Basics of Pond Design and Construction

Today we are going to over what is required for the perfect pond design and construction.

At ClearWater Creations, we have been helping homeowners install and maintain ponds and water features since 2011; and we’d love to share our experience and expertise with you!

We’ll step you through the basics of pond design and construction so that you will know exactly what to expect. Let’s jump on in!



Learn the basics of pond design and construction


Basic Steps of Pond Design and Construction

So you’d like to have a beautiful pond in your backyard, but before you start digging, there are some basic elements that you should consider and understand. If you want your pond design and construction to be a success, here are some steps to follow:

Choose Your Location Wisely

The location that you choose for you pond can make all the difference to its success and overall appeal. Here are a couple of basic rules to follow when choosing where your pond will go.

Don’t Put It In a Low Spot: You don’t want to locate your pond in a low spot on your property where water collects. The water quality in these areas can suffer from too much run-off and pollutants that will enter into your pond. It is better to put your pond in a higher elevated spot.

Don’t Put It in an Unused Area: You may be tempted to locate your pond in an used area of your property, however this is probably not a good idea. Unused areas are usually unused for a reason. Perhaps it’s unused because no one wants to go there or it’s just out of the way. If you are going to invest in a beautiful landscaping feature such as a pond, put it in a location where it will get noticed and appreciated. If it’s out of site, it’s also more likely that it will be forgotten about and not cared for.


Don’t choose a low-lying or unused location for your pond


Be Prepared for Some Hard Work

Pond design and construction is not a simple task. It requires a lot of hard work and effort. if you are not used to digging for a living then you may find this a much more difficult chore than you thought. Often professional pond contractors are called in to finish ponds that have been started by homeowners who have found the task to be a bit daunting.

Make Sure You Include Shallow Areas in Your Pond Design and Construction

When you are digging out your pond, you want to make sure that you incorporate shallow areas. This is very important as steep sides will make your excavation unstable and they also make it difficult and even dangerous for you to get in and out of your pond to perform maintenance tasks later on.

Having graded ledges will not only make maintenance easier, but they will provide you with shallow areas where you can grow aquatic plants. After all, most aquatic plants grow in less than a foot of water.



Installing a pond is hard work


Don’t Make Your Pond Design and Construction Too Shallow

If you want to keep fish in your pond then you need to make sure that it is deep enough. If you live in a northern climate, then your pond needs to be deep enough so that your fish will be able to over-winter and if you live in a warmer climate then the deeper water will allow your fish to stay cooler during the hotter weather.

Incorporate Ledges into Your Pond Design and Construction

Digging your pond to incorporate ledges is a much better strategy than simply digging it out in the shape of a bowl. Ledges make it much easier to add rocks and stones to your pond design. If your pond is a bowl shape, then any smaller gravel and rocks will simply slide to the bottom. Using larger boulders to create ledges can take up a lot of room and can be difficult to work with.



Make your pond deep enough if you are going to have fish in it


Make Sure You Use Rocks

It is a good idea to use a variety of rocks and stone in your pond design and construction. Rocks not only give your pond a more organic and natural look, but they also provide a habitat for colonization by a variety of benthic organisms such as bacteria and crustaceans. These organisms are critical to the health and success of your pond.

Don’t Make Your Pond Too Small

You may be tempted to make a smaller feature as it will require less work and time to make. This may be true, but a smaller pond will actually be harder to maintain than a larger one. This is because small ponds are less stable than larger ones. Many people end up making their water garden larger after a while because they love the look of it and they find that their plants and fish have outgrown their smaller one.



Make your pond design and construction large enough for easier maintenance


Make Sure You Install Proper Filtration

A man-made pond is not like a real lake or river; it needs proper filtration to keep it healthy. It is best to purchase a complete filtration system that has been matched and designed to work together rather than to buy individual components. This is because different manufacturers use different fittings and you may find that the components that you thought were cheaper, don’t fit together and will have to be rigged to work. You also need to get a filtration system that is adequate for the size of the pond that you are installing.

Decide Where You Are Going to Put Your Rocks and Dirt

Before you begin your pond, you need to plan out where you are going to put the dirt that you dig out for your pond and where you are going to have the rock and stones piled that you will use in your pond. Think this through so that you will have enough room to get in and out of your property and to the construction site while you are working.



Plan out where you are going to pile your dirt as you dig out your pond


Make Sure Your Waterfall Fits in with Your Pond Design and Construction

If you are planning on including a waterfall as part of your pond design, make sure that it fits in proportionally with your feature. Many people are tempted to make a waterfall that is too big because they think that bigger will look better. That isn’t always the case. A water fall that is too steep or too small will look out of place. You need to scale the berm and the waterfall to match the size of your water feature.


Want Help with Your Pond Design and Construction? Trust ClearWater!

As a Certified Aquascape Contractor (CAC), Clearwater Creations is proud to be part of the best team of pond builders in the world – and we would be happy to help you with your pond design and construction.

At ClearWater, we have the education and experience to enhance ANY outdoor living space. We have the best-trained staff a landscaping company can have. Everyone on the team is educated, knowledgeable, and experienced in our field.

We pride ourselves on being the best aquatic feature and landscape company in Peterborough and surrounding areas! Contact Clearwater Creations today, to get your new pond started.


“Very creative rock artisans… you won’t be disappointed!!!!”
– Dan Put