How to Build a Clay Pond

Updated February 21, 2017

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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.

Things You'll Need

  • Rope
  • Tape measure
  • Shovel
  • Puddled clay
  • Tamper
  • Hose
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About the Author

Russell Wood is a writer and photographer who attended Arizona State University. He has been building custom cars and trucks since 1994, including several cover vehicles. In 2000 Wood started a career as a writer, and since then he has dedicated his business to writing and photographing cars and trucks, as well as helping people learn more about how vehicles work.