Considering whether or you can, should you build your pond on sandy soil? Here’s a simple, easy to follow guide for you to follow.
The process behind constructing your own pond in sandy soil can be broken up into three simple steps: Digging and excavating the soil for your pond, Constructing your ideal pond while preparing the foundation, and installing an appropriate filtration system.
Here is an easy and cost-effective way to construct your very own pond in sandy soil.
Survey the Area that you Want to Build On
Like anything in life, you need to assess the situation to know what you’re getting into. The type of soil you’re working with, in addition to the sand, will have a significant effect on how easy it will be to excavate.
Another thing to keep in mind is how large you want your pond to be. After you have a general idea of this, the next thing you need to do create the dimensions for your pond. Make sure to check for roots or plants that might impede your progress, and try to avoid them if at all possible. If your soil is largely sandy, with little else, no worries.
Another important thing to survey is the incline of the soil. If it is not flat, or there is more than a little elevation change, that will need to be accounted for during excavation. There are several ways to strengthen the foundation of the soil, which will prevent other problems in the future.
Perhaps the biggest trial when digging a pond in sandy soil is the increased likelihood of it collapsing. Fortunately, this is easily preventable, and I will show you how to keep your fountain strong and durable despite the sand.
Begin the Excavation Process
For most pond projects, it is necessary to use an excavator to clear out the land. Keep in mind, however, they are expensive to rent. If you intend to build a small pond, a couple of shovels and people to help will be sufficient. If the pond is larger, an excavator will be essential, and it can dig much faster, much deeper, and much quicker.
It is also helpful to bring some shovels and a jackhammer in case you happen to hit a rock while digging.
The duration of the excavation process will be largely dependent upon the size and shape of the pond, in addition to the quality of the soil.
Create Ledges for your Pond
When trying to create a sturdy foundation for your pond, utilizing boulders, rocks, and gravel can make a huge difference when you’re dealing with sandy soil. After you’ve excavated the hole for your pond along with the proper size and shape, it’s now time to push gravel and rocks into the sidewalls.
First, give the edge a gentle slope inward. Although the natural inclination is to try to slope it at a ninety-degree angle, this will be less effective.
Next, spray the soil for it for a few seconds with your garden hose to dampen it, which will make it easier for you to compact it. After this, you are now ready to fill in the bottom of your pond with gravel, which will provide you a sturdy base. It is recommended to have around three inches to be safe.
Place some heavy and larger-sized rocks around the edge of the gravel bottom, and make sure to push them in so there’s an indentation on the walls. You are now finished with your ledges and are ready for the next step.
Selecting an Appropriate Liner
The next big step is selecting the appropriate liner for your pond. Perhaps the safest liner to use for sand would be rubber liners. The main benefit to using a rubber liner for a sandy soil pond is that it effectively retains water without letting it fall through the sand, creating a more compact environment for your pond liner.
Rubber liners also hinder evaporation since they tend to be a lot colder than sand. They’re cost-effective, and are very durable over the long run, making them an ideal option.
If, however, you are not interested in a rubber liner, there are other options available. Another popular and durable option is RPE (Reinforced Polyethylene Liner). These are known for their incredible durability, while also tending to be lighter than other alternative options.
It is also reasonably priced, with the only caveat being it is stiffer than a rubber liner. Another good option is an HDPE (High-density Polyethylene) Thermoplastic Pond Liner. These are especially effective and suitable for cold climates but are also not as flexible as a rubber liner.
Adding in Plumbing
In terms of overall durability and being cost-effective, PVC pipe is the best option available for plumbing your pond. PVC is ideal for pond plumbing for a variety of reasons. First, it is easily bendable while remaining study, allowing it to assist in unorthodox pond plumbing. Another benefit of PVC is its durability against the elements: not even below freezing temperatures can cause them to crack.
It is important to have a durable and effective pump in order for your pond to function effectively. When selecting a pump, the general rule of thumb to follow is the pump should be able to pump the whole volume of water in the pond one time per hour. If you are unaware of the total number of gallons in your pool, no worries. Begin by measuring out the length, width, and height of your pool with a measuring tape.
Next multiply this out by a conversion factor of seven and a half, while will give you a clear idea of the total number of gallons. Although more costly on the front end, I would highly recommend investing in a higher quality pump, and the maintenance costs over time will likely decrease.
If your pump can effectively and consistently do this, then your water will be clearer, and the water will be better aerated, improving the overall health of the water. This is especially relevant if you desire a healthy ecosystem for the aquatic life residing in your pond, as an unclean environment hinders their ability to grow, thrive, and reproduce.
Adding in Filtration
Effective filtration is crucial, as Algae growth and debris will inevitably begin to enter your pond, compromising its overall health. The cheapest option available would be to simply filter out your pond with a net, but this is a lot less effective and efficient than installing an automatic filter.
Although this will cost you significantly more in initial cost, it will save you countless hours of work while automatically keeping your pond clean for you.
Treating your Water
At this point, the majority of the key pieces of your pond have been installed, so you can now begin to add and treat the water for your new pond. Keep in mind that if your pond is on the larger side, this can be a fairly long and arduous process, and can take several hours.
As you begin adding water, you will likely notice that the sand will begin to be displaced. Do not stress, as the sand will naturally settle not long after you turn the hose off, so the foundation will remain stable.
If you have any plant life, make sure to keep an eye on them as you begin adding the water as well to ensure their safety. Once the process of filling up your pond is complete, all you need to do is treat it so it can stay clean.
Depending on the kind of pond you want, chlorine could be added, as it will kill off most pollutants to the water, but make sure to add in the appropriate amounts. If there is not a ratio provided on the chlorine you purchase, purchase a pH scale, and begin slowly adding in chlorine and checking it remains at a healthy level. Once this process is complete, you are now free to introduce any aquatic life if you desire.
Congratulations, despite the trial that building your own pond on a sandy foundation brings, you are now complete. Enjoy!
Now that your pond is finally finished, lets quickly observe some key ways to keep your pond to stay clean and healthy.
- Make sure to keep your plants trimmed. Introducing plants to your pond is the easy part, maintaining them is another story. Make sure to keep them properly maintained, can easily be overlooked, but the potential implications on the pond are significant.
Keeping your plants trimmed will not only make the pond look better, but will also prevent nutrient runoff into the water, which will help stock algae from building up.
- If you have aquatic life, keep them healthy. Feeding your aquatic life seems like a simple, and mundane process, but there’s more than meets the eye. For example, overfeeding your fish can cause algal blooms while also depleting the oxygen levels in the water.
Additionally, underfeeding your aquatic life can cause malnutrition, and if not fixed for a long enough time, lead to their death. To prevent this from happening, follow the general guidance of giving them no more food than they could consume in a couple of minutes.
Want to add a beach to your pond? Check out our article on adding a beach to a pond to learn how.