The Construction of my Ponds - Page 5 - Second Rebuild Part 3
At this stage, the pond is the right size and shape and I was happy with the depth so the next job is to line the hole to protect the liner. As I've mentioned on other pages, I prefer to use carpet for this job. For that reason, I never throw out any carpets that we replace and I always keep any off cuts. If you need more, try your local recycling centre as people are always buying new carpets. Big word of warning!!! Before you use any carpet for lining your hole, check it for pins, needles, staples, paper clips, Christmas tree needles and anything else that might harm your liner. Always use your fingers because they are the most sensitive and you can always patch up your hands but not necessarily your liner. I advise that you don't wear any footwear for this bit so that you don't introduce any bits of grit into the bottom of your pond.
Notice in the left hand picture that I have placed all of my decorative blocks in place as a final check. This confirms that they are level and that they fit as expected. Once again, this time is always worth taking because it is still not too late to make any changes. Once you are satisfied, that all is well, you can start to place your liner into position. Most of the examples that you will see in the books will show a tiny little pond in the middle of a flat lawn and will recommend that you place it over the hole and start the water flow into the liner and allow it to be pushed down into the hole by the weight of water because that minimises the amount of creases in the liner and improves its appearance under the water. However, if you have followed my advice and intend to have a decent sized pond, that just won't work.  Top
You will need at least one assistant to help spread the liner around the hole and one of you will have to be in the pond on top of the liner and that person needs to be in bare feet so that he or she can feel even the slightest piece of grit and not apply their weight. Be careful if you are doing this on a warm sunny day; the liner will become very hot, very quickly in the sun so have a hose handy to spray your feet to keep them cool. Once the liner is roughly in position, turn on the water and allow the pond to start to fill. The person in the pond is going to start to get quite cold at this point so this job is best done yourself. For a basic rectangular pond, the liner can be pulled into shape as it fills. For the corners, think about a parcel and pull the liner into a neat fold to get it nice and smooth and then tuck the fold behind itself. Don't leave this too late though because water is very heavy (1 cubic metre weighs 1 tonne) and you won't be able to move much of it. With a complex shaped pond like mine, there would inevitably be visible folds in the liner so I tried to minimise the impact by pulling folds into places that wouldn't be too obvious from the places that I would be sat watching my fish.
Despite the brightness of these pictures, it was getting much colder and I couldn't risk my fish being in my paddling pool if it got frosty as it wasn't deep enough so as soon as I had about 50cm of water in the pond, I put the fish in. They probably got a bit of a headache from the chlorine in the fresh tap water but better that than getting frozen and none of them seemed to come to any harm. I found it easier to cement the decorative block and the top slabs into place by being stood in the pond. My neighbours must have thought that I was mad standing mid thigh deep in water in a pair of shorts in the middle of winter but by being in that position, I found that I got less cement into the pond water than if I was on the bank and it was less strain on my back. In order to remove as much cement as possible, I connected up my filter which also gave it a functional check. I found that I didn't feel the cold after about 15 mins and after about 45 mins, I couldn't feel anything so that was about the most that I could work in one go. It worked out quite well because in that time, I used up the batch of cement that I had mixed and after a coffee I found that mixing the next batch of cement got me nicely warmed up for the next session in the water.  Top
I had decided to try to create a fountain effect under my hazel tree but it would also have to perform a useful function as well as looking good. The pipe work is fed from my UV filter. I know that the norm is to put the UV in the feed to the main filter but this has worked for me. The pipe will be under the water when the pond is fully filled. Having got the pipe fixed in the vertical position, I built up layers of pebbles to the top of the pipe and I was delighted that the end result was exactly as I had planned. (Pictures on later pages.) Notice the liner by the tree. The pebble fountain is all built on top of the liner so that if my cement leaks at all, the water will find its way back into the pond rather than leak away. The final picture in this set shows just how cold it was during this project. I must be mad but the result is worth it.
Here are some views of the final result taken just a few weeks later. As you can see, all the effort I took to get the levels right for the block work have paid off as the lawn comes exactly to the right position to allow the mower to just clear the slabs when cutting the grass. At the top right of the right hand picture, you can just see the new filter that I built to cope with the additional volume of water in my pond. The construction of the filter is shown in my second filter rebuild page.