Pond Building

Pond Building what’s the big deal and WhatPond is right for you?

Why pond building has become popular over the years. What attracts us to water? The different tools and equipment used for pond building.

What are we humans mostly made up of?

Yes water, when we go on vacation, whether it is camping, sightseeing, or just heading to the beach. There is water involved. Camp grounds have swimming pools and could have streams, rivers, ponds or lakes.  The hotel’s have swimming pools. The beach is a dead giveaway.

Why are we attracted to water?

Water is the foundation of life without it nothing could exist. We drink it daily, or should be drinking more. But the attraction seems to be more nature orientated. This could be the waves lapping at the shore, the reflection the sun, moon, clouds and trees dancing on the water’s surface. Smaller bodies of water such as a pond can generate sound by a fountain or from a water fall. So there is sight and sound, the other attraction is cooling off on a hot summer day or ice skating in the winter.Party on the pond

A Farm pond can provide water for live stock, fish for you and the family, recreation and your own private oasis to  relax and loose the stress.

The big deal with building a pond is how big to make the pond and what type.

It could be a water garden filled with plants, or a gold fish pond that could be dug by hand. Invite family, neighbors and friends, arm them with shovels and have a great work day or weekend depending on the size of pond. Now if you are looking for a large pond that will need the use of heavy equipment, there still are the requirements of help, picking up rocks for the pond edge, or waterfall. The opportunity to operate a dozer or backhoe to mold and shape the earth is a great experience.

Mom and baby ducks on the pond Health, mental and physical during the pond building using garden hand tools you’ll get a very good work out and a good night’s sleep. Okay maybe a little sore in the morning too. Operating a dozer or backhoe will also give a good work out, arms and legs operating control leavers, clutch and brakes. Getting on and off to take breaks and move rocks, and checking the grade. Mentally your are constantly think where the next load of dirt goes, how much more do you need to dig down and visioning how it will look when completed. Not to mention swimming and kayaking when the pond is done.

The big deal happens when the pond building is done. The grass is growing. Aquatic plants and fish have been placed. Fountains and or waterfalls are running, display lighting. It is time to relax. For larger ponds build a floating dock, kick off to the middle of the pond, during the day catch some rays and at night gaze at the stars. Floating on the dock is very good stress reliever; because you are in your own world no one can touch you there. The smaller back yard ponds bring out the lawn chairs kick back and relax. Plan the pond near a deck or build a deck next to the pond. With the water flowing over the waterfall or fountain you will soon be in your own paradise.

swimNow the biggest mistakes in pond building are

Plan your pond design carefully lay out the shape with a garden hose or rocks. Ask your friends and family what they think. Is it located as a focal point that can be viewed from the house? When you come home from work?

The first mistake is it’s never big enough. Once you have finished it is very difficult and expensive to increase the size.

Second is waiting too long and putting it off.

A Farm Pond will attract nature. The pond provides the way to bring many different creatures to the pond. Yes some are unwanted such as bugs but overall the birds, deer and other wildlife are very entertaining.

Showing you some of the features and benefits of building a Farm pond. That will enhance your property and life. Size and shapes are up to your imagination. Finding you what you need to know.




About the author: Darrell Rhoades is the founder of Whatpond.com. A one man business, works full time in tool & die. It all started when he built his own pond for the family. Ran into pond issues and started the research with pond suppliers and conferences for pond management. He writes about pond building and pond management and sells pond management supplies, aeration & fountains and Practical hands on experiences at Whatpond.com. . No physical store, but has items in stock.

26 comments… add one
  • Scott Crawley Nov 15, 2009 @ 14:55

    Hello there, I would like to shake your hand this is a very well thought out and planned blog.

    People can see and read that planning is very important not only to building a pond but internet marketing to.

    Keep the good info coming.

    Thank you Scott Crawley
    EMarekting Connections

  • whatpond Nov 16, 2009 @ 3:10

    Hey Scott, Thank you for your keen eye and compliments.
    This has been a long time building and a lot of work and more to come.
    Thanks again for the hand shake!

