Having a water feature such as a pond in your garden is a nice touch but there’s no denying that it can be a lot of work. Perhaps you’ve just moved into a new home that has a pond out the back or maybe you’re a few years down the line and regretting your decision to install a pond.
If this sounds familiar, then you’ve likely been wondering how to get rid of a pond and the answer may be simpler than you thought.
Removing a pond from your garden takes more muscle than it does brainpower. It can be a demanding job but with proper planning and an appropriate amount of time, you’ll have that pond gone before you can say ‘gone fishing!’
Some people find that the concept of removing the pond by themselves is too much work. If you’re lacking in strength or stamina, then you may find it a challenge. There’s nothing wrong with that but the good news is that there are services you can hire to do the work for you.
However, in this guide, we will be looking at how to make this into a weekend DIY project because after all, it’s going to save you money if you can do the job yourself.
Why Remove a Pond?
Some people install a garden pond thinking that it’ll brighten up the space and attract wildlife. However, one thing that a lot of people don’t keep in mind is that owning a pond can be a lot of hard work. You need to keep it clean, change the water and ensure the filtration system is well maintained. If you have fish in the pond, they need proper care too.
For this reason, pond owners sometimes have to take the decision to remove the pond simply to save themselves back-breaking work.
Another common reason for removing a pond from the garden is that it can serve as a hazard, especially for young children and pets. There are some garden ponds that are surprisingly deep, particularly those that house large fish like koi.
Should a child, or even a pet fall in, there is a significant risk of drowning and since most parents want to be able to let their children play in the garden without full supervision, a pond simply doesn’t allow for this.
How To Get Rid Of a Pond
Getting rid of your garden pond involves removing all of the electrical equipment and pond accessories before filling in the hole. In most cases, you should be able to get this done within a day, or at least a weekend.
Step 1 – Remove Edgings
Start by removing any rocks and plant life around the edges of the pond. Some ponds have concrete borders and if you want to remove these then you may need the assistance of a power tool like a jackhammer.
Once you’ve removed everything, you can save the rocks for another project or discard them.
Step 2 – Remove Solid Materials
Next, you will need to remove any rocks or decorations that are under the water. You should also take out any filters that are submerged.
All of this equipment (provided it is in good working order) can be cleaned and given away or sold on rather than ending up in the rubbish dump!
Not sure when to fill your pond? – Best Time To Clean Out A Pond
Step 3 – Syphon the Water
You will now need to syphon out the pond water and the most efficient way of doing this is to use a pump. Once enough water has been drained out, you can remove the pond liner. Again, the pond liner can be recycled but this largely depends on the condition.
Step 4 – Infill
Depending on where you live, you may be able to fill the hole using the rubble you broke up earlier from around the pond. However, there are some localities in which this is not legal so we would strongly advise you to check local regulations before doing this.
Once you’ve finished adding the rubble, you will need to fill the rest of the hole using soil. This can be a time consuming and labour-intensive job so if the weather is hot, be sure to take regular drink breaks.
When the hole is completely filled, take a rake to smooth off the surface. After a few days, you can water the area and compact the soil to ensure it doesn’t shift. You’re then free to lay turf, plant grass seeds, or whatever else you would like to cover the area.
While a garden pond can be an attractive feature, it isn’t for everyone, and many homeowners decide that it’s time for that water garden to go.
It can feel like an intimidating job especially if you have a larger pond but, provided you’re willing to put in a bit of hard graft, it isn’t as challenging as you might think.
You’ll need to make sure that you remove all electrical equipment, plants, liners and of course, fish if there are any. After this, it’s simply a case of filling in the hole.
If all of this sounds like a lot of hard work, then don’t sweat it; there are services out there that will do the work for you although you should keep in mind that this can be quite costly.
Garden Doctor Tips
“Do not release any fish or plants into the wild!”
“It is best to fill in the pond in late winter when the wildlife activity is at its lowest!”
“Recycle, sell or give away any pumps or electrical equipment so they don’t end up in a landfill!”
“Make sure you use all the natural materials such as any rubble, rocks and edgings as a base before topping with soil!”
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need planning permission to fill in a pond?
Not usually. Check with your local planning department to find out if there are any specific restrictions in your area, but in general, ponds and other water features are considered “de minimis” (meaning too small to have an impact).
That said, if you’re planning on doing a significant amount of filling in, it’s always best to check with your local authorities just to be sure. And if you’re removing vegetation or dredging the pond bottom, you may also need a permit depending on your location.
What is the best thing to fill in a pond?
The best thing to fill a hole after draining a pond is soil. You should also add some organic matter to the soil, such as compost or manure, to help improve its quality. Once the hole is filled in, you can plant some grass or flowers in the area to beautify it.
Can I fill a pond with concrete?
Filling a pond with concrete would just be creating an ugly cement-like surface that would look like the ground where there used to be grass. It’s not what you want for your landscape if you can help it!
Also, environmentally, concrete is not advisable as it can last hundreds of years unless broken down with the correct machinery!
Hi, I’m Trev and I’ve been growing things since I can remember. When I was younger, I grew up on a farm, so I have always been around plants and animals. After studying horticulture at university, I decided to start my own nursery which I have run now for 25 years. In my spare time, I run this website – which is a resource for people who want to learn more about their gardens.