Home page of www.bonniesplants.com
  
Home Koi For Sale Koi Care Koi Kam Plant Profiles Plant Tips Supplies
Addiction Shipping Our Ponds & Fish About Us
Water Quality Baby Koi Special How and When to Feed Koi Eggs For Sale Favorite Links Buy a Koi Cam Camera
Bonnie's Online Shop Join My Email List Table of Contents Search Our Site Contact Us
  
The collapse of my pond

We sold our retail pond store  after 13 years in Michigan and were moving south to North Carolina!  The above picture is my finished pond when we arrived in North Carolina. Because I was bringing my favorite fish with me from Michigan I needed to have the pond all ready so we contracted to have the pond dug while we were still in Michigan. Rich and I designed the pond and we found what we thought was a reputable pond builder. Oh boy! what a mistake that was. The total lower pond totally collapsed about 6 weeks after we got here. Seems during construction the lower pond was filling with water and they chose to ignore that fact and built the pond as planned. Duh! So much for a professional that should known a hole that fills with water during construction is a problem.  By ignoring that fact the first major rain that hit collapsed the lower pond by hydrostatic pressure.

potted plants and rocks slid into the lower pond

 Bark from the bed went into the lower pond
As I walked out to the pond early in the morning with coffee in hand as I do every morning I could not believe my eyes.  I thought I must be dreaming as I screamed for Rich. In this picture you can see where the rocks began to slide.  By mid afternoon the whole back side of the pond had collapsed in on itself.

The dirt from the edge slid into the water

 You can see where later that day the opposite side of the pond collapsed too. In this mess are 9 fish I moved 800 miles from Michigan to North Carolina.  Fish that I have had for many years.   I looked at the pond and wondered where my fish were. The pump actually continued to pump until we shut it off.  But as it pumped, it pumped red North Carolina red clay through the water. We had no idea if the fish were alive or buried under the massive rocks.

Later that day we pumped the pond dry and was able to find all 9 fish.  Totally unhurt.  They must have felt the vibrations of the slide and moved to safety. Some of those rocks took 4 men to get them out of the pond because of the weight!

Huge rocks had to be moved to repair the pondThis is what had to be cleaned up and rebuilt!  What a mess!
Cement blocks built to hold the pond wall in place

Because of the grade a retainer wall was built all around the pond and a French drain was added

A French drain was bulit

You can see now how the retainer wall was built behind the back edge of the lower pond.

The lower pond was enlarged by nature because when the pond wall collapsed it also tore the liner in several spots.  A new liner 50 x 50 had to be bought.  Once the old liner was out we had 3 days of heavy rain that enlarged the pond! So in the end the lower pond is now about 1/3 bigger than the original design. 

Now in retrospect I wished I had gone and looked at the ponds they had built because my pond was full of flaws that one can not see but will notice once the water is actually moving through the system. The flaws in other ponds they had built were not visible in photos we looked at.  Now 18 months later we have corrected the most obvious flaws ourselves but there are some we must live with as they are beyond correction without a greatly added expense on our part. I could not see the flaws in the pictures that the contractor emailed us to Michigan as the construction was being done.

It was indeed an expensive lesson for us. Know your pond builder. Go and talk to the owners of ponds they have built. Scrutinize their work and ask lots of question. Learn from our lessons.

Now in retrospect I wished I had gone and looked at the ponds they had built because my pond was full of flaws that one can not see but will notice once the water is actually moving through the system. The flaws in other ponds they had built were not visible in photos we looked at. 

Now 18 months later we have corrected the most obvious flaws ourselves but there are some we must live with as they are beyond correction without a greatly added expense on our part. I could not see the flaws in the pictures that the contractor emailed us to Michigan as the construction was being done. It was indeed an expensive lesson for us.

Know your pond builder. Go and talk to the owners of ponds they have built. Scrutinize their work and ask lots of question. Learn from our lessons.

