5 Easy Basic Steps To Dig A Pond

A pond is a very great idea for you, especially if you are living off-grid. At the same time, it can be a bit of a challenge to build, not to mention the costs that come with building a pond.

However, the benefits cannot be ignored. So, all in all, building a pond is a great idea.

How do you build your pond? Contractors can build the pond for you. But let’s face it, building it yourself will be even more exciting, and seeing the success of your work is worth the effort.

But do you know what to do to get a pond up and running? What do you require? How do you go about the construction?

This post contains every important detail you require for pond construction. We have included every important detail including the preparation and detailed steps of digging a pond.

Make sure that you follow the steps provided to get the best results. Here we go!

4 Things You Must Prepare Before Digging A Pond

4 Things You Must Prepare Before Digging A Pond

You can go about this whole process differently. As you know, you can easily get a contractor to get this work done for you.

You can alternatively prefer to build the pond yourself because of the joy that comes with doing it yourself, or you can easily use a backhoe.

Regardless of the method you use, some things need to be prepared including the location, size, depth, as well as permits.

Shovel for Digging

Learning The Soil Types and Choosing Your Equipment

The soil is a very important determinant of the place and time you will dig the pond. At the same time, the soil will determine the complication involved in building the pond, which translates to the timeline.

You will realize that there are soil types that will be harder to dig with a shovel. Even if it is possible, it will take you longer.

You will probably encounter three types of soil including dirt, which is easiest to remove, clay, which might be a bit tougher, and sand, which is heavier and will make it more complicated.

It is also very important that you choose the right gear for the best results. These include jackhammers, shovels, and more. It is better to have more than needed than not have enough.

Where To Locate The Pond

The location of the pond will be determined by different factors, one of which is the size of the land. The terrain is different for different locations.

Some lands are simply flat, while some are slanted. The smart thing to do is take advantage of the terrain.

If you have natural drainage that would lead the rainwater to your pond, then it is even better.

There are also other factors to consider such as the amount of sun that will hit the pond, water features you need to add, the soil type, as well as possibility of other animals or people walking in the pond.

Pond Design

Do not jump straight into the construction of the pond. It is a good idea, before you start any project, to design it first.

The easiest thing to do is to lay out a specific shape for the pond using a rope. Getting the shape right before you start digging will help you greatly.

Additionally, you will be able to get a general feel of the amount of space the pond will take in your garden.

How deep do you want the pond to be? You have to determine the maximum and minimum depths of the pond beforehand. You can use some paint to make a grid pattern.

You should then set a clear depth for each section of the pond. Normally, the deepest part should be at the center while it gets shallower closer to the edges.

Check Into And Apply For Proper Permits

Different states have different laws that govern the construction of such things as ponds on the property.

Before you start digging a pond, you must check whether there are such laws or if you require a permit for digging a pond.

If it is necessary, make sure to get it first to avoid any problems with the law.

5 Basic Steps To Dig a Pond

5 Basic Steps of Digging a Pond

You have made sure the location is right, made a great design and an outline and the permit is ready in your house.

It is time to start the construction of this pond. Five steps will take you through the entire pond construction steps. In this section, we give you an in-depth look into all the following steps.

Step 1: Cleaning the Surface of the Pond

Step 2: Start Digging the Pond

Step 3: Remove the Sand, Clay, or Dirt from the Pond

Step 4: Add Boulders, Rocks, or Rubber Liners

Step 5: Fill the Pond and Treat the Water

Clearing The Surface Of The Pond

Before anything, you have to clear the entire surface where the pond will be.

With a backhoe, this is easier. In the clearing process, you will be able to remove any rocks, shrubs, grass, as well as other debris that might hinder the digging process.

At the end of the clearing process, you will be left with a clear dirt expanse to work with.

At this point, you will notice any large obstructions like a boulder, and you will be able to determine how you can deal with them. The clear surface allows you to visualize the following steps easier.

Start Digging The Hole

After you clear the entire surface, you are ready to start digging the hole. The first thing you need to do when you start digging the pond is to create an outline using your shovel.

How do you do that? You simply need to dig a small trench with a depth of around six inches. It is the starting and finishing point of the project.

After that, move to the center of the pond and start digging. You will not worry about falling into the pond if you start from the center. You should try removing some dirt, leveling the hole, and doing it all again from the center.

You need to know that sand will cave in because it is loose. The best thing to do is to create some ledges. Cut ledges because they help to serve as boosters for the pond’s structural integrity.

Pick Mattock with Heavy Duty Forged Construction

Remove The Sand, Clay, or Dirt From the Pond

As you dig, you need to keep removing the clay, dirt, and sand from the pond. As you do that, you will notice some plants, rocks, roots, and other debris.

