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Create Your Own Backyard Fishpond

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Choosing a Location

Choosing a Location
(Keith Sutton photo)

Several days prior to digging, you should call the Digline at 811 and tell the operator where you are planning to dig and what type of work you will be doing. Local utility companies will then be notified about your intent to dig and will send locators to your pond site to mark the approximate location of buried utility lines, cables, pipes or other obstacles. This service is free and will help you avoid potentially dangerous or costly problems.

With utilities marked, now you can select a level, well-drained piece of ground for pond installation. Ideally, the site should receive sunlight several hours each day to promote growth of pond plants. But part of the pond should also be shaded to avoid high water temperatures that promote excessive algae growth and increase water evaporation.

When choosing the pond location, you’ll also want to be sure it’s situated so you can enjoy it (and keep a check on things) from your house or patio. But keep it away from the play areas of small children or pets. Also, steer clear of mature trees so growing roots don’t cause leaks and leaves don’t fall in and clog the pump/filtration system.

Ensure there’s an outdoor faucet nearby so you can add water to the pond from a garden hose as needed. A water outlet is also handy for routine maintenance like cleaning filters.

You’ll also need to be within reach of an outdoor GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) electrical outlet so you can plug in a pump to keep the water aerated. A licensed electrician should install this to ensure it is safe and meets local codes. Most pumps have a power cord length of 25 feet or less, and extension cords are not recommended. You may want to bury the cord a few inches down in PVC pipe to hide it.

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