How to Build a Clay Pond

Written by russell wood
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How to Build a Clay Pond
Adding a clay pond to your property makes a unique water feature. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Whether you want to give your neighbourhood birds a place to bathe or want a spot to sit by to wile the day away, building a pond is a good way to do it. Although you can get a pool liner or a preformed pond kit, one natural way to go is to build a clay pond. This uses clay to create a base for the pond, keeping the water in place naturally. Building a clay pond can be tricky, but the result is a natural pond with all natural materials.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Rope
  • Tape measure
  • Shovel
  • Puddled clay
  • Tamper
  • Hose

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  1. 1

    Lay out the shape of the pond using rope. Guide the rope in a fluid motion so the resulting pond looks natural. Remove the turf from the area inside the rope using the shovel, then place the turf to the side.

  2. 2

    Dig out the pond using a shovel. Consider a few key features: a slow sloping area for birds and no section more than 30 inches deep.

  3. 3

    Apply the puddle clay to the bottom of the pond, building up a thick layer -- at least a few inches -- to prevent leaking.

  4. 4

    Compress the puddled clay using the tamper, stomping down with the tool to flatten and smooth out the clay and minimise leaks.

  5. 5

    Fill up the pond using water from the hose. Watch the pond for a few hours, then a few days, to make sure that the water level stays consistent. Add more puddled clay to the base if necessary, tamping down the clay with the tamper.

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