Don’t Dig Just Yet
Prior to constructing a pond, the choice of location is critical as this is a one-time decision that cannot, with any minimal effort, be undone. There are many factors to consider when selecting the location for your pond such as light, the availability of necessary items for pond construction, locations of buried items like power/gas lines, and sprinkler pipe. Despite all of these things, however, the key is a location that aesthetically fits into the landscaping of an area.
Locate Potential Hazards
First and foremost it is critical to discover exactly where any power, gas or sprinkler lines are located. Most, if not all, local power and gas companies offer a free locator service to avoid having to repair a damaged line. Usually, the service will mark the soil in a specified area for potential buried lines or pipes if any at all. Obviously, depending on the way your sprinkler system is set up, there may be a bit of detection work you will have to do on your own. After the location(s) have been cleared to dig there are a few other items to take into consideration.
One important item to consider is pond interaction. What this means is choosing a good location where it is possible to interact with the pond you will work and plan so hard to build. If the location is in a remote out of the way place, it is probable it will often be overlooked as ponds do require a fair amount of routine maintenance. Also, it is difficult to see and enjoy a water feature that is a great distance away! In short, choose a location that can be not only monitored but enjoyed as well!
Another important thing for ponds that will contain plants is sun exposure! Most of the usual pond plants do need a good amount of sun. The lack of sunlight is a big problem as it greatly limits the types and varieties of plants that can be added to a water garden type pond. Pond lilies, a favorite in most water gardens do require at least 6 hours of sunlight to bloom properly! Also, all trees at some point shed! When high levels of organic debris accumulate in a closed body of water there are potential problems for fish and overall pond balance. Evergreen needles, for example, are very acidic by nature and can quickly and easily change the ph balance of a pond. The bottom line is that if a water garden type pond or a pond with fish is what you want to build, extremely shady locations are probably not the best location to choose.
Proximity to Power Source
Lastly, once the location seems to meet these sorts of criteria well, there are a few items that will enhance the area that is best if done prior to construction. We highly recommend that a power source is very close to the pond. If the location is a distance away from any previously installed source, we recommend that a GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) power source be run to the pond.
Leaving extension cords either above ground or buried underground is a poor way to power a pond, which should run year round! More often than not, multiple power sources become necessary as one or two outlets are simply not enough. Running a line to the pond that contains 4 or more outlets will provide safe and adequate power to run most normal sized ponds (between 100 and 2,000 gallons in size). Having multiple outlets provides opportunities for expansions like pond lights, extra pumps for water features and ultraviolet light sterilizers.
A Water Source
The other helpful thing to do is to make sure there is a water source readily available. During the warmer months of the year, water is lost as it evaporates. Water can easily be added back into the pond by a hose, but it must be available to do so. Some ponds contain a system that uses a float to constantly refill the pond as the water dissipates. In either of these circumstances, it is good to plan for these things prior to pond construction.
When choosing the location for a pond the bottom line is this; all of us have a given space to work with, the location of your pond must fit into those confines in a way that will make owning a pond well worth the effort. There are a few, minor items that must be considered once the desired location is discovered, however, they are secondary to the lasting aesthetic enjoyment one will receive by undertaking a project of this magnitude.