Monday, June 16, 2008

We're getting the pond liner!

I spent most of the day Sunday installing plumbing. Now, I can purchase the liner!

One project is almost always connected to half a dozen other projects, and this case is no different. My long term plan is to install irrigation throughout the yard. There are two reasons I'm doing this. One, convenience. I love being able to go on vacation knowing my plants aren't dieing. Two, direct irrigation of plants saves water. Once I'm done, you'll be able to control the duration of each watering. That means I can give perennials less water than the annuals, etc.

For the plumbing, I ran three lines. The first line is the pressurized supply from the house. This PVC line will eventually run to a number of outdoor faucets as well as the irrigation control valves. The second line is for gray water. This PVC line runs from the back of the property to a faucet right beside the pond. I put the faucet in a ground level valve box, which can be landscaped around. Eventually, I plan on setting up a rain collection system, which can be used to top off the pond with water. This negates the need for dechlorinator, which is necessary if you use tap water. The third line runs from the deepest side of the pond to the head of the waterfall. This is a 1" flexible UV resistant line which will attach to the pump in the bottom of the pond, and pump the water up to the head of the waterfall. To top it all off, I also ran irrigation valve wire in the trenches. This is a low-voltage wire that runs from your irrigation controller to your valves. I went with a 7 strand cable (7/18AWG), which will allow me to control 6 valves from each run. This cable was a little more expensive, but I wanted to build the system in such a way that future valve expansion would be easy.

Purchasing the pond liner makes me nervous. The first time I built a pond, I measured wrong, and the liner I purchased was to small. This is not a cheap mistake. MEASURE, MEASURE, MEASURE, and MEASURE again! I couldn't afford to get a different liner, so I ended up filling in the pond some to make the liner fit. This time, I'm purchasing the EPDM line with an extra 5 feet on each side. This isn't cheap, but with a pond this big, I can't risk making a mistake. Besides, you can use the extra liner as a 'pad' on the bottom of the pond to sit rocks on. If you are building a pond, I recommend that you go large with your liner. If all else fails and your liner is to small, you can always fill in the bottom a bit. No one will ever know :-)

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