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Ponditat For Humanity 2006

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly versionSend by emailSend by emailThe History of Ponditat For Humanity and our First Project

Tom Kicholow is one of our Message board members and posted this dialogue on the message board during his recuperation time after having surgery on his leg.

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Hi everyone,

Sorry I have not posted lately as I have been very busy redesigning my water garden. Since I am still out on disability I decided to tackle the job of going over every inch of my pond edging to remove old leaves, muck, etc., that I paid my CAC to do over a month ago. I don't want to keep publicly knocking my installer, but I am about to show you some pictures of problems I have been finding. For starters, I was losing over a hundred gallons of water about every two days. That is a significant loss when your ponds only hold a thousand gallons.

I decided to change the landscaping and have been working my way around the ponds. I took some pics along the way. I didn't get pictrures of all the problem areas. I fixed several areas before I decided I needed to take pictures just in case, and to help others (including other installers). The first picture shows where the liner was cut by the installer to make room for a hosta plant. When the pond is full, the water leaks out. When it rains and the pond is low, rainwater leaks in, taking some mud with it. WARNING: WHAT YOU ARE ABOUT TO SEE MAY BE UPSETTING TO SOME PONDERS!!

Cutout in liner, source of leaks.Cutout in liner, source of leaks.

In the above photo, note all the mud lying on top of the liner edging. This was concealed under the rocks holding the liner down. The stone work was just done by the installer's helper three weeks ago!

This next photo shows the repairs I made. After removing more rocks and cleaning up the muck, both in and out of the water, I reinforced the liner by pushing clay down in between the liner and soil. I then added a 12" by appx 20" strip of liner over the cutout. I made sure there was no mud or stones between the two layers of liner. I then placed heavy rocks against the liner inside the pond, then rolled the edge of the "patch" liner so that it would redirect rainwater away from the pond edge. I also did a lot of sloping in the garden area to further help drain rainwater away from the pond. I then added river pebbles to hide the liner and fill in between the rocks. This helps keep the debris out of the nooks and crainies. (Note exposed liner closer to camera. This is another area that needed repair and the repair was not yet complete at the time this photo was taken.)

After repairs to cutout in liner.After repairs to cutout in liner.

Here is another leaky area due to poor workmanship. (I sure hope the rest of you installers don't do this kind of work!!) Note the pond water leaking into the soil at the end of the scissors. Again all the mud and muck was there when I removed the stones. This is just the way I found it.

Another leak.Another leak.

This next photo is the same spot, showing the water UNDER the edge of the liner. Note, too, the sloppy placement of the liner edges.

I repaired this area, too, building up under the liner with soil and then folding the edge over so that it would keep any rainwater from getting in. I then re-arranged the rocks and filled in between with river pebbles.

Note the water under the liner at the tip of the scissors.Note the water under the liner at the tip of the scissors.

Here is a picture after the repairs were complete on this side of the pond (before new mulch was added to the garden bed).

Moving on to the next section of the pond...

More problems. The installer made repairs to another leaky area. How? By piling on more mud and rocks (its seems his answer to fixing leaks is pile on more mud and rocks). He also failed to properly redirect rainwater away from the pond. Here is a photo of his work, followed by a photo after I removed two thirds of the stones he put in, reinforced the liner by pushing the dirt UNDER it instead of on top of it, and then I graded the landscape so that the rainwater would flow away from the pond and not drain mud INTO the pond. I have not yet added the river pebbles so no after photo (I will have one Thursday).

How the installer "fixed" it.How the installer "fixed" it.

After I removed the top layer of stones, I found the liner below the mud in several locations (no wonder I can't keep my pond water crystal clear). I removed almost a half ton of rocks from this area alone, including in the water.

Mud above the liner edge, subject to being washed into the pond when it rains.

In this photo, I redid the liner edge and cleaned up the muck both in and out of the water. I found lots of debris in between the rocks that should have been removed when the installer's helpers supposidely cleaned the pond.

A closer look. Note how the liner now lays over the dirt. The stones to the left will be repositioned when the river pebbles are added, for a more natural look.

Overview of my rework.

After the above section was completed, I moved on to another area by the second waterfall. Again, the same problems -- soil on top of the liner.

Next to the second waterfall. Poorly placed liner with rainwater drainage into the pond. Though it isn't shown very clearly, the edge of the liner is well below the adjoining landscape, which I had to grade down so it would be lower than the liner edge.

This is my next project. No leaks found here -- yet. I am redoing the landscape to provide an easier access to the larger pond. More pictures to follow.

For more photos of finished areas, go to Nancy's forum under plants.

Work on another section of pond. Note all the extra (unnecessary) rocks I salvaged from the pond.

The sad part, Nancy, is that I am redoing over $900 worth of pond "maintenance". This is the same guy I complained to you about before (last year).

He is now banned from my property -- permanently!!

Everyone STOP!!!!

Tom, don't move a muscle. Don't bother going after your installation contractor!

Freddie, Dave - lets meet at Tom's pond and show him what the IPPCA is all about.

Tom - I'll personally fly to your ALL THE MATERIALS FOR A BRAND SPANKING NEW POND, Freddie, you drive up from Florida, and Dave you drive over from Georgia. I'll chip in for gas. LET'S GET TOM THE POND HE DESERVES!!!!!!

We'll take photos of the before, during, and after. We'll post it on the IPPCA, and send out press releases to every industry news outlet. Let's get as many IPPCA contractors involved as possible! I'm sure Mike Garcia, Rocke' Huntington, and Mark Lawson will participate also.

Nancy the PondGirl, are you available? Paul Gifford, are you available? If anyone needs assistance in getting to Tom's pond - PM me, and I'll see what I can do.

I'm here for you Tom. Here is a call out to all IPPCA contractors! Tom's pond needs help! Let's get Tom a new pond!

I can be PM'ed here at the IPPCA, or my email is

My direct phone line is 425-898-9411

Our Toll Free line is 1-800-844-9314


IPPCA TopGuns participating in the Ponditat For Humanity

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