5 Questions You Need to Answer Before Building a Pond or Lake

Before you take on the adventure of building a pond or lake, there are 5 basic questions you should explore. In 60 years of sealing ponds and lakes, we have asked these questions on every project. Before you begin your pond or lake project, get a jump start by answering these questions. What you find out may help you decide how best to proceed.

  1. Why are you building your pond? Do you want a fishing pond? A water ski lake? An irrigation lake? A city park pond? A wastewater lagoon? You get the idea. The answer to this may influence the answers to the next 4 questions.
  2. What is the soil type? Is it clay, sand, organic silt, or some combination of these? This may also vary at different levels. For example, your pond may have a foot or two of topsoil (silty/organic soil, but may also include clay or sand). Below this there may be 5 feet of clay based soil, then it may turn to sand and gravel. For a lake to hold water, it is best to use more clay and less sand.
  3. How deep will the pond be? 10-12 feet is common, again depending on end use. This will be deep enough to help control algae in the summer, and may help with maintaining a healthy fish population year round. Overall size and depth require you to consider slope angles, shoreline treatments, etc. Depth and slope angles will affect the construction process, the safety of the pond for those walking by, and the ability to seal it so it holds water.
  4. Is there groundwater? When determining the depth of the pond, it is always best to avoid groundwater. DO NOT rely on groundwater to fill the pond. If you do, the fluctuating groundwater table will always dictate the pond level. If you have groundwater at 15 feet, then make your pond 10 feet deep. If you do have groundwater closer to the surface, there are ways to dewater. If groundwater is present be sure to address this before digging.
  5. What is the water source? Will this pond be filled with run-off after a rain? If so, how many acres of run-off will feed the pond? It would be better to have a way to fill the pond that you can control such as a well, or pumping from a nearby river (if local authorities allow). Even if the pond is sealed there will be evaporation, especially on windy summer days, so having a source of water to keep it full is a good idea.

Armed with the answers to these questions and your decision to proceed, feel free to contact Seepage Control, Inc (www.seepagecontrol.com) at 1.800.214.9640, or send us an email at info@seepagecontrol.com.

Seepage Control, Inc.
115 S. Weber Dr. Ste 2
Chandler, AZ 85226