How to Make a Man-Made Pond


Making an artificial pond will require some planning and a fair amount of physical labor, but the result will be worth the trouble. From a small decorative pond in your garden to a larger pond suitable for swimming or stocking fish, the basic premise of building a pond is the same. For larger ponds, you may want to rent a backhoe for the excavation work.

Things You'll Need

  • Paint
  • Measuring tape
  • Shovel
  • Pond liner
  • Edging stone or brick
  • Nails
  • Hammer
  • Hose
  • Pump
  • Clear the site of any plants, trees or flower beds, and use paint to outline the shape of your pond on the ground.

  • Measure the pond outline to determine how much liner you will need. To do this, determine how deep you want your pond to be and double this number: for example, double a 4-foot pond to 8 feet. Then add the width and the amount of the doubled depth, plus 2 feet for overlap, and do the same for the height. The resulting numbers will be the size liner you need. For example, if your pond is 20 feet wide by 16 feet long, you would take 20 (the width) + 8 (the height) + 2 (the overlap), which equals 30 feet. Then 16 (the depth) + 8 (half the depth) + 2 (the overlap) equals 26 feet. You will need a 30-by-26-foot liner.

  • Remove the grass from the pond area using a flat shovel, going about 6 inches outside of the perimeter you drew.

  • Dig out the pond, going approximately 2 inches below the depth you need for your pond to make room for settlement. Remove any roots or sharp stones from the hole, as these can damage your liner.

  • Drape the liner loosely into the hole, making it as even as possible around the perimeter of the pond. Place paving stones or bricks around the perimeter to hold down the liner.

  • Fill your pond with water, moving stones or bricks as needed if the liner begins to stretch out.

  • Trim the excess liner around the perimeter of the pond and secure the remaining edging with 20dd nails at a spacing of 1 foot. Lay out edging around your pond to complete the look. You can do this with any heavy material you like.

  • Install the pump according to the manufacturer's directions. To determine the size pump needed, multiply the dimensions: width x length x depth x 7.5 gallons. Arrange the edging stone around the area to conceal the pump and hose as much as possible.

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