Check with the local land management office to make sure you can build a pond on your properly legally. Inquire about permits required and other necessities to do the project so that you don't have any liability for impacts on local waterways or ecosystems. A one acre pond shouldn't be big enough to be of concern, but your due diligence will give you peace of mind as you start your project.
Locate an appropriate site for the pond. Naturally sunken areas on your property will require less overall work, and you'll always want to look for soils that have high clay content. Clay soil retains water well, meaning you'll spend less on pond liners or sealers.
Determine how deep you want the pond to be. A healthy fish pond needs at least 15 feet of depth, whereas a waterfowl pond can get by with being only 3 to 5 feet deep. Ultimately, the answer depends on what you want to use the pond for.
Plan your dig. Mark off the pond boundaries with stakes for visual reference. Earth removed from the deepest parts of the pond should be used to dam up or fortify those areas that need to be higher in order to retain water at the height you have chosen.
Begin digging. Using a bulldozer, start from the bottom and push the earth out towards the pond walls. The weight of the bulldozer will also serve to compact the earth which will help with water retention.
Plant erosion control plants such as sturdy grasses, trees, and shrubs. Look for plants that grow deep, extensive root systems. These will help hold the pond barriers in place as the water levels rise.
Seal the pond with liner or sealer. Pond sealer will be cheapest since it can be spread throughout, but any pond sealer will depend in part on the natural presence of clay soils. If your pond does not have high levels of clay available, a plastic liner will probably be necessary in order for the pond to hold water long term.
Fill the pond with water. This can be done manually with many deliveries of water, but is best done by patiently waiting for rain fall to fill the pond naturally. Otherwise, you could find yourself potentially spending a fortune on water deliveries from special water trucks. Filling the pond naturally also has the benefit of a gradual build up of pressure on the pond's barriers. This allows settling, as well as more time for your erosion control plants to establish themselves, which leads to an overall increase in stability.
Things You Will Need
- Pond liner or sealer
- Wooden stakes
- Sell any leftover dirt from the project to local contractors, builders, etc. to offset the cost of building the pond.