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Pond hole keeps filling up with water

I've started digging a pond on heavy clay soil and have now dug down to 2 foot at the deepest. The problem is it keeps filling up with water which then won't drain away. I emptied 20 litres last night and 20 more today.

We've had heavy rain but obviously the water's much deeper than that. It''s on a slop of about half a foot - do you think the water is coming down from the surrounding area?

My Mum thinks I've reached the water table but it didn't fill with water as I was digging.

I'm worried about how I'm going to line it when it's so wet and whether the water will then build up under the liner? Any advice appreciated please.


  • pansyfacepansyface Posts: 22,741

    Old ponds didn't have liners. They were lined with clay that cattle trod down to harden and compact it. As you have found, clay makes good ponds.image

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
    If you live in Derbyshire, as I do.

  • Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • Thanks. Have read the site but am not sure using clay alone will work. My soil cracks a lot when dry and the water the pond's filling with is muddy.  I'd potentially like to keep fish so wondered if I need to consider drainage options with a liner?

  • pansyfacepansyface Posts: 22,741

    The mud will settle. It won't get dry if you keep it topped up. Or if you empty it, put the liner in and refill it with rainwater then the water that is bound up in the clay won't reappear because the pressure on both sides of the liner will be equal.image

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
    If you live in Derbyshire, as I do.
  • My pond doesn't have a liner and has been fine for over thirty years! It's also much bigger than most and is formed by an earth and rock dam across a little valley. Only problem is the ducks, who have dabbled away the edges, so we are having to reinforce with more stone.

    And they did once manage to break through to the underground sough, so the entire pond emptied over nightimage Luckily it cured itself and filled up again slowly over several days!

    Tried to post a photo but my connection is rubbish today (as often!) and won't let me!

  • Thank you - that sounds reassuring. Was getting worried after all the hard work of digging I was just going to end up with a flooded mess! image

  • pansyfacepansyface Posts: 22,741

    I've been thinking about your pond. Two foot deep at the deepest is really too shallow for a fish pond. In warm, sunny weather the water will heat up a lot and will become deoxygenated very quickly. Any fish in the pond will suffer and possibly die. By all means have a shallow pond but don't put fish into it. A shallow pond is ideal for amphibians and as a drinking spot for birds and other animals. Fish aren't necessary. If you really want to keep fish in it, keep digging until an area of at least three feet by two is at least three feet deep and the rest is appropriately marked out in levels leading down to that.

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
    If you live in Derbyshire, as I do.
  • GWRSGWRS Posts: 8,410

    You have found a natural spring have you ?image

  • Haven't finished digging yet but will keep your advice in mind, thanks, pansyface. Want to encourage wildlife, not kill fish. image

    Am sure it's not a spring filling hole as water didn't appear at first.  Think there must be a lot of water running off surrounding area.

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