The Pond :  Burden to Boon....

Fixing it up for it's new jobs: Energy - Irrigation -  Reflecting Pool - Solar Pond and Heated Plunge Pool 


Quick summary - work to date:  Patched a million holes.  Jetted out huge cracks between old and new walls and in the walls themselves, rodded latex modified mortar with fiberglass mesh into them.  Sounds good, eh?  Then when frost threatened got a  few cans of Expanding Foam for Koi Ponds and shot it into a huge leak in a pipe wall - which accepted about a cubic inch, yet, jetted out over 3 gpm, so sprayed the rest in a crack I roughly ripped the plants and grass out of, and used more as "mortar" to reset a 4 foot by 1 foot length of wall that had "popped" off.  No, don't expect it'll last, curious to see what it does do.


For more on the hows and why of this huge effort, see blurb bottom of page.


Detailed Photos: Click  here - A real DIY photo guide to pond rebuilding


Photo Blog: Click  here to return to photo blog

Top of the Pond

Retaining walls forming the pond 's rim.


As part of the pond rebuilding, there are the retaining walls around the top 3 feet.


Goal is to make the walls water tight, raise the “rim” height to be uniform all around, replace poorly built section, put in new wall with waterproof membrane along one side, surround with paved walkway to make maintenance access easier.


To accommodate the ground source heat pump pond loop I’m installing foam insulation, behind the new walls, and under the pavers ringing the pond – to keep the soil around the pond from acting as a thermal bridge draining heat from the spring waters in the winter / warming them in the summer.


To aid in cleaning and keeping silt out from misadventures “uphill” of us, I’ll stacking salvaged rock to used in a new wall at the back of the pond, where silt can settle out and be pumped onto the lawn with a trash pump.


I now have 1/2 of the damaged / cracked retaining walls sound and water tight, and a waterproof membrane with foam backing to provide support, between the "planting bed" of wild flowers and the pool.


Next on the hit parade will be a temporary tarp covering the water proof membrane and foam, sealing the seams and membrane to the walls, patching a leaking section of faulty wall, and a open joint in the drain line.


What has made pond rebuilding necessary?


Over the years, with the pond not frozen and earth around freezing, the walls started tilting inwards, along with falling apart from faulty construction here and there.  That opened joints, the pond leaked, the water level dropped exposing more and more concrete to freezing and deterioration in the winter, causing more leaking.......

Further "deterioration" was caused by three logging operations on the property up valley of us (see below for more on logging), ending up with a foot overall of quivering jelly like sludge in the bottom, which I had to cut into cubes like jello, and heave out one shovel full at a time, for 6 days!  Disgusted with the situation, I "stacked" that sludge up on the "wading decks" which freeze / thaw had destroyed already tossing some wild flowers on top and moving on to other property disasters.

Which were my starting conditions, most perimeter retaining walls leaning in, some dangerously, one side a mound of wild flowers and mint leaking mud back into the pond with every springs rain.

Logging: 400 acres that ALL drain right through our property (our property is a classic cone shaped outwash plain) finally drove me to give up cleaning the pond.  Believe it or not, then the EPA shows up and wanted to fine my family for having an algae polluted pond, with the logging trucks rolling on by.....   so, don't mention "responsible" logging around me, it's an oxymoron, much like that EPA agent who got a piece of our minds and was never seen or heard of again.

Energy - Irrigation -  Reflecting Pool - Solar Pond and Heated Plunge Pool 

Really?????      All that???         You bet!!




  1. GIANT heat sink / heat exchanger for a Ground Source Heat Pump and home of it's pond loop, and a pond loop is a lot less expensive to install than a ground loop 5 - 6 feet deep.
  2. The indirect pond loop, or closed pond loop, tomatoes - tomatos, two thousand feet of coiled tubing will, including spacers also be the “pedestals” to support the bottom of the…..
  3. Solar pond, that will collect even diffuse solar energy, creating a solar assisted, or solar boosted ground source heat pump, increasing the system COP.


Reflecting Pool:

The nearly 6 foot deep pool is a safety hazard, and a pain to clean.  A 4 – 6 inch deep reflecting pool, while still needing to be fenced, is a much smaller hazard (anyone can walk in and pull a toddler in trouble to safety), and it’s certainly easier to clean.


Heated Plunge Pool

Synergy with a capital SSSSS….

In the summer by dehumidifying, and occasionally air conditioning the house, heat will be dumped into the pool.  Running that already warmed water through the solar pond / reflecting pool could raise it to the 90’s easily.  I can leave one section of pond at full depth, dump the solar heated water into it, and voila, heated plunge pool!   Turn on the recalculating  / irrigation pump and it’s a GIANT Jacuzzi!



Have to admit, this might be stretching it.  Using drip irrigation, the bi-daily watering consumes only 200 gallons over two hours, hardly a hiccup for the DWS, and the DWS is so clean the drip irrigation tubes and emitters will never get clogged.  Never again those days I spent as a kid going along the tubing, cleaning out holes, poking in new ones.