How to Get Rid of a Garden Pond in 7 Steps

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Whether you worry about the children falling in, needing more space in your yard, or the mosquitoes invading your house, there comes a variety of reasons that ponds must be removed. Removing a pond will require a couple hours of solid work and patience. Depending on the type of pond you have, you will need manpower to remove all the water, decorations, water features, and fish.

1. Detach Electrical Equipment

To begin removing a pond it is important to first get rid of the potential hazards. Removing all the filters and other electrical appliances will help to ensure your safety, and protect any fish living in the pond from potential electrocution. It will also help to ensure the filters can continue to be used elsewhere if necessary.

2. Remove Plants, Fish, and Rocks

Taking fish out of a pond can prove to be quite the chase. Grab a net and a big bucket and start fishing them out. When transferring fish, be sure to use current pond water, bucketing it out before hand as to not shock the fish by the sudden chemical and temperature change.

Any large decorative rocks or benches connected to or in the pond will also need to be removed. This will help you to create an area surrounding the pond which is clear and open for the following steps.

When removing plants you can just pull them out by the roots, or add vinegar to the water. Doing so will raise the pH level and will kill the plants, which really only makes it a viable option if you’re doing this project in steps over an extended period of time. This could also kill your fish as well so be sure to remove any fish or plants you would like to keep before proceeding.

3. Give Fish Away

Getting rid of fish that no longer have a place can sometimes be challenging, but always be sure to take responsibility and look into the options available. A couple good options are as follows:

  • Ask friends or neighbors if they want fish for their pond or aquarium.
  • Ask the supplier if they are willing to take them back. (Sometimes they must meet certain requirements that would prevent them from being able to, but it doesn’t hurt to look)
  • Advertise them on local websites or classified sites.

No matter which options ends up working out, you will need a safe way to transport the fish and keep them alive. When doing so, it may be good to not feed the fish for a day or two before transportation to ensure their transport water is kept clean.

Be sure to never release domesticated fish into the wild or into a pond that you have not received permission to put them in as they can spread or catch diseases and cause problems.

4. Pump or Bucket out the Water.

There are multiple ways you can use to drain a pond. Often times, there are pumps already within the filtration device that will help pump out water. If not, there are submersible pumps that can be purchased.

Another option is to siphon out the water with a garden hose. This requires one end of the garden hose to be placed at a lower elevation then the pond, and the other end placed in the deepest part of the pond. Gently suck on the end of the hose to start the water movement, and then allow the water to siphon out slowly.

Lastly, you can drain the pond by using a 5 gallon bucket repeatedly, which would require lots of man power, but would get the job done! Either way, you will need to find a appropriate place to drain your water.

5. Make Holes for Drainage

Are you removing a concrete pond, or just a plastic lined pond? Either way you will need to provide a way for the reminder of the water to drain out and dry up.

For a concrete pond, you can grab a drill and drill holes exceeding the width of the concrete to allow the water to drain into the ground. For a plastic lined pond, you can simply cut holes into the plastic allowing the water to slowly seep out. Finally, the sun will also help in drying up the remainder of the water.

6. Dig the Edges, Pull Out the Plastic

If your pond is concrete, you can begin to dig around the edges around the pond about a foot out. How deep you will need to dig depends on how secure and deep your pond is. This will allow the pond to broken up and sawed so that you can pull out the chunks until it is gone.

Using a pick axe, or jack hammer, you can break down the concrete and bucket out the debris. On the other hand, you can also begin to section off your plastic and pull out the pieces.

7. Fill the Hole

After you have pulled out all the plastic pieces, or chunks of concrete, you will be left with a massive hole in your yard. There are a variety of ways you can make use of this hole, or you can fill it in to make it conform with your lawn. For example, you could create a sunken garden, a sand box for children. You could also install a underground trampoline.

If none of these are viable options, begin filling in the hole with gravel, fill dirt, or sand. You can also add in larger rocks to help fill in the hole. Be sure to add an extra 6 inches of sloped fill dirt to compensate for the settling that is bound to happen. If you want to learn more, read our article 8 easy ways to fill in a garden pond.


Ponds can be removed yourself or with the help of the of a contractor. There are a couple of costs associated with DIY or contracted removals including:

  • $400 to $700 dollars to rent a dump truck depending on the accessibility of the pond.
  • $50 to $75 dollars for a jackhammer rental
  • $150 to $250 dollars for the fill dirt
  • $100 to $150 for grass seed and topsoil

Each of these are important aspects to consider and will help you to determine what to do and how much it will cost. Pond removal takes time and effort, but it can be accomplished!

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We always wanted a fountain of some kind at our house, but professional installation was just too pricey. So, we decided to make our own little fountain and after learning how, we thought we should share our experiences to help people in our same situation.

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