How To Build A Backyard Pond And Waterfall How To Build A Backyard Pond And Waterfall
Building a pond takes time and detailed planning. Here is a basic overview of the steps involved from conception to completion of a backyard, garden pond and waterfall. And just in case if you are wondering, YES, you can do it yourself!
Decide and Research
Start off by researching ponds. Before you start to build know what you want to build. Get a good understanding of the different styles and design options. You decide on the design of your pond and the types of aquatic life you want in it.
Once you know what type of pond you want, buy a pond kit that fits your specifications. A water garden pond kit will set you on the path success as the kit will include all the supplies you will need for your project. The equipment is designed to work well together as a system. If you choose to purchase each piece separately it will cost you more money and it greatly increase your learning curve.
Location, Location, Location
First it is important to decide where in your yard you would most benefit from a pond and/or waterfall. Walk through the home and yard, the places you spend the most time and try to visualize where you would get the most enjoyment for the water feature, both indoors and out. You will also want it in an area that has some shade and does not receive direct sunlight all day long. A little sunlight is fine, however, too much sunlight will promote algae growth and can dry out aquatic plants. You want to choose a location that receives approximately 4-6 hours of sunlight a day. But be aware that trees may be difficult to dig around because of their roots, and the leaves that fall will clutter your pond, in turn creating more work for you!
Carefully Measure the Placement and Distances
Before you pick up that shovel use a hose or rope to mark where you'll be digging and the general shape of your pond. This is also a good time to educate yourself on the placement of gas and electric lines in the yard. Make sure you ‘Call before you Dig’. After getting the OK from the local utility companies, outline the layout with marking paint or stakes.
Now it’s time to excavate your pond. It is good to make several tiers to your pond so you have a sturdy siding. One steep wall is more likely to collapse than several shorter ones. This is also appealing to the eye, and beneficial to the plant and aquatic life who like different depths of water. When you dig the soil from the ground, place it where you need to build up the landscape for your waterfall. Dig out your pond to the desired depth and width within the stakes and markings. It is important to make sure that the pond and waterfall you are building are level.
Install the Liner
Line the dug out pond with sand, raked smooth and then lay a protective underlay before you place the liner on the floor of the pond. With the help of a few other people, spread out the unfolded liner in an open space, and carefully pick it up to carry it to the pond. Avoid dragging the liner on the ground; this could cause scratches or punctures. Lay the liner in the pond, fitting it into each corner appropriately.
Installing the Equipment
After the pond lining is in you'll want to install any water pumps, filters, skimmer for the water garden. The use of electricity in the pond will usually require the aid of a licensed electrician. You won't be able to run an extension cord out to the pond in order to run these features. It’s not practical or safe, so you'll need the electrician to install an outdoor outlet with the safety of a GFI safety switch.
Add Rocks and Gravel
Now, I suggest laying some excess underlay on top of the liner and place small boulders to keep the liner in place and cover up the edge. By placing the underlay on the liner you are protecting the liner from friction and the potential from being punctured by the rocks. Do not pull the liner tight so it lifts away from the ground because if it is not supported from underneath it will cause troubles when you fill the pond. Trim the liner back after all the rocks are in place. By adding rocks, boulders, and gravel to the entire bottom of the pond you will give plant and animal life great resting places. This also creates a more natural looking pond.
Once the rocks are in place, spray them clean. Use a basic sump pump to pump out the dirty water. This will help get your pond off to a cleaner start. Repeat this cycle until the water you pump is clean water.
Fill with Water
After everything is complete you can fill your pond with water. Town and city water is treated with chlorine and other chemicals that are very dangerous to natural aquatic organisms and growth. A de-chlorinating product is recommended to neutralize the chlorine and chemicals so it does not affect the eco-system you are creating.
Add Aquatic Life
Once the pond has been de-chlorinated fill the pond with pond plants. Plants are your first line of defense against poor water quality and act as natural water purifiers. Wait at least 2 weeks for the nutrient cycles to begin before you add fish. This will give your fish a healthy start.
Garth Epp has had a love and fascination of the beauty of water since his child hood. This love has inspired him to develop an interactive online ponding resource. Whether you wish to build a garden pond, waterfall or pondless waterfall, BuildingMyPond.com is the resource to help educate people on who to develop, build and maintain the water feature of their dreams.