Our Pond

Back in 1996 we purchased this home on 2 acres of land. (The back half was all wooded.) I decided to have it logged off. When the loggers were done there was a big hole in the back yard. I envisioned that would be a great spot for a pond someday. As I cleared the land (2008) of the under brush and other small trees that had grown over the last 12 years, I started to get this vision that went beyond just a pond. It grew into a project that lasted all summer and continues to this day.

What I had envisioned initially was a park like setting with a small pond. Once the land was cleared it went beyond a small pond. I saw the potential for a much larger pond! I took some photos of the area and put them into the computer and started to design. I designed the small ponds and creek on the hillside first.

In the first photo you can see the cleared hillside that became the home of two small ponds (about 6x8) and the creek roughly 70 feet long.
This is a rather steep slope, so I had to make sure the creek ran level enough that it would not allow the water to run too fast. The solution was to put in four water falls. (Which can be seen in photos 9, 10, 11 and 12.)

The second photo is me working on the creek. (I ended up doing that twice.)
One thing that was done prior to the creek being made was digging a trench up the hill from the pump (for a pipe to go in.) If your piping is going to go under a creek like ours, make sure you have it deep enough so that it would not interfere with the creek when the time comes.

The third photo is the main pond. (Sorry I do not have a before photo of the hole I envisioned becoming the pond.) You can see in the right side of the photo that I built up a road which created a dam that is four feet high.
The main pond is 40 feet wide, 50 feet long and 3 feet at the deepest part.

Our pond holds about 30,000 gallons of water. I am sure glad we are on a well and not city water!

The forth photo is about six months after the pond was finished. (The grass started growing on the backside of the yard.)

The fifth and sixth photos are of the creek and delta. (The last small pond has a six inch pipe that carries the water under the roadway to the delta.)

Photo seven is just another view of the creek.

In photo eight you can see the blue tubs that make up part of the filtration system, and the spillway coming from them.

The pond is lined with two layers of 6 mil poly instead of the more expensive 45 mil rubber lining you can buy (that stuffs not cheap). You do not need to use the heavy rubber liner. (Just make sure you get out all the roots that may try and grow under and through your liner.) Once you know you have the ground rid of anything that will puncture your liner, compact the ground and you are ready to lay your liner. (When you measure for the liner make sure to account for the sloping sides of your pond.)
When we laid out our pond liner we left an area around the top edge of the pond about a foot or so wide that the poly would lay into after the pond was full of water, then the large rocks were set in place to hold the poly and the excess trimmed. (You do not want to anchor your liner until the pond is full of water because you might rip or stretch the liner.)

I do not suggest putting any type of drain or pump intake at the bottom of your pond. (All this would do is cause yourself problems down the road.) Remember, everything that goes in water settles at the lowest point, and if you have a drain or pump intake there it will be plugged up or sucked into your pump and may ruin it.

Our pumps intake is a floating skimmer that I made. It keeps the surface of the water clean and I do not have to worry about anything getting sucked into my pump. We simply clean the skimmer weekly. Prior to building the skimmer we had submerged pump that actually sucked up a small pebble and caused it to burn out. We now we have a pump that is out of the pond.

We ran 1-1/4 inch pvc pipe up the hill from the pump to the filter system. (We could have used larger pipe and reduced the pressure, but it works just fine the way it is.) Our filter is made up of four plastic tubs. You can see the filter system we made in the Filter types & Sizing section. The water coming from the filters dumps into the spillway at the top of the hill as seen in photo #8.

The creek is also lined with two layers of 6 mil poly. The poly extends over the banks and is held in place by rocks. Placing the rocks to make it look like an actual creek was not easy. (The first time I placed them I stood back and it just did not look right. I ended up pulling them all back out and starting over (this of course was after looking at a bunch of creek photos on the internet.) The waterfalls in the creek are made of some old slate granite that I had laying around from an old fireplace.

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