An outdoor water feature can be a beautiful addition to your home. Sitting in the backyard and watching the water can be a wonderful way to spend your summer evening. However, though outdoor water features can add beauty and value to your backyard, there are maintenance and installation concerns that can arise when you’re installing an outdoor water feature such as a backyard pond. In this blog, we cover five concerns to consider when putting in a backyard pond.
Building a backyard pond requires a significant amount of maintenance, with the amount usually depending on the size of the pond and the type of features it supports. Backyard ponds require constant cleanup to make sure plant debris doesn’t contaminate the water. In addition to keeping the pond clean, homeowners will not only have to put extra effort toward pest control, but be extra careful to use natural insecticides and pest prevention methods in order to prevent chemicals from commercial pesticides and fertilizers from harming pond plants and wildlife. The pond’s filtration and aeration systems, which help clean the pond and deter pests, will also require regular inspection, cleaning, and repair.
Depending on the size of pond you want to build and the area you live in, you may need to obtain certain permits from the city. Your local building codes may have restrictions on maximum pond depth or require fencing or barriers be installed to ensure the safety of children and animals around the pond. These safeguards will add to cost and require maintenance. In many areas, homeowners desiring to obtain a permit may be required to have a professional inspector come to the site to make sure it has no underground utility wires. The costs of these inspections may entirely be billed to the homeowner. In addition to building permits, you will also want to double check the liability aspect on your homeowner’s insurance, and ask about any insurance requirements for your pond. This also can be the case with installing other types of outdoor water features.
Backyard ponds can be a wonderful place to observe birds, as well as fish you choose to add to the pond. However, ponds can also attract unwanted wildlife to your yard. Muskrats are often drawn to ponds and will burrow into pond banks. This can cause unsafe walking conditions and possibly compromise the structural integrity of the pond, creating leaks. Muskrats can be trapped, but can be a nuisance and costly to remove. Backyard ponds also tend to attract Canada geese. These large waterfowl can create unsanitary swimming conditions and excessive aquatic plant growth through their defecation.
Extra precautions should be taken if you or a neighbor have small children or pets. You should always supervise small children, especially young children, around the pond. Building a fence around the pond with self-closing and latching gates will also be beneficial for safety concerns. In addition to building a fence, you should ensure that any small animals or children that might potentially accidentally fall into the pond have a way to get out such as including a sloping bank. Precautions should also be taken with other types of outdoor water features where the risk of falling in is present.
Large ponds are more resilient to external changes, but a small pond will require a backup filtration system for survival of aquatic plants and pond wildlife. Your pond will also require an air pump to maintain adequate oxygen levels and a water pump. These additional necessities mean you will have to plan for an electrical source near your pond, ideally one with a ground fault interrupt to prevent being shocked. All this not only will require additional electric equipment and knowledge, but can be a significant drain on electric power, driving energy costs.
Building outdoor water features, such as a pond, can be a wonderful investment, but it is good to know the concerns prior to installing. That’s not to say that these points should deter you from building a backyard pond or other type of outdoor water feature. In fact, knowing these concerns can help you be better prepared during the installation of your outdoor water feature so that it goes more smoothly and with less surprises. Call us today; we will provide you with consultation and guidance in installing backyard ponds and other outdoor water features in Olympia, WA.