Garden ponds contribute to a soothing and relaxing environment in your yard. They can also help cool down the immediate area surrounding them on hot summer days. The sound of trickling water from a waterfall or fountain may help counter the normal day-to-day noise from the surrounding neighborhood.
To keep the water inside the pond without it draining into the ground a liner needs to be installed. Liners can be formed concrete, flexible sheets of PVC made for ponds or preformed pond liners that are sold in many gardening stores. What works best depends on the size and budget of your pond. For small ponds a preformed fiberglass or plastic liner might be sufficient, but it is the least adaptable. Flexible PVC liners work well for larger ponds that you want to construct yourself. Concrete can get expensive and might only be feasible to have a professional install it.
Water test kits are essential for determining the water quality. This is specifically important if you plan to have fish in the pond. A good test kit will have tests for pH, hardness, ammonia and nitrate levels. These are usually available at any gardening store that sells pond supplies.
Water Treatment Chemicals
Most cities add chlorine or chloramine to the water supply. Before you add fish or plants to a pond, these need to be removed from the water. Most dechlorination chemicals sold have instructions on the side of the bottle for dosages. Obtain your local water report from the utility company to determine the levels of chlorine and chloramine added to your water supply and adjust the amount of chemicals to neutralize it according to the manufacturers directions.
Water pumps circulate the water in the pond and prevent it from becoming stagnate. They can also power water features such as fountains or waterfalls that will help oxygenate the water.
A filter keeps large particles from entering the plumbing in your pond and clogging it up. They can also remove large chunks of debris from the water like floating leaves that might fall in from nearby trees. Biological filters are needed on ponds with fish to help neutralize fish waste, converting it into a less toxic form.
Plants are very beneficial to ponds. They help add oxygen to the water, shade the surface preventing hot spots and remove built up nutrients in the water as a result of fish waste and dissolved organic matter. They also add a natural aesthetic feel to the pond and help blend it in with the surrounding landscape.