Ponds can add a lot of aesthetic appeal to your property. Many people love being able to sit outside and admire their ponds.
Are you thinking of adding a pond to your property sometime soon? There are a number of options to consider such as putting an artificial pond on the property.
Some people also excavate the land to put in a natural pond. You might be curious how you’re supposed to make a pond hold water, though.
What happens when the pond doesn’t hold water? Is there a trick to getting this to work?
Continue reading to learn more. Once you have a full understanding of this topic you can proceed with confidence.
How to Make a Pond Hold Water Naturally
It can be difficult to get a pond to hold water naturally. Creating a natural pond without some type of plastic liner is tougher than just buying an artificial pond.
That doesn’t mean that it can’t be done, though. There are some things that you can try that will make a difference.
One of the biggest reasons why the pond won’t hold water is evaporation. The water simply evaporates and there’s nothing there to keep it from disappearing over time.
Water is going to evaporate over time, but it should be replenished when it rains. You can help the pond to do a better job of holding water by putting certain plants in the pond.
Plants such as water lilies with big lily pads do a great job of reducing water loss from evaporation. This can make a difference in your pond so it’s wise to use water lilies to your advantage.
Ideally, the lily pads should cover most of the water’s surface. Generally, you’re meant to have the lily pads cover around 70% of the water’s surface, but it shouldn’t exceed this number.
You can also use a pond liner of some sort to help the pond hold water. Granted, this isn’t going to be something you’ll want to do for most “natural” ponds.
Even so, many people create ponds using some type of concrete liner. You don’t have to go with a plastic liner if you’d prefer to avoid using plastic.
Seal the Pond Bottom
Sealing the pond bottom is an option when you’re looking to prevent water loss in the pond. For large ponds, this is going to be an ideal solution.
To seal a natural pond, you’re going to line it with bentonite clay. This is a common material that is used to seal ponds.
You can find this material being sold at various stores that sell pond equipment, but it might be easier to order it online depending on where you’re located.
To seal the pond with bentonite clay it’s best to do it during the construction phase. You’ll apply the bentonite clay to the bottom of the pond and cover every section.
You apply bentonite clay to the surface and then put a soil layer on top. You want the bentonite clay to be placed between two layers of soil.
This method works fantastically well to seal natural ponds. You should be able to enjoy the pond without having to worry about it losing water so much now.
It’s still wise to use plants to help keep evaporation issues in check, though. So it’ll be beneficial to get some water lilies to cover the surface of the water.
Why Won’t My Pond Hold Water?
Ponds might not hold water if they don’t have plants covering the surface. Without the water lily pads covering the surface, evaporation issues will be too problematic.
You’ll lose water faster than it can be replenished naturally. The pond could also lose water due to the soil at the bottom being too porous.
Water could be seeping deeper into the ground and the natural pond that you constructed won’t be able to hold the water. This is the situation that would cause you to want to seal the pond using bentonite clay.
Of course, there are many reasons why artificial ponds might not hold water well. It could be that the pond liner is cracked or has some other type of flaw.
Inspect the pond liner to see if something is amiss. You might be able to repair a cracked pond liner, but often it’ll be better to simply buy a new liner.
Plastic pond liners aren’t all that expensive, after all. You could also choose to go with concrete instead of using a plastic pond liner.
Should You Buy an Artificial Pond?
Is buying an artificial pond a good idea? Well, for many people this is going to be far more practical than constructing a natural pond.
A natural pond will require excavation of some sort. This is pricier and requires more effort than installing an artificial pond.
Artificial ponds can be made to look very nice. You can buy a pond liner that is made of plastic or rubber.
The pond can be dressed up with various aquatic plants and you can make it look very natural overall. Many people love the aesthetic of artificial ponds that have been made to look as natural as possible.
There are many reasons why artificial ponds might be a better way to go. It’s easier to keep the pond from losing water without going to much effort.
You just need to use plants and make sure that you use a high-quality liner. It’s also important to do regular maintenance and keep the pond in good shape.
This is a good way to save yourself some money while still being able to enjoy having a pond on your property. It’s up to you to decide which route you’d like to take, though.
Having a better understanding of what causes ponds to lose water will help you. Now you know that natural ponds often lose water due to evaporation.
The water is going to evaporate faster than it can be replenished with rainwater sometimes. This occurs most often when you’re not using aquatic plants to cover the surface of the water.
You can mitigate evaporation issues by using lily pads to cover the pond’s surface. Buying water lilies will add to the visual appeal of the pond while also helping you to retain water.
It’s also possible that the soil could be the cause. Losing water through the soil might occur when the soil is too porous or for other reasons.
This can be solved by lining the pond with bentonite clay. You use the clay to line the surface and then apply a layer of soil on top of the clay.
It’s best to do this during the construction phase to get the best results. Even so, it’s good to know that you can seal the pond properly.
Buying an artificial pond is also an option. Many people use liners to make artificial ponds that can then be altered and made to look more natural.
If you’re on a budget it’s likely better to go with an artificial pond. Creating your own natural pond might be a pricey endeavor.
Now that you know what your options are it’s up to you to decide how to proceed. You can install a pond on your property and get good results so long as you approach things the right way.
Ben has a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering. When not constructing or remodeling X-Ray Rooms, Cardiovascular Labs, and Pharmacies, you can find him at home with wife and two daughters. Outside of family, He loves grilling and barbequing on his Big Green Egg and Blackstone Griddle, as well as working on projects around the house.
If you want more backyard tips including recipes, how-tos and more, make sure you subscribe to my youtube channel