// //

Saturday, November 18, 2017 - Welcome, guest user!

Two major pond projects completed!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012 by  
Filed under Daily Blog

May
1
2012

While I was letting my minor calf injury heal last week, I needed to do something physical to stay active. I decided to tackle two fairly major pond projects that I’ve been wanting to do, but have been putting off.

This is the skimmer I have in my pond. It's 17.5" x 24" x 22".

This is the skimmer I have in my pond. It's 17.5" x 24" x 22".

The first project was to lower the depth of the pond’s skimmer. Even though the skimmer was working fine at the depth I had originally installed it, it was a couple of inches higher than where I felt it would be optimal (both from a visual and performance perspective).

Lowering the skimmer in an established pond is, to put it mildly, a major pain in the butt. That’s why I’ve been putting the project off, I guess. The pond must be partially drained to below the level of the skimmer, and all the rocks, mulch, dirt, etc. for about 1/2 foot around the entire skimmer (all the way down to the skimmer’s base–about 2 feet down) must be removed. Also, the skimmer is physically attached to the pond liner; once the skimmer is loose in its hole it must be sort of rolled over so it’s floating upside down on the pond’s surface while the maintenance is performed.

Once the skimmer is out of the way, dirt is simply removed from the bottom of the hole. Wait, not so simple: water leaks into the hole from around the edges of the liner, which makes things a muddy mess. When the skimmer is reinstalled it must be perfectly level, and mud and water makes that… difficult.

So what’s worse than doing that project? Doing it twice.

Yep. Unfortunately it’s almost impossible to gauge the actual water level until the skimmer is reinstalled and the pond is refilled. After I filled the pond I realized that I lowered the skimmer about 1.5 inches too much; the pond water level was too low for my liking. I realized I was going to have to re-do the entire project and raise the skimmer.

So that the next day that’s what I did. This time I absolutely nailed the height, and now the skimmer is precisely where I want it. I’m very happy to have that done!

Conduit laid out along the shallow trench I dug along the edge of the patio.

Conduit laid out along the shallow trench I dug along the edge of the patio.

Another project I’ve been wanting to accomplish practically since the day I finished the pond construction is to install an automatic water filling system.

It’s so hot here in Florida that water evaporation from the pond often causes the water level to drop. During a typical week I’d have to run my garden hose over to the pond once or twice and manually add water.

Filling the pond was a pain, and I knew the solution was to install a permanent underground water supply line along with a float valve in the pond’s skimmer to automatically add water to the pond when needed.

The auto-fill project involved a few steps:

This is the section of trench that runs to the pond's skimmer.

This is the section of trench that runs to the pond's skimmer.

The first thing I did was dig a narrow and relatively shallow trench from the water source (one of the backyard hose bibs) over to the pond’s skimmer. This was a total of about 75 feet of trench.

Once the trench was ready, I measured out the conduit and cut it to size.

I then ran the water supply line through each section of conduit, joining the sections of conduit and the corner pieces as I worked my way over to the skimmer.

At the skimmer I used my hole saw to drill out a 7/8″ hole about 1″ above the water line. I installed the adjustable float valve in the drilled out hole, and then used a compression fitting to secure the water line to the float valve.

The way the float valve works is very simple: it floats on the surface of the water inside the skimmer, and when the water level drops the float drops with it, opening the valve and releasing water. This system keeps the pond at the perfect level constantly and with no manual intervention!

This 4-port manifold along with the timer automatically provides water to all the herbs, peppers and tomatoes. The pond water supply line is at far right. There is also a connection for the hose and a spare port.

This 4-port manifold along with the timer automatically provides water to all the herbs, peppers and tomatoes. The pond water supply line is at far right. There is also a connection for the hose and a spare port.

On the hose bib side I had to replace the “Y” adapter I was using with a full-fledged 4-port manifold. As you can see in the photograph, there’s a lot of stuff going on here:

– The timer on the far left automatically supplies all the herbs, tomatoes and peppers with water at pre-set intervals. I installed this automatic irrigation system in mid-March because all the potted herbs, peppers, tomatoes we grow require daily (and sometimes twice per day) irrigation. We have so many things growing now that watering everything was becoming very time-consuming. Now all of our edibles get the perfect amount of water automatically each day!

– The second port is a spare.

– The third port simply has a garden hose and a hydro-powered hose reel attached.

The final result after all projects complete. The skimmer is hidden by an amazingly realistic looking faux rock cover.

The final result after all projects complete. The skimmer is hidden by an amazingly realistic looking faux rock cover.

– The fourth port is the new water supply line that runs to the pond. No timer is required since the float in the pond mechanically activates the water flow.

So even though I was unable to mountain bike for a few days last week, I feel I made good use of the time by staying active doing other things. These two pond projects were things I’ve been meaning to do for a long time, and now that they are complete I feel really good about the results.

It’s going to be very nice to not have to monitor the water level of the pond (if the water level drops too low the pump will suck air and quickly burn out). Now I can spend more time enjoying my backyard oasis and less time working on it!

That is until I break ground on the pond expansion… 😉

John Stone Fitness Comments

3 Responses to “Two major pond projects completed!”
    • Thanks!

      The plain truth is I haven’t had the desire to devote the amount of time necessary to complete that project. That’s not to say the site is going to die on the vine, but spare blocks of time are increasingly rare these days, and so mustering the desire to do work during those brief respites is even more rare.

      GD Star Rating
      loading...
      • Ah, no worries. The sprinkling of landscaping-related blogs you do here are great. A whole other site devoted to it would just be out-of-this world awesome. 🙂

        GD Star Rating
        loading...

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...

You must be logged in to post a comment. Not yet a member? Registration is fast and free!