Turn Your Backyard Into an Outdoor Paradise
7 Simple Steps to Install
Step 1 - Shape
The first step in creating a water garden is to layout the desired shape. This step assumes you have already decided on a finished pond size, and purchased the appropriate liner. (lf you need help determining liner size based on your desired finished pond size.
Once the pond size and liner have been determined, marking the shape of l the pond onto the ground is a good way to create a template for digging. Keep in mind that the dimensions are to be measured at the maximum lengths and widths of the pond. This is important to ensure that there is enough liner to cover the hole Using a rope or garden hose can be a great way to mark your pond outline. Once the finished pond widths and lengths have been determined, simply use the following perimeter formula to find the length of rope needed:
Rope Length = 2 (length + width) Add feet to the total for liner edging.
For example, if the finished pond size is 4 x 6 the formula would be:
Rope Length = 2 (4 + 6) or 8 + l2 = 20, then add 4 = 24ft. A 24ft rope will create the correct perimeter, in any shape, for the appropriate liner.
Step 2 - Dig
Now that the planning of the water garden shape and size is complete, creating the basin becomes the next step. Sunterra recommends first creating a shelf approximately 6"-8" below the projected water level. This will provide a surface for placing aquatic plants while also helping to secure your liner's position. Begin by digging down to the 6" - 8" shelf level depth and leveling the surface with a flat shovel. Then check levelness using a level and a 2' x 4' board. Also, check the levelness of the water garden perimeter. If you adjust the perimeter, be sure to adjust the shelf accordingly.
Measure approximately 12' - 16' from the perimeter wall to the inside of the water garden. Using spray paint or chalk, mark this distance throughout the inside of the water garden. This mark represents the edge of your shelf and will guide your final digging step.
Following the shelf width mark, dig the remaining depth (18' plus underlayment thickness deep from outside perimeter edge to the bottom) of the basin. Remember to dig the walls at a 30 degree angle. Measure the bottom depth in multiple locations to make sure it is the recommended depth.
Step 3 - Measure
This step is meant to be a final checking process, to make sure al dimensions of the pond are accurate before adding liner and water. Begin by measuring the bottom depth in multiple locations to make sure it is the desired depth. Next, measure the depth of the plant shelf to verify it is 6-8' below the desired water level. Also, make sure the width of the shelf is at least 12', to allow enough space for potted submersible plants. Finally, measure out the perimeter shelf, used for placing ledging such as rocks. This shelf should be approximately 1' deep and 12" wide (depending on the ledging used).
Step 4 - Line
Placing the liner in the basin is a very simple, yet important step in creating the pond. It is important to remember and place the liner texture side up, keeping an even overlap on all sides of the water garden. Once the liner is in place, adjust it to best fit the shape of the pond basin. If the water garden has a round dimension, there will be a few wrinkles in the liner. Anchor the liner edges with stones, bricks or heavy objects to help temporarily hold it in place while water is added.
Step 5 - Add Accessories
Now that the basin is created and completely lined, it is time to begin adding functional components that will control the water garden's health and appearance.
Begin by adding the Sunterra pump. The pump is the heart of the pond and will keep the water circulating to help prevent the water garden from becoming a breeding ground for unwanted insects, while oxygenating it for plant and fish life. Place the pump on top of a flat brick or stone at the bottom of the water garden. Elevating the pump off of the basin bottom will help prevent debris from interfering with pump performance.
After the pump is in place, add water until the pump is completely submerged. Plug it in to a GF-CI outlet to test its performance. When the pump is working it will make a low humming sound and water will circulate out of the top outlet
Your water nozzle not only helps to aerate the water, but also adds the first element of decoration to the water garden. Sunterra nozzles are created to fit our line of pumps. When installing the water nozzle it is necessary to connect a diverter valve to the outlet of the pump. This allows for the connection of tubing to the pump, and for the diversion of outbound water to both the filter and a water nozzle. Lf choosing to only use one or the other, the diverter valve has a shut off dial that can be used to channel water in only one direction.
Step 6 - Add Water
Double check to make sure that the liner is anchored in place Fill the water garden with water until it is full. As the water garden is filling, adjust the liner to better form fit the custom shape of the pond basin. Where necessary, try to smooth out wrinkles and creases.
Step 7 - Decorate
Now that the pond is completely filled with water it is time to decorate by adding edging and landscaping. The liner may need to be adjusted to make sure it is secure under the edging and completely sealed. Try to keep a minimum of 6' liner around the pond perimeter. Adding aquatic plants onto the previously created shelf is also recommended to enhance the look and "feel" of the water garden.
Also available from Smarthome is a line of unique Sunterra water accents and accent stand platform. These accents are a very unique way to customize and decorate a water garden. The water accent stand simply sets up in the middle of the pond, and has a pump platform specifically for the smaller Sunterra pumps that are used to operate water accents. It also has a unique locking bayonet system that ensures the accents will stay in place no matter what wind/wave conditions exist. In addition, there are several light holders that connect on all sides of the platform. This allows for a great aesthetic effect at night.