Where to start? What to ask?

Discussion in 'Water Features' started by flashpipe, Sep 18, 2009.

  1. flashpipe

    flashpipe LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    We're in upstate NY and are considering have a large pond (1/4 acre) put in next spring/summer and have started looking around for local installers. We found 3 and got estimates ranging from $4000-$6000. One guy said he would have to come in and dig "test holes" to make sure the property would sustain a pond and the other two guys didn't mention anything about that. They all mentioned the importance of drainage, but didn't seem interested in what I told them about areas of standing water, the current drainage, etc. Maybe they will ask all those questions once we are ready to get started.

    Anyway, I was wondering, what questions should I ask, what should I take into consideration? We want to have fish, and one guy told me we should go at least 12' deep if we want trout. We live in a rural area and our neighbors have backhoes, excavators, etc. and my wife thinks we should consider buying one and doing it ourselves. We have LOTS of other landscaping, tree clearing, etc. that we eventually plan to do, so it would certainly come in handy, but I don't know how feasible it is to try to do the work ourselves. Are there any good online resources? We talked to the DEC, but they said they no longer install ponds or do consulting on private property. Any chance of paying an installer to be a consultant and doing part of the work ourselves??

    Just looking for any ideas, tips, help, etc.

  2. tadpole

    tadpole LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,221

    Have you contacted your County Extension Office? They should be able to give you all the all the information pertinent to your geographical area as to fish and plants.

    Otherwise, you should be aware of certain basic criteria.
    1. Is you soil compactable enough to retain water or will you need to add Bentonite or even maybe a liner?
    2. Your pond can be as deep as you want, but you should know that a pond with a depth of over 5 feet will probably develop a Thermocline, especially in your climate zone. Any water below this Thermocline will be very low or even completely devoid of Oxygen. Fish will utilize only the water above the Thermocline, so I question the 12' requirement for Trout. If you go deeper than 5', you will certainly need sub-surface aeration. This will oxygenate the entire water column and prevent the natural occurring seasonal turnovers that can cause real problems with fish health.

    I am sure that there are other factors that should be taken into consideration based on you location in NW New York. A Web search would probably be beneficial to you also. I definitely would not advise you to approach this as a DIY project. Hire a professional.(Make sure that they really know pond construction and not just earth-moving)
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2009
  3. mdlwn1

    mdlwn1 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,443

    Contact Dr. Paul Roland as a consultant first. I think you can locate him through thepondguy.com or through pesticideteaching.ws I maybe off on the contact info, but he is registered in NY and should be easy to find.

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