Q&A: What should I do with the so called small pond that forms in my backyard when it rains and snows?

| July 12, 2013 | 4 Comments

Question by shadowmonkeyblue: What should I do with the so called small pond that forms in my backyard when it rains and snows?
We just bought a new home and when it rains the water sits in a dip around my backyard.I thought about building a rock garden and let the water drain to it and the garden would soak up the moisture.Any ideas

Best answer:

Answer by Kartmen129
Fill it in or add fish

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  1. Steve D says:

    Well the water has got to go somewhere. You can fill it in but you have to take care because it will go somewhere else. Hopefully not in your house or basement if you have on. You can put in a drain like a friend did but it kept getting blocked up. Sand, gravel then rocks would be my choice. Just put down a good weed barrier. You won’t be able to plant cactus too wet. With the rock garden the water will still go there it just wont’ be as much trouble and you won’t have to worry about where it will go like if you filled it in.

  2. Small Business Owner in TX says:

    If you just bought it new, the builder will probably correct the drainage at no cost to you. If you’re in an incorporated area like a city or town, the government inspector will probably help you get it brought up to code by the builder. Standing water attracts snakes, mice, mosquitos and other vermin. Easy fix is pour a bucket of sand in the middle and spread it around. Depending on the depth and diameter, you might need a skip loader or at least a wheelbarrow to do it. My warranty says that if water stands 1/8 inch deep 24 hours after the rain stops, I’ll correct it. It must be 1/4 inch deep in drainage swales before I’m willing to adjust the drainage, though. Check your written builder warranty.

  3. carl r says:

    The home building answerer has some valid points. A new home has to have positive drainage, defined by some parameter like he mentioned in his post. In AZ, we have a governmental agency, the Registrar of Contractors, who has their similar parameters. Plus they have enforcement criteria.

    However, once you start landscaping, you may well lose some / all of your rights. Here’s an example:

    There was a volume builder who was notorious for poor drainage schemes. Their contract made you start landscaping within a month of closing. We can go months without rain here. Since I am a pool and landscape contractor, once I break ground, I ‘own’ it. You can’t prove what was there or not once you’ve modified it.

    That being said, there are many drainage methods available and whatever you do should take into consideration not only your ‘pond’, but the whole yard and whatever amenities you may plan for in the future. For example, if you find this situation gives you rights and the builder remediates it, try and take into consideration things your neighbors have that you (or the next owner) may want – patio extensions, pools, etc, so you have some wiggle room.

    If it’s all on you at this point, the same ‘big picture’ mindset will potentially help you develop your yard without creating your own situations that are far better (cost and result-wise) being prevented than cured.

    Since something like this is so site / soil condition / current / future / budget related, even if you get the builder to do the minimum, it may not serve your actual needs. You may need to retain the services of a competent drainage person – usually a landscape contractor who does NOT specialize in being the low bid – and discuss it. May even cost you a few bucks up front to design something which will handle your current and future plans. And let’s not confuse this with a ‘landscape design’, which may contain some of this info, but is most often ‘happy lines on paper’ with a disclaimer about ‘verification of field measurements’ of other Teflon-oriented phraseology. Often, tricky drainage is a specialty field.

    I’ve been offering this service for 25 +/- years and I’ve never met a yard I couldn’t drain (with enough cubic dollars) – either in the planning stages, already landscaped with 5-6 ‘ponds’ like yours already in place or anything in between.

    Good Luck!

  4. pondlady says:

    You can install a bog garden. Here’s how:
    http://www.pondlady.com/Articles/bog_garden.html

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