I grew up in a small town on the eastern side of the Sierra Mountains. Even though it was high desert, there was lots of water. We even had a creek in our backyard. Fishing and the sound of running water are two of the best things I remember about my childhood. Hence, the need for “The Pond.” I wish the pond could look like this, but reality always hits you in the face, so I had to start out small with a half barrel pond. When I get the pond I want built, it will probably look something like this but without the fancy landscaping and woodwork.
A Backwoods Pond
If the pond is going to help bring the back woods to my backyard, it needs a few things. First, I need the sound of running water. It needs to be big enough to see from anywhere in the yard. I want it to attract wildlife. I need cattails growing in it. Finally, the pond needs to be big enough to keep some fish in. I’m not talking goldfish either – I want fish big enough to catch and eat. My half barrel pond isn’t going to cut it. We are talking about a back woods experience after all…
Designing the Pond
Based on what I want need in a backyard pond, the design is easy. I’ll need a high volume pump to circulate the water and give me that running water sound. It will have a shallow shelf around the rim for growing cattails and other wild water plants that I like. The size will be about 8 by 13 feet. That’s large enough to be noticed from anywhere in my backyard and (barely) small enough to not overwhelm the yard. Finally, the pond will need to be about 3 to 4 feet deep If I want fish. I spoke to a local water garden company and they said it’s definitely doable. To save money, I’ll dig the pond myself. After it’s dug, they will install a liner, filter, and pump, then I’ll finish it off with landscaping, plants, and fish.
A Surprise Bonus
Besides all the awesome things I talked about above, the pond will give me something else – an emergency water store. I like to be prepared for unexpected things (like city water stops working) but my wife doesn’t see the need to “waste money on stuff like that.” She about had a conniption fit when I wanted to get 30 one gallon water jugs to have in case of, you know, whatever. After all, if municipal water fails, we can always run to the store and get some then, right? Yep, us and 350,000 other people who also didn’t plan ahead. But… she’s really excited about the idea of a pond in our backyard.
Just some quick math. The pond will be sort of an oval, about 8 by 13 feet with an average depth of 2-1/2 feet. That works out to about 225 cubic feet of water. There are about 7.5 gallons in a cubic foot, so my pond will hold about 1600 gallons of emergency water. It will also support at least supplemental food sources – cattails and fish. If it is successful at attracting wildlife, that’s another food source. All of that and my wife doesn’t even realize I’m prepping. All she knows is we have a nice relaxing pond in our backyard. I call that a win-win.