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How To Build A Koi Pond With A Waterfall You’ll Fall In Love With

This Is How We Build The Koi Ponds And Waterfalls Our Maryland, DC, And Northern Virginia Clients Love

It’ll look like a bomb went off in your yard at first. By the time your building a koi pond with a waterfall project is done it could look like these ponds. It starts by giving the koi pond an outline and ends by turning it on for a final check.

You can find the 9 step process in the post below.

What Exactly Will You Be Doing?

“Building a koi pond with a waterfall doesn’t sound like an easy task. What’s going to happen to our yard?”

Laura looks at Drew nervously as she voices her concerns to the pond contractor. She doesn’t want them to build a koi pond with a waterfall in their yard only to destroy everything around it.

Building a koi pond with a waterfall can tear up the rest of your yard

The pond contractor leans forward. “I’ll be honest with you, your yard isn’t going to look good while we’re working. We clean up the best we can at the end of each day, but your yard will be a mess. At the end of the project, we’ll get everything as close to the way it used to be as possible.”

The couple leans back in surprise at his honesty. Drew frowns and asks “What exactly is your process that wrecks the yard? We’d like to know before we hire a pond contractor.”

The pond contractor’s mouth tugs upwards into a small smile. He leans forward and lays out the following process:

How To Build A Koi Pond With A Waterfall

  1. Plan placement and design
  2. Mark the boundary
  3. Dig
  4. Lay down underlayment and liner
  5. Install skimmer and biofalls
  6. Add rocks and gravel
  7. Install any additions
  8. Turn on and check for leaks
  9. Add fish and plants after water clears
A koi pond with waterfall after installation is complete

“Wow that sounds like a lot of construction and mess,” Laura whispers in concern. “Unfortunately, in order to give you the best pond we can, we have to do it this way,” the contractor says sympathetically.

“It might help if you gave us more details on your steps for building a koi pond with a waterfall,” Drew suggests helpfully. “For instance, telling us where the waterfall part comes in.”

Details On Constructing Koi Ponds With Waterfalls

“The best ponds always begin with thorough planning,” the contractor starts.

If you’re going to have koi fish you will want to place your koi pond in a partly shady area. You don’t your fish to think you’re trying to boil them by putting them in a pond that gets direct sunlight all day (it’s pretty uncomfortable).

Putting your koi pond under trees or at the bottom of a hill will mean more maintenance work.

A koi pond with waterfall after installation is complete

“There are a lot of factors that go into design. It depends on what design you want, how much you’re spending, if your yard is flat or hilly, and other yard conditions. We can get into those if we need to,” the contractor continues.

After using spray paint to mark the boundary the digging begins.

“We usually dig 1 foot down, go towards the middle of the pond about 1 foot, and then dig down another foot. This makes a shelf for plants and, if you need to get into the pond, an easier way to do that.”

“So, the pond’s only 2 feet deep? What about the fish during winter, won’t they freeze?” Drew asks.

Winter pond with aeration and ice hole

“2 feet is actually perfect for this area. There are steps for taking care of a pond for winter you can take to make sure your pond and fish are ready,” the contractor answers.

The underlayment protects the liner which keeps the water inside the pond. The skimmer collects larger debris like sticks and leaves.

Pond liner with skimmer or biofalls on it part of building a koi pond with a waterfall

The biofalls is the waterfall and also home to beneficial bacteria. The bacteria here clean the water so it stays clear and good for fish and plants. It’s a waterfall that is beautiful in how it looks and its function as a water filter.

What are pond bacteria?” Laura asks in confusion. “Aren’t bacteria bad?” The contractor explains the differences before diving back into how to build a koi pond with a waterfall.

Rocking out the pond bottom

Like the biofalls, the rocks and gravel have more than one purpose. They give the pond a more natural look, protect the liner, and give a home for more beneficial bacteria.

Then comes the additions. This can include plants, underwater pond lights, an auto-fill device, more filters, and others.

Plants and underwater pond lights as additions for building a koi pond with a waterfall

“After that, we have to fill up the pond with a garden hose. We’ll turn it on and watch the water cycle through to make sure there aren’t any low lying areas letting water out. Once that’s taken care of all you need to do is let the water run for a few days until it clears up,” the contractor finishes.

Will It Be Worth It?

“What do you think Drew?” Laura asks. Drew thinks for a minute, considering his answer. “Based on your before and after page, I’d say you do a good job at building the pond and cleaning up after yourselves. I’m in if you are, Laura.”

Laura nods her head in agreement. Looks like they’re building a koi pond with a waterfall in their backyard.