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Ponds can be a beautiful and peaceful addition to any yard. They are also a great way to express creativity. But the question is, can you have a pond in your front garden? Well, unfortunately, this is a question without a simple answer.
So, can I Have A Pond In My Front Garden? You can have a pond in your front garden in most cities. In some cities, it is completely illegal, but in most cities, you can have a pond in your front garden as long as it is protected by a fence.
If you are dead set on having a pond in your front garden, there are many ways you can build one which complies with your local regulations. Keep reading for more information on having a pond in your front garden.
Why Are Most Cities Against Ponds?
It’s just a harmless pond, right? Why is your city making it so difficult for you to have a pond? Well, unfortunately, with a water feature which is accessible by the public, there are lots of risks associated.
The most common risk is drowning. Even if your pond is small and shallow, say, only two feet deep, it is still possible that a child could wander into your yard and fall in. And small children can easily drown in shallow water because they haven’t quite mastered control of their limbs yet.
The good news is, there are a number of reasons to mitigate the chances of someone drowning in your pond, and this is why most cities allow ponds in your front garden as long as you follow certain fencing rules.
The fencing regulations for ponds in the front garden change from city to city so make sure you look into the rules in your specific city. But, in general, the rules below apply to water features present in the front garden of any city.
If your pond exceeds a depth of 18 inches you will need to put a fence around it. This is to make sure that no child can drown in your pond. The height of the fence that you will need depends on your specific city, but in most areas, the fence is required to be at least four or five feet in height. It must surround the pond completely, and there can be no gaps in the fence which a child’s arm could fit through. The fence should extend completely to the ground with no more than a two-inch gap at the bottom.
The fence surrounding your pond must be sturdy, and rust-resistant. If you want to be able to see your installment with the fence in place, a chain-link or acrylic fence is probably the best. You can also build your fence out of wood or vinyl, but either of these will certainly block you from viewing your pond.
Unfortunately, children are often good climbers. And for this reason, the fence you are constructing must have a non-climbable design. This means no foot or handholds must be present (which often rules out stone walls) and this can make even using a chain link fence difficult. There are special non-climbable chain link fences that are designed to solve this problem. You will also need to ensure that there are no obstacles near the fence which a child could use to boost themselves over the fence into the pond.
Besides just the fence, whatever gate you have installed must also be tall, four or five feet in height. It also needs to be a gate that will not remain open on its own, and that can be locked out of reach of a child. The gate needs to swing shut quickly after someone walks through it to prevent a child from accidentally following a parent through.
Planning Your Pond
Now that all the safety requirements are out of the way, you can get started on planning your pond for your front garden.
Decide Location And Depth
Before you start digging, you need to decide where your pond will be and what you will do with it. If you are planning to have live animals in the pond, it will probably need to be deep enough for them to swim around. You also need to take the sun into account. Some animals, like turtles, need shade in addition to sunlight, so you would want to plan a pond for them somewhere where there would be both sun and shade. If you are going to add electric pumps to move the water in your pond, this also needs to be taken into account.
If you are making something such as a small koi pond, there are several kits that make constructing these very easy. If you are going for something bigger and more original, it’s time to go to the store to buy your supplies. Make sure you purchase a rubber liner, rocks, and any water equipment you will need to pump water to your pond. You may also want to buy a carpet pad to put under the rubber liner for protection. Don’t purchase any plants or animals just yet as it could take a few days to get your pond going.
When purchasing pumps, know that solar pumps, while better for the environment and cheaper, generally don’t pump water fast enough to keep fish alive. An electric pump will pump water faster, but this will also add to your electric bill.
Once you have the supplies, pick a nice day and start to dig for your pond. Make sure you dig to your planned depth in the shape you want your pond to be. Once you are done with that, lay down your liner then begin building the edge of the pond using rocks, or your desired material. This is also the time to add a waterfall if you so choose. Any pond which is to hold animals will need the water to be oxygenated, so keep this in mind.
Learn About Maintenance
Before you add any animals to your pond, learn about the type of maintenance your pond will require. Surprisingly, although you make think a small pond is easier to take care of than a large one, the reverse is true. This is because the more water there is in a system, the easier it is to maintain. No matter what pond you are building though, there will be maintenance involved.
Add Your Animals
Once you’ve got the water flowing you can add your animals! If you have questions about what fish will do well in an outdoor pond in your area, make sure you consult a professional for help.
Besides just making sure your pond is safe from children drowning, there are some other things you should take into consideration before building your pond.
Your Local Weather
Depending on where you live, a pond may not be a good idea. If you live somewhere where it gets really cold, the water could freeze completely and damage your pond design as well as the fish in the water. If it only gets cold enough to freeze the top layer of the pond, this should be okay as the fish can survive by swimming around underneath the layer of ice.
Oddly enough, you need to consider the rainfall in your area as well. This is because if you are somewhere where it rains a lot, the pond could overflow and accidentally leave the fish on the lawn. You can often solve this issue by building a taller wall around your pond, but this may not be the look you are going for.
As mentioned, there are no maintenance-free ponds. And the set-up alone will probably take a few thousand dollars depending on the size of your pond. So, before you start, take a look at your finances and make sure you have the money not only for the initial cost of the pond but the upkeep as well. And don’t forget to add in the cost of electricity.
It may not be on your mind, but when building a pond in your front garden, you need to keep the resale value of your home in your thoughts. Depending on the area you live in, a pond could be a great addition or an annoying burden. Thus, while you are researching the fencing regulations in your area, check in on how will affect your home value as well.
Overall, a pond can be a beautiful addition to your front garden. But before you jump in and start designing, make sure you research the legalities of having a pond in your area as well as the fencing requirements which come with it. And when you do start building, make sure you take it slow and consider the final product before you start digging. No matter what type of pond you are creating, know beforehand that it will require maintenance for as long as you have the pond. As long as you keep these things in mind, you will love having an amazing pond to look at in your front garden every day.