As you know I have a pond maintenance and construction business that I do part time, in addition to my duties at the urban garden. On a recent pond cleaning it became apparent that the pond I was working on was in need of a complete make over. The pond was a little over 10 years old and was no longer functional. The current homeowners had been there for 5 years and had not made any changes from the original design. Here is a step by step on what we did to renovate the pond.
This is the original pond as we found it . The pond was actually two ponds the upper pond was 4′ x 6′ and about 18″ deep the front of the pond had an overflow opening which would allow the water to cascade down into the lower pond along the flagstone wall then a pump would return the water to the top pond.
The lower pond was about 12′ in diameter and also about 18″ deep. Neither pond had been cleaned in about 5 years so there was a daunting task in and of it’s self. The pump had burned out the previous fall so we need to be replaced. As you can see the pond plants were a bit out of control.
Each pond cleaning is always a new experience.
Before the work could begin the water had to be removed and the goldfish that were living in the pond had to be placed in a holding tub.Once that was done we cleaned out the bottom and removed the dead vegetation, muck, and debris that had collected over the past 5 years.
At this point it was still a pond cleaning so we rinsed out the pond as much as possible and finally refilled the pond to allow the goldfish to be put back. The pond still had serious problems and at this point it was time to speak with the home owners and give them some options. The pump was shot and would need to be replaced. There was no skimmer making it hard to keep clean. There was no bio-falls so the plants were actually filtering the water but were way to dense to enjoy the pond. The final thing was the liner was torn by the plant roots. The original home owner that installed the pond was able to spend the time to do the maintenance need to keep this type of pond in check and balance. It had now gotten out of control and need some serious work. I offered to get them a new pump and to let it flow through the hose as a re-circulator but that would not bring the waterfall back due to the damaged liner. I then proposed a rebuild which would be the best way to go. After some discussion it was decided to rebuild the pond and make it functional and as maintenance free as possible.
The pond was emptied the fish were placed in a holding tank and the plants were removed. After all the plants were removed the muck and gravel were taken out. The bottom of the liner was cut out and the bottom of the main pond was dug down another 12″ to 14″.
Now the liner was cut out in the bottom of the pond and the soil removed from the center.
The next step was to install the water weir. The area where the upper pond was going to be the location so the area was leveled and the waterfall bio weir was installed.
The pond was now up and running. The area was transformed into an operational pond and ready for the homeowners to add some landscaping and to sit back and enjoy.
This was a retrofit into an existing pond. If you are thinking about building a pond from scratch follow this link to see the whole process from start to finish with step by step instructions. Pond building 101 Click on each thumbnail to see the instructions.