FAQ about Installation

Frequently Asked Questions about Construction

For a Step-by Step article on Construction click here.

Q: What should I do with any excess soil from the excavation?
You will likely be left with more soil than you anticipated. You may be tempted to use this soil to create height for a waterfall. This is possible though it is advisable to compact the soil as it is placed (each layer) by tamping to avoid problems later as the soil settles naturally over time. If possible, it is always better to build a waterfall into an existing slope. It will be more stable and look more natural.
Better sues of the access soil include leveling areas of the lawn or landscaping, filling in low spots and/or animal holes, or creating new "raised" flower/ vegetable gardens or landscaped areas.
The bottom line is to plan for lots of excess soil, have a wheelbarrow or other mode of transport for placing it and remember to compact the soil by tamping if used in the pond construction.

Q: How can I determine the amount of leftover (excess) soil?
Figure out the approximate number of cubic feet of soil to be excavated. This formula is length x width x depth (in ft.)= # cubic feet. This amount (volume) will increase to double, triple, or even more once excavated. So simply take the cubic feet of soil to be excavated x 2 or 3 to determine an approximate amount of remaining soil. Remember this amount can vary based on the soil type and other factors so plan for a "high-side" estimate.

Q: Do I have to use underlayment?
It is always advisable to put a layer of something between the pond liner and the excavation to protect the liner from damage from rocks and roots under it. Lilypons recommends a layer of clean (masonry grade) sand around an inch deep to be placed on all horizontal areas of the excavation, such as the bottom (floor) and any "shelves", etc. Use a fabric-type material on all remaining vertical points (walls) of the excavation. we offer a geotextile fabric as pond liner underlayment but other materials, such as old carpet or padding, may be used as well. Some literature describes using layers of old newspapers or packing the sand onto the vertical walls. Neither of these options work well.

Q: How do you place the edging or waterfall rock?
This is the step that often seems the most challenging to first-time pond builders. It is certainly a bit physically challenging though probably not as difficult as first perceived. Start with carefully selecting rock by size and type. Choose types that look like natural rock native to your region. Rocks that are more flat than round tend to be easier to build with, but try to include various shapes for a more natural look. Avoid rocks with naturally sharp edges though as contact with the pond liner could spell trouble. Size selection is critical; Larger rocks create visual "drama" that lots of smaller rocks will not. It is best to choose rocks of varying sizes and shapes and be sure to include some larger ones as well as some large flat ones for stable edging points and/ or waterfall spillways. Keep in mind that large rocks will be physically challenging to put in place.
Once the rock is purchased and transported/ delivered to the site the first step is to remove it as much as is practical from the pallet (Normally rock are sold stacked/ secured on wooden pallets.) and spread them out so each one is visible. It can also be helpful to hose the racks off at this time since they can be very dirty/ dusty. Then simply place one rock at a time and try to stabilize each rock so any wobble is minimal. Remember when you stack to gain height to only leave the front edge of the bottom course visible. Always try to overlap the seams of the lower course as you build to create stability. There will always be some gaps and crevices so just try to minimalize them. Have some smaller pieces and/or some 1-3" round gravel ready for this purpose. Use some black expanding foam to put under rocks in the waterfall to create dams to divert flowing water over the rock instead of under it keeping it visible. Overall take your time to ensure each rock is stable, safely placed and visually pleasing.