  • Wade Hilton Nov 30, 2009 @ 10:04

    Hi Darrell: I just want to tell you that you’re doing a great job. Keep up the good work. A lot of things you stand for (hope, motivation, planning, desire, harmony, love, faith, enthusiasm, etc.) are in my books.

  • whatpond Dec 12, 2009 @ 14:25

    Hi Wade,
    Thanks for the compliment and sharing your thoughts 😉

  • STRONG WOMEN Dec 15, 2009 @ 11:53


  • Cary Martin Dec 16, 2009 @ 7:07

    Darrell, the site is really coming along. I can’t wait until you and I can sit down for the interview on aeration and floating water features. Give me an email Jan 5th to schedule this. If I don’t pencil it in, it becomes a “back burner” item and I don’t want that to happen. With winter on us now, I’m sure you will be infront of the computer a lot to write articles. Let me know if you need some input there too. Have a great Holiday Season with your family…all the best, Cary

  • whatpond Dec 22, 2009 @ 2:30

    Strong Women, Thank You for Your support and excitement about ponds.
    After building my first pond I found they have so much more to offer than just being a hole in the ground with water.
    The pond has become our very own private Oasis and a magical stress reliever. Not too sure how we lived with out it
    but know if we ever moved the new property will need to have the requirements for a pond.

  • Gerardine Jan 14, 2010 @ 11:48

    I have a neighbor who dug (he broke though the Aquifer) his pond next to the drainage tiles, and now the water level is even higher on my property, why did this happen? Just wondering..

  • Darrell Rhoades Jan 17, 2010 @ 15:05

    Hey Gerardine,
    That is unfortunate unless the water level helps you. There are under ground streams that flow freely some may work as a spring or small seep that can help to fill a pond but when they dry up it will work backwards draining the pond. Still digging into one these streams and blocking the natural flow the flow can be pushed back to it’s origin and will try to find a new direction to flow. There are also times where ponds have been built to close to houses and end up flooding the pond owners basement. So the easiest way to think about this is to plug up the downspout of your rain gutter… Where does the water go?

  • Evelyn Vincent Jan 31, 2010 @ 19:14

    Wow, what a terrific article on ponds! Having been a landscape designer for years I really appreciate the practical and thorough information you’re sharing here with others. Good job, I’m very impressed!

  • Darrell Rhoades Feb 2, 2010 @ 19:26

    Hey Evelyn, thank you for the comment.
    I appreciate it and coming from a landscape designer and goes to show how much of an impact ponds can have on folks.
    Always excited to see spring come and get back to the pond way of life.

  • LaurieB Mar 19, 2010 @ 17:33

    Thank You! You have opened my eyes to so many aspects of building, owning, and maintaining a beautiful covenant, not onlys for my family, but for wildlife as well.

  • Darrell Rhoades Mar 20, 2010 @ 5:33

    Hey LaurieB,
    You a very welcome. After building WhatPond it has just been amazing as a private Oasis not only for family, friends and recreation.
    And like you said, the wildlife that the pond attracts can be entertaining and a new source for their needs as well. Deer, frog’s, bird’s and many other smaller creatures enjoy and use the pond, even seen a couple Walking Sticks, pretty neat… Add game fish, maybe some Koi and have fun for all ages.

  • jeff Mar 21, 2010 @ 20:09

    You’re enthusisam is infectious. Thanks for such a wonderful and informative site !

  • Jim Austin Apr 3, 2010 @ 4:59

    I am in the process of building our retirement log cabin up in the woods of western N.C. My cabin will be located on the side of a valley facing a small creek at the bottom. There I plan on building a small 1/3 acre pond with a small island in the middle. Can’t wait! This site is great and will help.

