Installing A Lily Pond, Page 3
Fine-tune the excavation
When you think you are done, tamp down the soil in the bottom of the pond and any tiers that you may have excavated. Next, put a board across the hole and measure down to the bottom to make sure that the bottom is relatively uniform.
The next step is to position a 2x4 (on edge) across the hole and place a level on it. Check in all directions to make sure that the perimeter of the hole is level. If the pond isn't level, use some of the dirt that you excavated earlier. It is important that the rim of the pond be level or the water will fill the pond unevenly.
When the rim of the pond is level and the bottom is flat, it is time to check the sides and bottom of the pond for roots that are sticking out and small rocks. Remember, roots *grow* so if you see any good-sized roots protruding, cut them back.
Next you have to install a pad for the liner. There are commercial pads available (some liners even have one attached) but if you don't want to spring for it, we've had good results with carpet. Some manufacturers recommend sand but it is difficult to get sand to stick to the walls of the pond. Newspaper or thinner cloth may be used but a low-nap indoor/outdoor carpet is what we use. Line the bottom and sides of the hole with the carpet. After you line the sides and bottom, make sure that you clean up any debris that has fallen from the sides of the pond.