Bad to place pond over drainage pipe?

Folsom, CA(Zone 9a)

I was almost done digging for our new pond and discovered a drainage pipe. So sad! I can't place the pond over this pipe, correct?

(The pictures are of the pipe, the hole with the surrounding brick, the first pond that I started digging and discovered a drainage pipe that will now be a flower bed, and the raised bed I made from the dirt from the pond--to show just how sad I am discovering that pipe when I thought I was on the home stretch.)

Thumbnail by smendez Thumbnail by smendez Thumbnail by smendez Thumbnail by smendez
Athens, PA

Is there a way to find out if it is still active? If it is no longer something that is still active can the drainage pipe be capped off further down and removed? Do you know what the drainage would be from - if so, then that would be a good place to start. I would make some phone calls to determine what the status of the pipe is before giving up. Let us know what information you find.

Folsom, CA(Zone 9a)

I do know that it's still active and needed. Last summer I discovered a drain nearby when I planted flowers. (The previous owners placed landscape fabric over it.) By uncovering this pipe, I can now see how the pipe travels through the yard and down along the side of the house.

So placing 300 gallons of water over it wouldn't be good, right?

I do have one more spot I can try for a pond, but I'm not looking forward to digging another hole and figuring out a new design for that area.

I do really want a pond, though, because my children won two common goldfish at a fair last summer, and we'd all be happier if they were in a pond. : )

Athens, PA

If it is active, then no - I wouldn't put a pond over it. If something happens with that pipe and it has to be replaced, your pond will have to come out. Is there some type of easement there? If so, you would need to stay away from that area.

You indicate that you have another area to dig - Do you have a friend with a little Bobcat or can you go to your local True Value and see if they have a Kabota or a Bobcat you would rent for the day? That is so much easier than than doing the digging yourself.

One word to the wise - everyone that puts in a pond wishes they had gone bigger, so I would go as big are your budget will allow.

Also, - it would be a good idea to find out if there are any underground power lines, water lines or the like. Your town or city can help with that.

Good luck to you. Both Bonnie and Bea gave us play by plays when they were putting in their ponds - we would love to see yours as well.

Folsom, CA(Zone 9a)

Thank you for the information. Well, I hope the third time is the charm. I will share the progress!

Clermont, FL(Zone 9a)

Don't give up on your pond. Only thing I had to avoid was an irrigation line which I put in myself so I knew where it was. Dug it up and moved it over a little. PVC pipe joints are easily changed. I wouldn't distube a drainage pipe either. Could cause headachs later.

Don't know how big your lot is but if you are in a development theres more to consider as Carolyn stated. Utilities should be located. Thats usually a free service and they mark locations. I had underground tel. line put in so I also know where that is. It helps we've been in our place for 43 years and most changes we have made ourselves.

If you don't have room for a large pond put in whatever you can. You will still enjoy it
Lots of luck and its cooler to dig now then in July like we did. Ug!!


Folsom, CA(Zone 9a)

Thanks Bonnie! This morning I woke up with an idea to place a shallow bog garden over the pipe and then move the main pond over a bit.

I have a small suburban yard, so I'm planning for a 5-foot round pond.

It rained last night, so the soil should be good to dig in today.

If I find more obstacles, then my next option is to get a stock pond on top of the patio. : )

Athens, PA

Moving the pond over a tad is a good idea. One thing, I would like to add - if you could elevate the sides of the pond a bit, it will help if the drainage pipe breaks. My concern if the pipe breaks is that water/drainage will get under your pond liner, which could cause problems. If you elevate the liner a bit, then whatever is under the liner, won't get into the pond.

Decatur, GA

When I had my pond put in 8 years ago they discovered a drain pile just like that. We decided to just put the pond liner over the top. They didn't dig the pipe out but left the top at ground level. If there are any problems I don't know about them.
I would also guess if you started having drainage problems later you could make some drainage adjustments to suit the new situation. Your yard seems fairly flat. Do you have any standing water ever in your yard, say after a hard down pour? How much rain do you get in your area? I would consider all these factors before I got terribly worried about that drain pipe.

Folsom, CA(Zone 9a)

I've studied the yard and did a little more research. I see two drains about 6 feet away on both sides of the pond (hole). So the pond would sit in the middle of this drain system.

We've lived in this house for about a year and a half, and we experienced a really good rain a couple months ago. We did not have any flooding issues in the yard. (We did have a leaky wall, but that's another story.) So the grading and french drain are working pretty well.

I came across a blog post that discussed how to pack gravel around and above this type of pipe in order to drive a car over it. I'm tempted to continue placing the pond in this spot.

I keep going back and forth about where to put the pond.

If I place the pond in the current hole, I may have an issue with crushing the pipe. But the hole is all ready dug, and we'll be able to view the pond from two different sitting areas.

If I place the pond in the new spot, I would have to dig another hole. And I may find something else. But the new spot would get afternoon shade, and we could see the pond better from the window.

Hmmm . . .

PS: I was planning to dig 1 foot deep and then build up bricks 1 foot, making a semi-raised 2-foot pond.

Athens, PA

If you move the pond a tad so you are not over the drainage pipe and put the bog garden there, you should be fine - especially if you are intending to raise the pond. My concerns are not the run off in the yard, but what could come up and out of the pipe under the ground after your pond is already dug. The last thing you want is the crud coming up from the pipe underneath and going into the pond. The other thing is if somebody needs to get into that area to repair that pipe in the event that it breaks - by moving the pond over a tad, that should give access to somebody to repair the broken pipe.

Kansasville, WI(Zone 5a)

There's drain tile all over my yard. It is pretty hard plastic. We drive over it all the time. Yours looks like the solid tile that is used to carry water away from your house. Some tile has small holes all around it so water can seep into the tile. I personally would cover the tile with something strong. Like plywood or plastic. You could even use a few 12" x 12" patio blocks covering the whole tile. Then put down your underlayment then your liner over it. With only 300 gals of water in your pond, it should't be a problem.

Folsom, CA(Zone 9a)

Update: I decided to move the pond. (I have a thread started in the Garden Design forum about planting a tree in the new raised bed.)

Now I'm going to build a pond right on the patio next to the back door. I want to be able to see the goldies more often. : )

Athens, PA

I don't blame you. My lower deck butts right up to our pond. I love sitting there under the umbrellas watching the fish. It is great when entertaining as well.

Thumbnail by Carolyn22
Clermont, FL(Zone 9a)

Sounds like a plan. As long as you get a pond and can enjoy your fish thats great.


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