Once the pond liner has been installed its time for the fun part – filling it up with water. This is the final part of your basic pond build so do it right. Make sure you observe your pond regularly as it is filling so it develops into the design you want.
It was now time to fill the pond. I think any new pondkeeper feels a little bit of worry at this point - what if the pond springs a leak!!! All we can say is that here at pondkeeper we sell many thousands of pond liners every year and the failure rate is tiny. The pond liner that we installed was a Flexiliner 40yr Pond Liner 8x7m. despitr our knowledge that the liner would be fine this stage of the process really gets the heart beating!
Pond liners should now have been smoothed into their final position. The perimeter of the pond can be weighted down to ensure the shape doesn’t alter too much when the pond water is introduced. As ever, be careful with your liner, perhaps place any any spare underlay offcuts under these perimeter weights to ensure the liner doesn’t get damaged from these weights.
The pond can be simply filled from the tap. We used our garden hose to fill the pond. A good idea is to use a water meter to see exactly how much water is in your pond.
If you haven’t got a water meter then there are other methods you can use to discover your pond volume. Firstly there is the Time Method. This method involves recording the time it takes your flow to fill a receptacle such as a 10 litre bucket (eg, 60 seconds). Say your pond takes 2 Hours to fill then you simply divide 120mins/10 litre bucket fill time = 7200/60 = 120 buckets = 1200 litres.
A decent guide to pond volume can be made using the following formula:
Pond length x pond width x pond depth x 1000.
Our easy online pond calculator can be used here to work out your pond volume.
Our pond was approximately 4 x 3m x 1m deep so putting these figures into the equation we got:
4 x 3 x 1 = 12
12 x 1000 = 12,000 Litres.
But this figure would only be true for a completely squared side build with a perfectly level bottom. Depending on the size of your pond you could probably discard 25% of the total to cover any slopes and round edges. This figure reduces as the scale of your pond gets bigger as it is focussing on the perimeter of your pond – in a bigger construction the central body of water represents a larger proportion of the pond entirety.
After half an hour or so our pond was filling up nicely. It’s a good idea to keep your eyes open for any pond liner punctures or tears which will be revealed as the water hits the puncture level. Fortunately, as expected our pond liner continued to fill with no problems.
As your pond fills take the chance to re-align the pond liner when necessary. For instance an unsightly fold could start to develop – but by catching it early you can sometimes move the liner and keep it fixed in the new position by moving the perimeter weights.
After a couple of hours our pond was full to the top. It is only now you can see how accurate your original measurements were! Hopefully you will have a nicely level pond. Interestingly it is at this stage you can see where the shallowest part of the perimeter is as this area will overflow first. There is nothing to stop you ‘banking’ up the depth of this area to provide a few more inhes of water. Indeed – you can see the water spilling over at the bottom of this last picture. We subsequently beefed up the earth underneath this spot so the water overspill was pushed to the beach area where we intended it to be. Once you are happy you can switch off the water and move onto trimming the pond liner overlap.