You can cut them and throw them out with a pointed shovel. Use a different tool so that you do not damage the ones you are using for digging.

You should make sure that the clay, dirt, and sand are kept further from the pond so that they do not roll back in. You do not want to do the work twice.

Add Boulders, Rocks, or Rubber Lines

At this juncture, the shape of the pond is visible clearly and you have dug the hole properly. The next step involves figuring out how you can avoid excess water drainage.

The most effective ways of doing that include boulders, rubber liners, and small rocks. These are options that have some properties that make them great for the task.

Boulders have great water retention. Most water bodies including rivers, lakes, and ponds have some at the bottom. They present a barrier between the water and the soil. That way, it does not soak into the ground easily.

Small rocks are also known to greatly decrease the amount of water that sips in the soil. The main difference between boulders and rocks is that they do not have the same appearance. However, the cracks are fewer.

Rubber liners are more expensive to use. Finding one that is specially designed for your pond can be the main challenge. They also need to be brushed regularly so that algae does not build up.

Fill the Pond and Treat the Water

There are many ways of filling a pond. You have the option of well water, a garden hose, or even runoff from a close lake or river.

Any method you use will need treatment so that the plants and fish can thrive. Before you add the plants or fish or any other life, make sure that you treat the water.

Remember that there are chances you can get a higher bill with a fine if you fill the pond with a large amount of water without calling the city. You have the option of using getting services that bring water trucks to your house.

Be conscious of the bacteria or algae in the water before you choose a water treatment method.

3 General Rules of Digging a Pond

3 General Rules of Digging a Pond

As you have seen in the steps above, digging a pond is not much of a challenge.

We believe that if you do it once, you will know exactly what you have to do in case you need to build another one. You will not require any reference.

Nevertheless, if you want the pool to exist for longer, you have to consider three rules. The water sources, build ledges and set drain pipes.

Water Sources

You should know that a pond should never dry out. Otherwise, the life in the pond will not thrive as well as you would hope. Therefore, you have to figure out where you will find a consistent source of water.

In most cases, rainwater or water from a body such as a lake would be the most efficient of all. Well water can also be pumped to the pond.

Build Ledges

Ledges are beautiful additions to a water pond. But that is not all they are good for. Apart from being appealing, they make sure that the structure of the pond is strong.

Nobody wants to wake up one day and find that the pond filled itself with sand, clay, and other debris. With the addition of ledges, your pond will be perfectly fine for a long time.

Set Drain Pipes

Now and then, you will need to remove the water from the pond for any reason including the possibility of contamination.

How would you do that? Setting drain pipes is a very important part of the pond. Make sure that there is a way for the water to be added or removed from the pond with ease.

Benefits of a Pond

Benefits of a Pond

A pond might benefit you in a range of ways including:

The Benefit to the Local Wildlife

Different types of wildlife will benefit from ponds regardless of how small it is.

There is wildlife that will use the pond as a source of water and it can be a haven for different reptiles and amphibians. Birds also appreciate clean bathing water.

Reduction of Insect Pest Populations

Any pond has life such as dragonflies that will reduce pests such as mosquitoes greatly.

People assume that the pond might result in an increase of mosquitoes but only the poorly managed ones have that problem. Frogs and toads will be attracted and will take care of the pests too.

Emergency Water Source

If you face any challenge regarding water, you can easily use the water in the pond. However, you will have to sterilize it properly. It might also not be a permanent solution depending on the size, but it will help in an emergency.

Support Additional Food Sources

Most people will increase their food sources by having fish in the pond. Tilapia, for example, can be raised in warmer climates while crappies or bass can be raised in cool climates.


Can I dig my own pond?

This is actually what most people prefer because it gives you more control of the overall result. Not to mention that it is very satisfying when you know that you built it yourself.

Where should the pond be located?

The location of the pond depends on a variety of issues including the terrain, type of soil, size of your land, as well as the overall landscape.

How deep do you need to dig a pond?

You can choose to either dig a deep or a shallow pond. The depth of the pond depends on your preferences and your intentions for the pond.

Is it hard to dig a pond?

Even though you might get a bit tired doing the work, the steps you need to follow are very straightforward. Building a pond is not hard at all.

How do you dig a pond by hand?

As long as you have the right tools and the right guidelines, you can build a pond by hand without a problem. Make sure that you have everything you need.

Some Thoughts

All ponds have different aspects including shapes, depths, and much more. These differences mean that the building processes are different.

Therefore, you should not be surprised when you find people doing things different from what you have done. 

As always, thank you for choosing emoffgrid.com as your reading source! We hope that the information we have shared is completely helpful.