Building a water feature for a friend

Discussion in 'Water Gardening' started by MountainGuardian, Sep 26, 2014.

  1. MountainGuardian

    MountainGuardian New Seed

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    A bit of a disappointing day yesterday, but at least we got a little bit done. The guy kind of in charge of this decided we needed to remove another dumptruck load of soil which took quite a while. We finally managed to get a couple good sized rocks in place, which look really good, to me anyway. We got little bit of rock in the bottom and the guy in charge petered out and wanted to go home.

    I guess he has no problem with me adding stone, and next week I should be able to go to town on getting the stonework done on this. I have never built anything like this in my life so I have no real expertise but from what I have learned so far it is pretty straight forward.

    One thing I would advise to anyone building a water feature, go with a company that does this regularly.... This woman went some little rinky dink local company and they fell through. She then hired a local guy to help her build it on their own and they did pretty well, but made some mistakes. She then hires this guy to take charge of everything because he has built 6 other ponds before, turn out they all failed within two years... I became involved because we are friends and I live just a few miles away, and my neighbor the one doing the excavating became involved because she needed someone to work a day or two at a time for hourly charge on the excavation.

    In the end I estimate this will cost her around 20k total for this pond, not actually too bad a price but man has there been a lot of headache...

    Pics as of yesterday....

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    I really liked how this rock turned out, the guy in charge may not be a real go getter but he does seem to be pretty creatively inclined.

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    We set the other large stone we had next, I was not quite as impressed with it, but it does what the owner wants, she wants it to hang out over the water and dogs or people can jump off into the water, should do well for that...

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    My starting photo yesterday....

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    These water features are some amazing things, the beauty of them is incredible. I cannot wait to see this one in operation.... Then build my own.... on a much smaller scale.....

    moderator's note: split this post into it's own topic
     
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  3. KK Ng

    KK Ng Hardy Maple

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    Wow!!! This is a huge project. Water features is always fascinating to me and I to would like to see this project when completed. Keep the progress pictures coming in ya!
     
  4. Frank

    Frank GardenStew Founder Staff Member Administrator

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    This is an interesting project MountainGuardian. I too would like to see its progress if you get the time to take photos. What machinery was needed so far?
     
  5. MountainGuardian

    MountainGuardian New Seed

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    We have had my neighbors track hoe and dump truck out there a few times now. His track hoe has a thumb on it so we are able to use that pick up large stones and move them. So far that is pretty much it for equipment.

    I will include pics as we go, we are going to sort through rip rap today at a local gravel quarry owned by a friend. Then tomorrow going next door to him to pick out some more large giant size rocks.
     
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  6. MountainGuardian

    MountainGuardian New Seed

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    Well we managed to get a little stone set yesterday. My kids had yesterday and today off from school so they got to help.

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    It doesn't look like much yet but I guess that will change with the addition of more stone. The kids and I will be hauling more stone tomorrow and then haul large stones down into the pond and setup for placing them on Monday. The guy who is in charge of placing the stone can only work three days next week so I will see if I can get as much stone down their as possible to make for quick placement. Hopefully we will have most of the pond stone in place by end of next week. We have to order in the pump and filter box now because we need that before we can finish the stone and we need it in place before we can raise the bottom side of the pond level. I guess we will be raising the back by about 18 inches to get a better water level.
     
  7. 2ofus

    2ofus Hardy Maple

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    That looks like a massive job! How large is the pond?
     
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  8. MountainGuardian

    MountainGuardian New Seed

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    The pond is about 26 feet in diameter, and the stream is about 35 to 40 feet from the falls to the pond. The entire feature will be around 950 to 1,050 square feet when finished. A pretty good sized project. It started out as a 16 ft diameter pond with a 25 ft stream and small falls, but the original contractor never fully finished it and what he did finish had major leaks and problems. She settled the $9,000 bill with them for $5,000 and then hired her part time yard worker to work on it. They greatly increased the size of it but had it set up wrong. She called and asked me to come over as friend and help out just before her yardworker left for college.

    After he left I became involved and she called up guy that she knew years ago that has put in several ponds and we went to work fixing what had been done wrong, which ended up in an even bigger pond. Things are finally working and I am hopeful that she will have her long awaited water feature this year. It has been a four year ordeal for her and she has had to basically take command and organize everything herself.

