By Eric Triplett
This is a case where the client said it best: In describing his backyard pond as “a HazMat spill,” he put it more bluntly and succinctly than I ever would or could have. And he was right: The little pond was a complete, total, unholy mess.
For starters, the waterfall and skimmer had been placed within inches of each other in a hard-to-access corner, thereby obliterating the required water-circulation patterns and setting the pond up for severe problems with water clarity and quality. Making matters worse, both of these key components were well out of level, so they barely functioned at all in keeping the water moving and aerated. Beyond that, the pond was too shallow and had been built without any sort of structural shelving, so the edges were largely unstable. And because no rocks were being supported at the waterline, the liner was exposed to sunlight.
It was, wall to wall, awful. And the nastiest thing about this toxic dump was that it had been installed by a landscaping crew that asserted they were “pond professionals” – a claim that they eventually admitted was untrue, but only after their aquatic disaster was so close to “completion” that the homeowners stood by and waited to see what would happen.
The video linked below lets them tell their own tale of woe – and sees me get as close to angry as I’ve ever come in any of my many videos. It is an extreme incidence of a “pond gone wrong,” and I now use it with my own staff to demonstrate that even well-intentioned people can get things completely wrong if they reach beyond their capabilities, fail to ask questions and march ahead even though they have no idea what they’re doing.
In approaching the pond ourselves with a fresh perspective, we knew exactly where to start – that is, by demolishing the old mess and starting all over again -- as you’ll see in the next WaterShapes newsletter.
For now, I won’t belabor the point: Watch the first of this pair of videos by clicking here. And please do your best not to scream at the screen.
Eric Triplett is founder and chief executive officer at The Pond Digger Waterscape Design & Construction in Yucaipa, Calif. He may be reached at [email protected] ponddigger.com.