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What type of soil is best for construction for an earth bottom pond? – Pond & Lake Q & A


Why type of soil is best for construction an earth bottom pond?

What type of soil is best for construction an earth bottom pond? Sarah – Charlotte, NC

Getting To the Bottom of Your Pond

If you are planning to dig an earth bottom pond in your yard this season, you may want to do a little leg work to find out what types of soil are found in your area before you break ground. You won’t need to go into specifics but your pond’s chances of success will depend on the dirt you dig up.

When digging your pond, it is common to pull up earth made of sand, silt or clay as well as many other components. If you built your home on land that was previously used for farming you would probably see a substantial layer of a fine, dark, nutrient rich soil. If you live in the southwest you may commonly find your property consists of mostly sand. It is important that you know the make up of your land because each type of dirt has its own unique characteristics and some hold water better than others. If you dig your pond in sand for example it will not be able to hold water. You really want to try to dig your pond in clay to ensure maximum water retention.

So how do you get the scoop on the local dirt? You can check with your city hall, or some local builders in your area, as they have at one point or another been involved with some type of digging in the area. If you can not find valid input or you want to double check for yourself, start digging in your yard. If you find that your yard consists of just about everything but clay, you have another option. Depending on the size of your pond you can purchase pond liner to hold the contents of your prospective pond. For smaller ponds you can purchase 45mil EPDM Liner. If you plan on digging a pond that 5,000 square feet and over then you are better suited with a 20mil PVC Liner which has a higher durability and comes in larger sections. If you’re in the market for a large pond liner it is best to call one of our pond techs to help give you an accurate estimate of the size you would need.

Pond Talk: Have you ever had trouble holding water in your pond?

Make your pond hold water with pond liner.

5 Responses

  1. You never answered the question “what’s the best type of soil for a pond?” Are all clays the same?

    • Hi Todd,

      As a general rule clay would be the best soil for a pond because it has the smallest particle size and will allow the least amount of water to seep through keeping it contained in your pond. Silt is generally a mixture of sand and clay and is moderatly good at holding water. Sand has the largest particle size leaving the most amount of space inbetween to allow water to escape. Ponds constructed from sand will generally have much more difficulty in holding any water. These types of ponds generally will need the assistance of a liner inorder to function properly. Since clay is the smallest particle size most clays should perform about the same because it will compact tightly together to hold in water.

  2. How can I make my kois breed.

    • Hi Ali,

      The best way to help them out is to create a good environment with plant coverage and good water quality. They will take care of the rest.

  3. You have answer the question most cities and county do have that information available.You have explained as well as anybody could in a short story.

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