Pond Construction – Challenges and Aesthetics

Published on November 1, 2012

9_pond_construction_final_2 *Wanted: a natural looking water garden for a suburban Philadelphia residence.*
**Pond Challenge**
• Sandwiched between Main House, Detached Garage and a Steep
Drop Off
• Focal Point of an Entryway, Outdoor Living Area, Indoor Living Area with Glass Wall and a Transition Zone
• Countless Contractors Needing the Same Space
• Limited Equipment Access

The client was an existing customer whose home was devastated by fire.

In order to re-build, the existing pond needed to be removed. The importance of the pond and sound of water was paramount to the client. There was never a question whether there would be a new pond, but rather how it would take shape and how it could integrate with the home. PondWorks worked with the client and the Landscape Architect to fully integrate their new water feature.

**The Site was a Challenge**
The pond needed to be sandwiched between the main house, a detached garage and a steep drop off. The site also needed to serve as an entryway, an outdoor living area and a transition zone. Just a little challening. The hilltop location afforded very limited access and with countless contractors jockeying for the same space and their turn to occupy it, the clients patiently waited for their new pond to even begin to take shape.

Once construction on the pond began it was a two-week process to build this approximately 15,000-gal pond. Since the pond could only be accessed from one side by a machine no wider than 8´ the sequencing was critical to excavate the pond, remove soil from the area and then allow boulders to be placed precisely even on the furthest edges of the project.

The pond has two bottom drains, six underwater jets, and one surface skimmer (fairly standard for a PondWorks installation like this), which are integrated into the rocks and boulders.

The rock selected for this project was fieldstone from North Eastern Pennsylvania and ranges from baseball size to approximately 4,000 lbs.

**Other Features**
The project includes a bubbling rock at the headwaters of a small stream and collecting pool, a 2´ high, 3´ wide waterfall that cascades into the main pond and a series of stepping-stones that cross the pond just adjacent to the waterfall. The stepping-stone pathway was critical to the project allowing the client easy direct access to an existing path. Without the stepping-stones the pond would have been a barrier between the house and other parts of the property.

Behind the scenes, keeping the pond healthy and clear is an external pump, UV sterilizer, Bio-mechanical filter, air pump and inline heater all housed in custom made sub grade equipment vaults.

**About the Author**
Brian Buchholtz, owner, started PondWorks in 1994. PondWorks’ full time staff of 10 dedicated and knowledgeable professionals currently designs, builds and maintains all types and sizes of water features in the greater Philadelphia area and beyond. PondWorks can be reached at 610-327-1423 or at www.pondworksonline.com.

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