How to Build an Above Ground Pond

Updated April 17, 2017

Occasionally ponds must be built above ground. Either the location is under trees and digging would injure the tree, the pond is to be on concrete, so digging is impossible or the pond builder is a tenant and wants to take the pond along when moving. This is one way to build an above ground pond.

Figure out where you want the pond and mark it with a garden hose or spray paint. Then figure out how many breeze blocks you will need to make two courses around your shape. When you pile the blocks up on their sides, make sure they are piled like you would lay bricks -- offset and not with the ends lined up.

Put the blocks in place, then line the inside with roofing felt. The unlevel breeze blocks will be fixed later. If you have a sharp inside corner, stuff some folded up roofing felt in the corner and then cover it with more roofing felt.

Put your EPDM liner in, making sure it overlaps the top of blocks and hangs over all the way around.

Fill the pond with water now. Start layering the flat veneer rocks from the bottom up. Use larger rocks on the bottom until you get to the top of the liner. Now put row of rocks ON TOP of the liner all the way around the pond. Cantilever them over the water so all signs of liner are hidden. If there are low spots where the pond has all the water it can hold already but the liner still shows in another spot, put another layer of rocks on top of the first where the water is at the top of the water already. Now take the liner that is hanging down and put it up and over those rocks you just put on top of the breeze blocks. Cover them to about the middle of the rocks. If you have too much liner just fold it under. If you have way too much, cut some off, but still leave more than you think you need.

Continue with your layering up the sides. You should see about 1 or 2 feet of liner showing from where you covered that top layer of rocks on top of the breeze blocks. Here's how to cover it up. As you come to the last layer on the sides of the pond, make the last rock on top even with the top of the liner, then put a larger rock on top of both. Your liner is completely hidden.

Use no concrete in the breeze blocks or in the rock courses up the side. Use top soil occasionally to act like mortar to make the rock work easier. Later, use that soil to plant small plants in to soften the hard look of the rock wall.


Wear Gloves Have at least one helper


Be careful when lifting heavy rocks.

Things You'll Need

  • Breeze blocks
  • Roofing felt
  • Topsoil
  • Flat veneer rock, usually a Tennessee Fieldstone
  • 45 mil EPDM pond liner
  • 3500 gph pump
  • Assorted tubing and fittings.
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This writer has been at the writing craft for over 50 years from long before computers or even electric typewriters. Now retired from her day job she spends retirement hours writing for online sites.