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Building a Pond Part 2 – Getting the Water Flowing

6. Install the Underlayment and Liner

Clear the basin of any loose rock or debris.  Lay the protective geotextile underlayment. Starting at the bottom, conform the underlayment to the shelves.

Next, lay the fish-safe EPDM rubber pond liner. Start at the bottom and pulldown the liner to conform it to the pond shelves. Do your best to remove any large folds in the liner along the way.


     7. Hook Up the Skimmer

Pull back the liner and cut the underlayment to expose the face of the skimmer. Fold the liner back over the skimmer face leaving slack at the bottom and use your fingers to trace the opening of the skimmer (this will leave a light mark). Using the trace line as a guide, cut out a rectangular shape 1 ½ inches inside the mark.

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Position the skimmer faceplate and flip the liner over to stretch the liner firmly around the component. Use a thick bead of silicone over the screw insets before lining up the faceplate and attaching it to the skimmer.  Install the four corner screws first then the rest in any order you choose.

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     8. Rock In the Pond

Begin by placing boulders along the vertical walls of the pond floor. Use a variety of sizes and stack the rocks, much like building a stone retaining wall. If a boulder does not fit securely, adjust its position until it does or set it aside and find a different boulder that will lock in to place. Be sure that the tops of stacked boulders sit a couple inches higher than the liner to later retain the gravel on the shelves. Consider the waterfall while rocking the pond and be sure to use large stones to frame out the entry point to the pond

      9. Position Underwater Lights (if applicable)

Position a few underwater lights between the boulders and lock them into place with small boulders. Run the low voltage wire cable behind the rocks, but be sure wrap excess wire around the fixture for ease of bulb replacement once the pond is full.

Use a mixture of clear gravel to bury the low voltage wire and any exposed liner along the shelves and pond floor. The gravel can also be used to fill any voids between the rocks and provide extra stability to the pond walls.

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      10. Install the Pump

Assemble the check valve. Thread it onto the pump discharge. Place the media rack first, then lower the pump down into the skimmer. Connect the pump to the plumbing by hand threading the collar piece into the check valve.

An adjustable overflow fitting is provided and should be threaded into the opposite discharge outlet. Position the filter pad around the check valve and lock the skimmer basket into pace using the front tabs. Set the skimmer lid on top.

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11. Wash the Stones & Fill Pond

Use a garden hose to rinse the stones from top to bottom and a clean-out pump to remove the dirty water.

Once the pond has been rinsed down a few times and the dirty water pumped out, pull the clean-out pump and begin to fill the pond.

      12. Build the Waterfall

Set a spillway stone between the large framing rocks at the pond’s edge. Fold the liner back and prepare the waterfall area by excavating the soil just down below the top of the waterfall spillway stone. This will stop gravel from washing down due to the waterfall flow by providing a basin to hinder the strength of the flow.

Line up the filter opening with the liner and cut it accordingly. Use a thick bead of silicone over the screw insets and install the snout by lining it back up and tightening the screws. The top two screws should be lined up and installed fist, and then the rest in any order you choose.

Set the media rack at the bottom of the Biofalls, followed by the filter pads. Install the rock tray last and continue building the main waterfall.

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Black waterfall foam is used to fill the gabs and voids between the rocks and to keep water flowing visibly over the rocks. Allow the foam time to cure before molding it into place and disguising it with gravel. Continue to add rock and gravel throughout the waterfall area and use black waterfall foam wherever necessary. Use small cobbles to fill the rock track and cap it off with gravel to help it blend into the berm.


Now you are ready to move onto the final steps – Building a Pond Part 3 – Finishing Touches