Lilies in the upper pond 

Near the entrance to the back yard

This is the upper pond in the summer of 2001.  The small fish you may be able to see are fry we hatched in a stock tank and then put in the upper pond to grow. The sign is at the entrance to our back yard and the upper pond is just beyond the sign and the Holly tree.

Bridge, streambed holds many bog plants

Water iris in bloom

Water Iris in the stream bed

  

The upper pond falls down a waterfalls  that leads to a 30’ stream bed that has a wooden bridge that crosses over to the deck. Rich and I designed the unique wood deck so that the deck sits in the middle of all 3 ponds.

Iris line the sides of the stream bed that the wooden bridge goes over that leads to the deck. Once the Iris are done blooming I remove them and add another blooming plant so that I always have blooming plants in my waterfalls.

Purple Loosestrife

 Early summer Purple Loosestrife blooms in the streambed once the Iris are finished blooming

Sunny loves North Carolina too!

 Sunny helps herself to the water celery  

This is Sunny in the middle pond and you can see Mischief (just the tip of his red head)  grazing on the Water Celery I grow in the pond for the fish to snack on. The picture on the bottom shows Sunny grazing on the Water Celery.

Upstairs view

 This view is from the upstairs window that shows the deck, which Rich and I designed, that surrounds the 3 ponds

Potted plants around the middle pond My view from the kitchen window

The middle pond is about 4,000 gallons and has a nice plant shelf. This is the pond I can see out my kitchen windows as I work around the kitchen

Lucky in the middle pond

You can see Lucky swimming in the middle pond

Waterfalls to the lower pond

 

Side view of the waterfalls to the lower pond   

This is one of my favorite parts of the pond and it is the part that makes all the peaceful noise of water running.

Deck and waterfalls

Deck on the back of the house

The lower pond is about 10,000 gallons.  I had a problem with the fish going over the waterfalls and I now keep all the fish in the lower pond.  One of the nicest things about them being in the lower pond is that we can see them as we sit on the deck each night and eat dinner.  We love watching them doing their antics and they provide all the dinner entertainment we need.

 
About the pond itself. A skimmer feeds the upper pond from the middle pond and also from the bottom drain that goes into a Challenger filter and the back up to the upper pond. We designed the system this way so that we could have maximum flow over the waterfalls. The upper pond is about 3,000 gallons. Even though this picture was taken from an upstairs window you can not see the upper pond in the above picture.

There is an additional 1,000 gallons (we are guessing here) in the system that is in the streambed, 6 waterfalls, the underground pipes and the filter.

The lower pond has 2 bottom drains that feed to the Challenger filter. We use a 2 g.p.h. 2-speed pump to pump the water from the filter up to the upper pond. There is also a skimmer with in the lower pond that pumps to the middle pond. That pump is a 2700-gallon pump.

The middle has a skimmer that pumps 2700 g.p.h. to the upper pond. It also has a bottom drain.

The middle pond has a bottom drain also.

 

My koi

 My fish in their new North Carolina home

 

Pond Plant "Bonnie's plants are extremely lush, top-size plants at prices that compete with our local budget stores! I have received another shipment from her, and, as always, it arrived in perfect condition - the Bonus Plant was an especially nice touch!" 
                                        ~ D. Diamond

 

My Pond
Pond Construction My fish    More My Fish  Even More Fish - a video tour on this page of my pond and koi
The Collapse and rebuild My Landscaping
The Landscaped Pond My Favorite Land Plants
Banana Tree Growing in my Pond More of My Favorite Land Plants
Swimming with the Fish Photos of my back yard summer 2006
The Upstairs View 10 years in the making.  Photos of my pond  and back yard July 2010

 
Permissions
If you are seeking permission to use bonniesplants.com, logos, service marks, trade dress, slogans, screen shots,
copyrighted designs, photos or other brand features, please contact me
permission requests.
Copyright © 2001-2013 - Bonnie's Plants