How To Build a Small Backyard Pond

how-to-build-a-small-backyard-pondThere’s a lot to be said for the beauty of a backyard pond, and since we work with water so much we thought we’d talk to you about how to build a small backyard pond, or as some people call them, a small water garden. A landscape water feature creates a very relaxing environment in your back yard.

Some people have used rather ingenious methods to use the water from their gutters to fill their ponds, topping them off with water from a hose only as necessary. A pond is a viable option for harvesting rainwater.

Here’s what you’ll need.

  • A pre-formed pond shell.
  • A shovel.
  • Flour to mark your dig site.
  • Sand.
  • A rake.
  • A filtration pump large enough to handle your pond (check the packaging).
  • A UV clarifier to keep algae out of you pond.
  • An outdoor GFCI outlet (get a professional installation if you don’t have one handy).
  • Large stones or pavers.
  • Gravel.
  • Plants, fish, and accessories as desired.

Be sure to call 811 before you begin the project. You do not want to knock out underground utility lines!

The first step is to find a place for your pond. It’s best to keep it at least 10 feet away from your foundation.

You also need to keep it away from overhead trees. If you’re hoping to have your gutters flow into your pond you’ll want to keep the placement of your downspouts in mind as well.

One of the most common configurations is to run a gentle slope from your downspout to your pond. These can be lined with soft-form pond liner, sand, gravel, and larger rocks to create a terraced waterfall that flows down to the pond in a controlled fashion. Keep this in mind if that’s the kind of set-up you want.

Once you’ve chosen your location you will need to mark out the inner and outer shape of the pond. Then you’ll need to dig deeply enough to fit your pond shape into the ground. Leave the outer lip just above the ground.

Then you’ll actually take the pond shape back out so you can even the ground out with a layer of sand. You can use the rake to smooth the sand down.

Once the sand is in place you can put the pond liner back into place. You’ll need a little more sand around the outer rim, and then you can start filling the pond with your hose to get it started.

Once the pond is full you’ll need to install the pump and UV clarifier. Each of these will have their own set of instructions depending on what you buy, so be sure to read them thoroughly.

After you’ve got the pump and clarifier in place you can add rocks and gravel to hide the pond liner. Then you can add any vegetation, fish, or accessories you like.

Here’s a video which outlines the entire process.

We also found some awesome designs for gutters that flow into ponds on Houzz. We recommend hiring a professional pond contractor for these as they’re considerably more complex than the simple pond outlined in this post.

We’ve been installing seamless aluminum gutters in Brandon, FL and the rest of the Tampa Bay area for over 35 years. If you need help with your gutters don’t forget to call us for a free estimate.

1 Comment

  1. Hi, thanks for sharing.I would advice making the area around the whole perimeter of the pond raised a few inches at least. The reason for this is just in case it rains heavily and all the surrounding water won’t wash into the pond. The reason for this is that if you treat your lawn with fertilizers the chemicals will wash into the pond as well.

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