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20-30' curved Pond/ Sand base/ rock edges


LawnSite Member
Ottawa Canada
Hi everyone. I'm thinking of turning our back yard treed area into a natural looking pond. During the summer we have small pools of water that rarely dry out(8"-14"). Obviously the water table is very low. What I'm thinking of is (getting a friend who has an excavator) digging a pond and lining the sides with large landscape rock. Just plants - no fish. Sand bottom

1 - Will it work,pros and cons
2 - I don't have running water into it - will it become too stagnant
3 - Has anyone done this before - do you have pictures
4 - How deep should I dig it

Freezing in Canada

hole in one lco

LawnSite Bronze Member
rocky river ohio
There are a lot of determining factors to a clear pond.

You have to have running water it must be filtered and it must be in the shade the sun will create algae.


LawnSite Member
Ottawa Canada
Hi guys

The problem is this. I have a 3 acre treed lot, in a new subdivision. We had to build our house up with fill, the front 100' to the subdivision road is filled in and sloped, the back and one side has a grade of @ 20'(from the house) with a drop off to the natural forest floor after that.

There are small pockets of water in this area, for most of the summer. Will dry out somewhat @ July, Say 2-3 ft wide and @ 6-10" deep. Instead of bringing in more fill to raise these spots I was thinking of digging a pond.

Directly across from our house(over the subdivision road and behind another lot is a water conservation area, must be 100-200 acres. As you can tell there are lots of water around.

Has anyone had any success with something like this. I just don't know about making it a fully functional pond-pumps/filters/etc becaus of the cost and the size. I'm thinking if the pockets of water can hang around and not stink, why would a larger pond? Really I'm just looking at the cosmetic side of it and not a functional pond.

Don't forget that I'm in Ottawa Canada, and we really only get warm weather in july and august, and its not too hot on average.

If I could do this and get some aquatic life growing, frogs/turtles/etc I would be quite happy. Not worrying about the water clarity and colour.

Am I dreaming here?????

Help greatly appreciated.

I will post a picture soon

Green Gopher

LawnSite Member

It sounds like you are going to have a few problems with this plan. If you have heavy tree cover your going to have a lot maintenance. Also building your pond in low wet area is not usually a very good idea. If you are going to use a liner the low water table can cause problem. I know a local nursery here that tried to build a pond in a low muddy area and they fought low water table the entire time. They still might be having problems.

People have built natural mud bottom ponds for years. They will become stagnant with time and can even begin to smell swampy, but some people like that.

Is there any way of draining the water in those low areas to another place? a French drain maybe? Without seeing pictures it sounds like this is a bad location for a pond.

Good luck, I hope you find a solution.

Critical Care

LawnSite Bronze Member
Central Oregon
This sounds like an interesting project, but I too would be cautious about untaking it in a large way. Perhaps you could "experiment" by digging out a bathtub size pond to see what happens. You can always dig it deeper and bigger if it looks like what you want, or cover it back up if your neighbors begin holding their noses.


LawnSite Member
Hutchinson, Ks
What is sounds like to me is more of a "farm pond" not a maintained ornamental pond. As long as there is water in it year round you would be happy? Am I understanding that correct? If so I think it could work. There may be a few thing you would want to do like add and areator so that the water doesn't get too stagnent. You will want some fish/minnows to eat mesquito lavae or treat it with insecticide (fish are more eco friendly) I sounds like to me if the water level is high you won't need a liner. So planting water plants into the floor of the pond and on the edges would be great in keeping the pond's eco balance in check.