The Resilience Hub & Portland Maine Permaculture Message Board › Pond lining advice appreciated

Pond lining advice appreciated

Elaine
user 3022592
Portland, ME
Post #: 41
Dear Friends,

With two young neighbors available now to dig the pond (and my going to the 2 week permaculture design course in Brooks May 25 - June 9), there's not much time for us to do a lot of research on lining our pond. It seems clear we'll need a liner.

Someone said that cement bottoms can crack (and they can be more expensive). Another said that heavy plastic liners can tear, though adding sand can add an extra precaution.

Most of all -- do any of you know good sources where we can buy a pond liner? Tomorrow I'll calculate the measurements using Charles' idea of making the pond kidney-shaped.

But in general, have any of you learned from experience or hearsay what we need to look out for? In other words, -- any advice?

I do plan to dig out the sections of the Mollison and Hemenway and maybe Bell books that describe the process. But this is all new territory for us!

Thanks in advance for any helpful suggestions!

Elaine
David S.
stereoview
Washington, ME
Post #: 32
Elaine,

Before you start your pond be sure to visit this link.

http://www.umaine.edu...­

David
A former member
Post #: 32
Hi Elaine,

I have a small pond. When I went to buy the liner I found it to be so expensive that I looked for a substitute and bought a very heavy duty tarp. This will be the third year and it has worked well for me. But I did look at the liners and it is my feeling that they would not rip as they seemed very heavy and sturdy.

One other thing, I regret digging my pool with a "step" around the edge. If I had it to do again I would make the sides straight down or perhaps a shelf in only one or two places.

I bought one water lily and it has not bloomed yet--perhaps this year. I waded out and pulled up a few tubers for the small white lily and it bloomed last year. I also got arrowhead (I think that's the name...) from the wild and it does well.

I put goldfish in the first year. A few died within weeks but the ones that survived made it through the first winter. Through an unfortunate accident I lost all but one last summer, but the remaining one made it through the second winter and is about 6 or 7 inches long now!

I will give a link for my pictures at Flickr. Sorry I do not know how to bring up only the pond ones, but you will see them in my collection. Looking at how far the trees are leafed out, it must have been taken at about this time last year. I have changed things a little this year so that the waterfall has a little more height. I am also very excited to have found a cowslip (marsh marigold). I'm from Minnesota and the creeks would all be filled with cowslips at this time of the year.

http://www.flickr.com...­
Elaine
user 3022592
Portland, ME
Post #: 42
Thank you so much both of you!

David,

I read the material on the website you gave me. Julia and Charles had told me we'd need to check with the city of Portland, so I have already telephoned the city and was given to speak with the folks in the enforcement of codes department to inquire about an "ornamental pond," (Julia's name for it.) We're choosing to fence it in anyway for safety purposes since there are children in the neighborhood. All told we have a green light to go with it.

And Mary,

-- thanks so much for sending the photos of your pond! It's lovely! And seeing it gave me encouragement to go ahead with the project.

I'm grateful to hear your comment about the steps too, and curious why the steps all around didn't work. I do like your idea of steps in one or two places.

In Graham Bell's book The Permaculture Garden p. there are a few slopes going down into the deeper part of the pond which is fed with a drain pipe. And on the Yeltons' handout at the 2 day permaculture course which I took last weekend I do see 3 steps which seem, in the one dimension, to be in one place only.

We will have the pond fed by a downspout (plus downspout extensions) from the adjoining house which is set up higher than our lot.

We need to think through and discuss further how to make the connection with the pond -- with a pipe that leads from downspout extension underground into the pond?

If the pond were closer to the downspout we could deliberately create a waterfall by placing rocks along the path from downspout to pond.

But we may just have to use a downspout extension instead since it's not terribly close to the pond to be.

I'm waiting to get an email answer from our organizers about our request for a second workparty. We've already got July 14 earmarked (and that'll be for sheetmulching our front lawn.) But now with pond and spiral in the works, we'd love to have a workparty at our home (62 Avalon Rd. in Portland) in June also -- either Sat June 16 or Sun June 17.

