Q&A: Garden pond without using waterproof lining?

| June 26, 2012 | 2 Comments

Question by Dave P: Garden pond without using waterproof lining?
I want to create a natural pond in my garden but I want it to be as natural as possible is there any way of making one without the plastic lining underneath?

Best answer:

Answer by pondlady
You can use bentonite ( a drilling mud clay) for a bottom. Unless you have clay naturally occurring already, you must add it or the ground won’t hold water.
Lined ponds can look totally natural: Have a look:
http://www.pondlady.com/portfolio/portfolio.html?PHPSESSID=7209c4fd266b31a75e36c7f5614efb46

These are all ponds lined with 40 mil butyl rubber liner.

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  1. Stephen says:

    How are you going to keep the water from leaching out? Even in a natural pond there is water loss, evaporation,an orifice that allows the water to slowly drain away. What these ponds have going for them is usually organic matter falling into them, building up over time, thus creating a natural liner.You would have to have almost solid rock or a potters clay lining, without about a foot of sand or pea gravel to hold most water, but rest assured you would be out there every day filling it back up with the garden hose. Do it right put a liner in it,they’re quite innocous and will keep your water where it belongs.

  2. Mathew W says:

    This will work if you have clay soil, and a creek to dam. Unless you have a constant source of running water moving in, it won’t work. A pond on heavy clay may lose 5% of it’s water to the soil every day; on a four foot by six foot pond, that would mean 50 gallons a day, 350 gallons a week.

    If you don have a creek to dam, you can create an awesome aquatic habitat. But hire a qualified engineer and contractor to do it- if your dam breaks the flood could kill people downstream.

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