  • Darrell Rhoades Apr 4, 2010 @ 4:57

    Hey Jim,

    Wow that does sound like a picture perfect paradise. All my best with your retirement and the building process.
    Feel free to sign up for the “Definitive Guide” for more pond ideas and resources. And shoot me an email if you have any questions.
    Make it a GREAT day!

  • Laurie Apr 5, 2010 @ 10:44

    I had the honor of being able to attend your workshop and I think it was a very useful informational and demonstration on the importance of aeration to your pond and/or lakes. My question.. (had I thought of it) is with this type of aeration also a “filtration”? Like I stated, I have an ornamental pond and I use a product similar to straight aeration, but it also has a filter within it. I understand that it does not compare to a pond in a 1 acre + degree, but if I am planning on putting a bowl type of fountain in and was wondering if I need a separate filter along with an aeration system? Thank You

  • Gary Apr 7, 2010 @ 16:39

    I have a camp in northern Pa. and we have about an 1/2 acre pond (or did ). We purchased it about two years ago and the damn end of the pond failed due to improper overflow pipe and lack of emergency spillway. I am bringing in triaxle loads of clay but would like some suggestions on how or what is the best design and easiest outflow pipe installation.ABS pipe or smooth pipe? 6,8,10,12 inch? anti-seep collars?
    Any help?
    Thanks so much,

  • Roy Carrillo Apr 26, 2010 @ 4:05

    Thanks for your response.Meeting with Operator this coming wknd.(5-1-10)….I believe he’s using a D4 because of the narrow trails leading back to the pond site.My neighbors from down there tell me,if we hit bed rock that we have to follow it out to the edge,then dig deeper.They say if we disturb it the pond will never hold water.So depth is still undetermined.Is it a fact that the deeper we dig the better for water quality and stability?I’D LIKE TO HIT AT LEAST 20 FT.

  • David May 11, 2010 @ 17:56

    Last year, I decided to start the paperwork flow for constructing a farm pond. First, get the Corp of Engineers to take a look and find out what paperwork needed. I wanted to build in a wetland area. Well, had to get permission from Corp of Engineers, State of Virginia Enviornmental Divsion. After seven months, I got permission to a Wetland Dug Pond. That’s means the Corp did not give me permission to construct an earthem dam pond but just a dug pond; a hole so to speak. A 2.5 acre hole. I could dig but not to build a earth dam. Now, I’m clearing the land; removing the trees. Will get a excavation contractor to dig with a hugh track hoe equipment and maybe a bull dozer. Have not had a contractor give me the cost. But, the stumps from the trees would have to be removed during the excavation. I will dig up to 8 feet. Read that a good farm pond should be no deeper than 8 feet.
    Presently, cutting down trees. Will see how it goes with numerous contractors contacted to bid on construction.???? Will let you know the outcome.

  • melissa Aug 12, 2010 @ 15:24

    How long does it usualy take for the pond to clear up once its full?

  • Keala Aug 17, 2010 @ 19:45

    My husband and I just bought our first house…hopefully our last. We are looking into builing a pond maybe 3/4 and acre or so, just for swimming and letting our 2 yr old have lots of fun. We are just entering the process and it already feels overwelming. So many people are giving us advice on how to begin and what we need. Can you give me any good advise on where to begin and what is most important. Thanks ~Keala~

  • Tom Yurkovic Oct 5, 2010 @ 22:06

    My test hole has lots of sticky sand. It packs well but I’m worried about the sand content.

  • nikson tapomwa Mar 27, 2011 @ 1:54

    tnx Darrell i realise what great an opportunity nature has in store for us especially in the sight of how natural wetlands are disapearing. it not only offers recreation to us but conserves desperate fauna that depends on the existence of these water bodies.

    keep it up

  • Darrell Rhoades Mar 27, 2011 @ 4:20

    New and and more wildlife also show up at the ponds. From frog’s, toads and birds to deer and turkey.
    Always fun to sit back relax and watch what happens. Thank you as well for showing support.

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