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Help...Preliminary Decorative Pool/Pond Plans

Posted by CTGardener1 CT (My Page) on
Wed, Jan 22, 14 at 23:18

Hello All,

For years I have been wanting to install a decorative fountain surround in front of our home. Well I have decided that this Spring will be the year that I will make it happen.

My plan. The basin/pond of water will be entirely above ground. It will be 24 inches in height and 11 feet by 11 feet (square shape). I hope to construct the structure out of 8 x 8 x 16 standard cinder block. I hope to only have to pour concrete at the footings (only where the courses of blocks will sit - not the entire pond area). I will insert 1/2" re-bar into the ground and concrete footings (I will insert one piece of re-bar per cinder block vertically). I will also notch out the top of every other row of cinder block and install horizontal re-bar around the entire structure.

I have two main questions. 1) Should I pour the footings and THEN when the cement is dry, install my first course of blocks, or should I set the first course of blocks partially in the cement? Is one way stronger than the other? 2) Does it make a difference if I mortar the joints, or can I basically lay the blocks on top of and next to each other, due to the fact that I plan on pouring concrete in each cinder block w/ both horizontal and vertical re-bar?

Does the mortar add any more benefits to the overall integrity of the structure than if I were to just lay the blocks dry (w/ out mortar)? FYI, there should be approximately 1500 gallons of water in this set up. I don't want to do this project twice due to the wall not being able to hold this amount of water. What concerns does anyone have, if any, when it comes to freezing temperatures here in Connecticut?

The reason why I am not pouring the entire ground floor with cement is because $$. I plan on installing a 15' x 15' 45-mil. EPDM liner, assuming that roughly 10 feet will lay on the floor (over an underlayment), and 2 feet in height on either side = 4, plus another foot for lapping underneath 4 x 8 x 16 concrete capping blocks equals a 15 foot liner.

There will be a 2150-gph pump at the center of the fountain floor and a fountain adapter that shoots the water up (similar to a three-tier). The area will be lit up at night with low-voltage submersible spotlights. No fish or natural habit will reside here. This decorative feature will be simply, well, decorative.

I would be doing all of this work myself. I have no experience when it comes to water ponds, but I am quite handy and am confident that I can handle this project. I welcome any and all criticisms and suggestions.

Thanks for taking the time to help me out.
Take care!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Help...Preliminary Decorative Pool/Pond Plans

I used retaining wall block and my pond is half above and half below ground .I use a 2150 harbor freight pump for 4 years now and it works great .I have been ponding 11 years now and have not lost a fish and have 2 koi over 2 ft long besides 11 other fish .If you are putting it in the front make sure there are no restrictions on depth and even having a pond .Also make sure your homeowners insurance and mortgage company have no problems with it also .Submerged lights have a tendency to leak and also make the water hot .

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