Imagine waking up in the morning, pouring a cup of freshly brewed coffee, grabbing your fishing pole, and heading out to the “back forty” to fish on your very own pond. While it may seem like a far-fetched dream, this can become a reality for homeowners with rural property.
Property owners engage in building a pond for several reasons. For many, they serve a practical purpose–retaining valuable water from rainy and snowy seasons for irrigation during dry months. Others seek a natural waterscape to attract wildlife and enhance the natural beauty of their property. When built adequately, these reservoirs can be stocked with fish to create a sustainable food source. Finally, some homeowners tend their ponds meticulously for summer activities and swimming.
Building a Pond: The Types of Pond
There are two primary types of ponds: excavated ponds and embankment ponds. Some ponds may have characteristics of each of these types.
Excavated ponds are dug into relatively flat ground. These are ideal for property owners who wish to add aesthetic appeal or functionality to their property, but collecting water runoff is not a priority. Water volume is variable and can be wide and shallow or narrow and deep. In general, construction is simple, and there is a low risk for flooding in the future.
Embankment ponds pool water behind a dam. Often, these are built to collect water runoff on sloped land. Because of the complexities of water pushing on banked soil, engineers are typically required to design these ponds. Water in improperly designed ponds can breach the dam and cause flooding. City and county regulations may limit where embankment ponds can be constructed to limit the risk of damage to other buildings, homes, or roads from flooding.
Essential considerations for building a pond.
- Soil and ground conditions. So that the pond will hold and retain water, an excavation crew will need to remove loose soil, gravel, and muck until reaching an impermeable layer such as clay. Excavation crews can dig several sample holes on the property to examine the layers of soil and bedrock and determine whether or not it is feasible to build a pond in your ground conditions.
- Water. It’s best to rely on natural conditions to fill the pond with water. Some are filled as the natural water table is tapped, while others rely on seasonal runoff. Homeowners should avoid manually pumping water into a pond because it can destroy water flow to nearby wells.
- Depth. Water evaporates, so the pond must hold a sufficient volume of water to prevent drying out during the summer. Also, if the homeowner plans to use the pond for irrigation, those requirements should be configured into the planning to ensure enough volume is accounted for. For ponds intended to attract and support wildlife, the water level only needs to be four to six feet deep. However, if the property owner will be stocking warm-water fish, the depth will need to be ten to twelve feet deep.
- Shape. Ponds can take any form, but conforming to the natural landscape will help the feature blend into the surroundings well and may be easier to maintain. Sides should be sloped so the water can be accessed easily, and any humans or animals that slip into the pond can get out safely. Trees, shrubs, and other debris should be removed from the waterline to make it easier to monitor, access, and clean the pond.
When you’re ready to plan your pond, contact the professionals at Excavation Oregon.
Building a pond that will function properly for decades to come begins with professional excavation. Our crews at Excavation Oregon are skilled at assessing land, helping determine the best placement, and navigating requirements for permits and approvals. We’ll clear your property of trees and brush and then excavate the ground to form the perfect pond for your needs. Ready to discuss the possibilities? Give us a call to learn more about the process and to receive a bid on your project.