Thank you for any and all suggestions!

Elaine
A former member
Post #: 1
Hi Elaine!
Great workshop last weekend! I tried to catch your attention at the workshop to tell you what I do about pond safety but you were in deep discussion with someone and I didn't want to interrupt. I have a very small pond in my yard that I hand dug about 6 or 7 years ago. Since I'm on sand, it has one of those black liners. I bought it from a friend because she wanted a more heavy-duty one to use in her much larger pond. I don't know where she bought it but I'm thinking it was locally. I have never had a problem with it leaking and it seems pretty tough. I did put a shelf in around the edges of my pond which I intend to use for shallower plantings one of these days... I have two lilies that grow well ( when I remember to fertilize them) in about three feet of water. I sink them to the bottom to overwinter and then raise them during the growing season. I also add hyacynths and floating lettuce which my fish love. So far I have avoided introducing duckweed.
Since I have a preschool at my home, I cover my pond with a green shrimp net that I bought on the wharf in Portland. It satisfies my licensing requirements. I stretch it across and fasten the edges with tent stakes. It works very well and can take the weight of an adult. Of course they get their feet wet but that's fine by me... I have all kinds of wildlife visit: frogs, peepers, dragonflies. In the summer I add my two goldfish to keep misquitoes down. I was interested in hearing Julia's comment about misquitoes not breeding in large expanses of water.
I rushed home from the workshop and put in a small herb spiral...well actually, I waited until Monday to do it. I did it over grass sod so I kept my cardboard in place and added compost on top of it. Then I added my newspaper as we did with Julia.
My yard is not a permaculture design yet...I will be working on it this summer...but you are welcome to come take a peek at my pond if it would help!

Best,
Winnie
Elaine
user 3022592
Portland, ME
Post #: 43
Dear Winnie,

Thank you too for your very helpful advice! How interesting that you sink the pond plants during winter!

Yes, I would be interested in "taking a peek," especially if you don't live too far from our home. Why don't you email me your address by going through the Member link on this website. My name is listed early on in the growing list of new members since Francis and I joined the group last July.

Grateful,
Elaine
David S.
stereoview
Washington, ME
Post #: 33
Elaine,

Be advised that those friendly folks at the DEP turn into the biggest jerks you know if they find out you built a pond without their approval. The city of Portland can say what they want but in the end, the final paragraph of the link says it all.

The most important thing to do is to ask questions prior to construction. Seek advice. Don?t act and ask questions later. That is a sure way to get into trouble. The Maine DEP can provide you with advice and permitting if you apply and meet the criteria. If you choose not to apply, you could find yourself facing some substantial fines.

David
JB
user 4225261
Portland, ME
Post #: 1
David and Elaine,

The link David provided is most helpful. Thank you.

I have heard that a roof liner is as sturdy and cheaper than pond liners.

-JBW
Elaine
user 3022592
Portland, ME
Post #: 44
Thank you for pressing the point, David!

Not only will I call the DEP first thing in the morning, but if they delay responding I could even walk to their office in about 30 minutes! I came close to making the mistake of relying on the city instead!

Much obliged!

And JBW --

Thanks for the roof liner tip! I'll bring that up when I talk with Julia Yelton soon.

Welcome to our permaculture group too! -- as of today, I see!

Elaine
David S.
stereoview
Washington, ME
Post #: 34
I couple of people in my neighborhood including my next door neighbor have run afoul of DEP. One nearby neighbor had them come in and net every fish in their pond and then introduce biological agents to kill whatever was left then restock it with "approved fish". This was all over bluegill sunfish if you can believe that. Trucks, cops, equipment etc. etc. A world of shit! The DEP comes by and spys on them from the road with binoculars now and again I'm told.

It's not comfortable to "press a point" but having seen it first hand..........

David
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