure to match water temperature and kh levels, make note of ph,gh,nitrite and nitrate
    -transfer fish to the separate holding tank using your existing filter with the existing media.
    -empty pond
    -add berm to desired height
    -make sure stream height still allows water to enter pond
    -place in new liner
    -fill with new water and match the water parameters to the temporary holding tank
    -if on municipal water, use Prime to neutralize chlorine
    -add fish back into the new pond and monitor water parameters
    -landscape as desired

    Let us know how it goes and ask any questions along the way.
     
    MitchM, Jun 18, 2018
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  4. Slicvickie

    Mmathis TurtleMommy

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    What @MitchM said...... And post picture of the progress along the way.
     
    Mmathis, Jun 18, 2018
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  5. Slicvickie

    CometKeith

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    Hi and welcome. I think what you have run into is almost every beginners mistake. Just get some clay or hard dirt and pack it around the outside rim so there is no way for runoff to go into the pond. It doesn't have to be higher than the pavers as long as it is significantly higher than the earth next to the pond assuming there is a way for the earth to drain and it won't flood the pond over your new higher edges. It sounds like you will need a new liner if it is too short right now. Here is a tip. Leave the liner way longer than you need (3 ft extra is good) and just fold it up and bury it. You can put pea gravel or rocks to hold it down and mulch over it. This way if you ever need to change anything on the borders in the future you will have plenty of extra liner and won't have to replace the liner again. Also it can be used to make your pond a little larger if you ever want to do that. That's a trick I used with my old pond when my wife wasn't looking! Good luck!
     
    CometKeith, Jun 18, 2018
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  6. Slicvickie

    poconojoe

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    Other than a pond rebuild as suggested, the only thing that comes to mind would be a zipper drain to guide the water away. A zipper drain is a long buried trough with a grating. Google it and you will see.
     
    poconojoe, Jun 18, 2018
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  7. Slicvickie

    Slicvickie

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    OK,
    I already have steps 1, 2, and 3 taken care of!
    The fish went back into the house aquarium for the duration, and we already drained the pond last night.
    We are on a well, so that helps some with the water issue.
    I will have to pull up a lawn chair and ponder the possibilities. I think a cold beverage will assist the pondering!
     
    Slicvickie, Jun 18, 2018
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  8. Slicvickie

    poconojoe

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    Sounds like a great start!
     
    poconojoe, Jun 18, 2018
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  9. Slicvickie

    MitchM

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    That's actually a requirement of proper pond management.
    :)
     
    MitchM, Jun 18, 2018
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  10. Slicvickie

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    If you are leaving the old liner, I would poke holes in it so you never get water trapped between the new liner and the old liner.

    Welcome to our group! of ponders.
     
    addy1, Jun 18, 2018
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  11. Slicvickie

    sissy sissy

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    if you have enough liner left you can do what I did .I just added flat concrete block under my liner .I had to raise mine on the sidewall side to raise it up and I used more concrete block ontop of the dirt and filled the holes with clay soil and used rebar pounded down in the block holes to hold them in place.You can see it in my rebuild
     
    sissy, Jun 18, 2018
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    craigbomb

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    I'm in Seattle, and safe to say we get a fair amount of rain each year. :)

    Is this the same process someone who has a rainy climate for half the year or more would do? i.e. create a berm around perimeter of dirt the liner sits over, to prevent rain runoff from nearby hill coming into pond?

    Or do I lower the pond level and allow rain levels to make up for it? Last thing I want is rain to fill pond completely up and overfill running water all over my backyard from overflow.
     
    craigbomb, Jun 25, 2018
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  13. Slicvickie

    Jhn

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    @craigbomb you do not want runoff from nearby going into your pond, keep the berm to redirect water away.

    Runoff will carry any fertilizer or chemicals used nearby not to mention dirt into the pond. In turn adding nutrients and just making a general mess of the pond.

    Better off using rainbarrel or something similar if you wish to use rain water for top off of the pond.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2018
    Jhn, Jun 25, 2018
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  14. Slicvickie

    MommaD

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    I am a pond newbie myself and ran into the same problem- I bought 50lb bags of sand and placed them around the perimeter (kept sand in the plastic bags), under the liner, tamped it all down and then replaced the rock border to hold the liner down & conceal it. I'm now backfilling w dirt a bit... I think it was an easy way to raise the edge a good 3 inches all around- Good Luck :)
     
    MommaD, Jul 22, 2018
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  15. Slicvickie

    Mmathis TurtleMommy

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    Hi, MommaD! Would you mind going over to our “introductions” topic and tell us about yourself and your pond?
     
    Mmathis, Jul 22, 2018
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  16. Slicvickie

    MommaD

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    Sure- I actually just posted my first thread/question... after browsing different sites, I found this one to be incredibly informative & helpful- Cheers & Thanks =)
     
    MommaD, Jul 22, 2018
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