The task highlighted in the video linked below – that is, the process of setting and leveling the skimmer – is right up there at the top of the list when it comes to determining the success or failure of a pond-installation project. In fact, it may be the most important of all with respect to aesthetics, because it’s what sets the pond’s water level and has a huge amount to do with how things will look to people who approach the water’s edge.
We don’t do the digging for this part of the installation until after the main excavation is done and the liner is set. First, it’s an issue of workplace practicality not to have a big hole in an area where so much foot traffic is moving. Second, we’ve found it’s easier to decide exactly where the skimmer should be placed once we see how the liner lays out.
Also, you may notice that I’m a bit unorthodox in my approach to tamping down the backfill. I don’t suppose too many professionals will endorse my use of a perfectly good level to mash earth into the bottom of the hole, but as is true of many construction-site activities, it’s not uncommon to use anything at hand to get the job done, even if it’s not exactly the right tool for the job.
And it’s not as though I don’t use it for its intended purpose: It’s right there in my hand to make certain we keep things square and level!
To watch this process, click here.
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.