    I have learned a lot over the time that I have been involved with this, I have never seen such a thing before this but have become very fascinated through out this. I want to build a couple small rock and liner ponds below my large clay pond's dam. I want an upper and lower pond split with a rock and clay dam/rock bridge, one draining through the rock bridge/dam into the other. My ponds would be about 40 foot and 30 foot diameter but only around 3 feet deep.

    The overflow from clay pond beside the house should easily fill the two lower ponds in one spring with excess I imagine. The clay pond is 60 feet x 90 feet x 14 feet deep and catches the runoff from about 13 acres of my field, it fills to more than capacity every spring and then slowly leaks about 80 to 100 thousand gallons through the dam each summer which keeps the area below the dam wet and marshy all summer long. I want the ponds and the bridge to avoid the marsh area and to make it look better. I have four large clay ponds already and a 40 foot clay sewer pond, but I like the look of these stone and liner ponds a lot so a couple more ponds sure won't hurt anything.
     
  9. cherylad

    cherylad Countess of Cute-ification Plants Contributor

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    An amazing amount of work going into that pond. I couldn't imagine taking on such a project. Kudos to you have jumping in and helping out. I look forward to seeing the progress... and to see how you build your own ponds. In the meantime, can you show us some photos of your existing ponds?
     
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  10. MountainGuardian

    MountainGuardian New Seed

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    Wild ducks swimming in the sewer pond. I don't have a great many pond photos uploaded to photo bucket so not a great deal of choice in my pics at the moment.

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    A pic here of our largest pond, I cannot get all of it in one pic though, but this is about the best pic of that pond.

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    The pond beside our house, the one that I would like to build the two new ponds below.

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    The upper pond in the pasture...

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    Lower pond in the pasture.......

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    You can see the dam in this photo, I want to build the new ponds below this dam.

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    Below the dam is currently a hog pen, I built it there because the soil stays wet all summer long.

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    Well that is all I have time for at the moment...
     
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  11. cherylad

    cherylad Countess of Cute-ification Plants Contributor

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    Thanks for taking the time to post these. All I can say is WOW! such a beautiful place. Wonder why the ducks chose that pond instead of one of the clean ones?
    How many acres do you have?
     
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  12. MountainGuardian

    MountainGuardian New Seed

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    The ducks like that pond because it is full of cat tails which give them a good protected nesting area, not to mention mass quantities of food. The pond is full of frogs, turtles bugs algae and plants. When the chicks are big enough she leads them to our pond beside the house each day from there and then leads them back to the safety of the sewer pond each afternoon.

    We have forty acres here, about 13 acres of timber, 3 acres here around the house with the barns and pens and what not the rest is field which we use for pasture, it used to be used for hay, but the quality is not good enough for that at this point. We bought this place Feb 2012, after selling our much larger farm. We bought 200 acres in 2002 and I built roads, septic system outbuildings and moved a mobile home out there. We sold that place and bought this one, this is much smaller and I miss the 55 acres of timber, but this place has a well and all the ponds a nice house, numerous barns and shops, it was a good trade off.
     
  13. KK Ng

    KK Ng Hardy Maple

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    It is a beautiful piece of property and I love the ponds.
     
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  14. waretrop

    waretrop Strong Ash Plants Contributor

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    Seems like a paradise. Very nice. I think I could live with something like that. :D :D
     
  15. MountainGuardian

    MountainGuardian New Seed

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    I got going on setting rock in the pond pretty well these last couple days. Had to dig another 3 yards of soil out and move a bunch of rocks but things are beginning to take shape. I ran out of the large basalt stone today, we will hopefully have dump truck load delivered this weekend or by Monday the latest... hopefully...

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    I am learning quickly on stacking the stone up, a bit tricky to get it all tight and solid at first, but with a bit of practice it is going pretty well. I am stacking the large heavy basalt in tight and then fitting small stones in any pockets and then coming back and filling in any voids with the pea gravel. It is amazingly tight and sturdy, I would not have thought you could get loose rock that sturdy that easily. I am really looking forward now to doing my own ponds.
     
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  16. cherylad

    cherylad Countess of Cute-ification Plants Contributor

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    I'm totally enthralled and impressed.
     
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