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My Pond,  "The hard work completed"

With the digging completed we were happy that the worst was behind us. During the next week it was home from work, gobble down some supper and then out into the pond to complete all the fiddley jobs in preparation for the weekend and the arrival of the liner.  The bottom drains and the pipes leading from them were encased in concrete so that they could not move, even under the pressure from 50 tonne of water.  Next the bottom and sides were plastered with a 25mm coating of Sharp Sand to even out any little imperfections and give some additional protection to the liner.  Finally the whole thing was lined with heavy-duty polyester underlay, practically bullet-proof and designed specifically for this purpose.

Confident that all precautions had been taken, the Liner was finally unfolded and slid into place across the hole.  Up to this point the hollows of the bottom drains were filled with fine sand so that the liner could lay flat across them.  Carefully easing the liner into the shape of the pond it was slowly filled with a few inches of water.  We spend the next hour gently easing out any wrinkles from the bottom surface before adding more water and working our way up the walls.  All the folds were carefully  tailored so that the open edge was facing downwards before being taped into position with double-sided pond repair tape.  When complete it was quite difficult to see them even if you knew they were there.   Filled to its normal level it was left a few days to settle.

While this was happening we took the opportunity to build the brick walls of the valve chamber. These would not only protect the valves and the connections to the underground settlement tank, but act as the foundations for the filter house which would to be constructed above.  It had been a condition of being allowed to build the pond that everything should be presentable, no Heath Robinson sheds built from salvaged boards and scrap pieces of ply, it had to be a proper shed.  I had ordered an 8' x 6' quality shed from one of the local suppliers who normally deliver and assemble as part of the package, but it had become obvious fairly early in the project that the Nexus was too big to fit through a normal doorway.  Our only solution was to secure the base, position the Nexus, and then build the shed around it ourselves.  As it happened everything went smoothly but I often look back and wonder what would have happened if we had got to the end and discovered that we had left something out?

By the time we had got the shed assembled the pond had well and truly settled, so our next task was to pump the water out again.  My trusty old AquaMax 15,000 was connected to about 10M of 40mm hose and carefully lowered into the pond.  It only took about 3 hours to pump out 9,000 gallons.  The remaining 1,000 was sucked out using a Oase Pondvac before the entire bottom was dried with bathroom towels, (most of them had to be thrown in the bin, Lydia couldn't get the stains out of them). The final stage was to carefully cut the liner around the inside of the bottom drains and return drain before applying silicon sealant top and bottom and clamping the liner to the drains with the top sealing rings. It was then left undisturbed for 48 hours for the sealant to cure.