Creating a year round Pond or Wetland
Posted: Aug-06-2003 at 6:10pm
Does anyone have any experience in this that they could share? We have a natural - actually it is even a legal easement - through our property. Depending on weather 6-9 months of the year it is a pond/stream. I would like to make it year round, but of course allow for the influx of water during the wet season. There is a "pond" with an island towards the north side of the property as the neighbor kind of has his more of a wetland (he doesn't want the water) and it appear that previously someone did do some digging in our area to make it the way it is.
I think I may have to take some pictures to make any sense.....
Cory Downey Hart
Posted: Aug-06-2003 at 9:09pm
Cory, Although I am not sure if I am getting what you are trying to convey totally, I think it would be a good idea to perhaps think about receiving neighbor's run off into your pond area.
If they use chemicals this would wind up in your pond which would not be a good scenario. But also even if they don't use chemicals they may move and other neighbors move in that would. So one thing you may want to assess is having this runoff possibly contaminating your pond.
Also excess fertilizers that runs off would cause much algae bloom, upset the balance of pond. Just a few things to consider in having run off go into your pond.
Posted: Aug-07-2003 at 7:30am
Cory - are you located in King County? I have a wetland of sorts in King County and they are very picky about what you can and can't do with them. One of my ponds dries up in the summer, the other one drops several feet but never completely dries. Neither are very attractive in the typical "gardening for beauty and control" sense. But they are attractive in the wild sense and the birds, frogs, dragonflies, snakes and newts love them - not to mention the occasional heron.
If you want to add water to the pond during the dry months, I don't think this would be a problem but depending on your soil, it might just drain quickly away. And if your neighbor doesn't like the water, that could be an issue. Also, you'll need to control mosquitoes especially in the summer months - those Bt floaters work pretty well.
But I would definitely not change the shape, depth or severely remove brush around the pond if you are in King County. They take this stuff VERY seriously as it all eventually drains into Salmon spawning habitat. You might be able to line the bottom portion of the pond but I'd be worried about ground water lifting the lining up. If your water is mostly surface water then it might not be a problem. My ponds are ground-water fed except for periods of heavy rain.
I'm thinking your biggest problem right now is the neighbor who doesn't want the water there. An unhappy neighbor is usually the best informant for the county.
Maybe you can rethink why you want the pond. If you try not to concern yourself too much with public opinion, you can learn to love a natural moist spot that dries 3 months a year. Our kids' friends love to come and catch tadpoles and play in the muck. I've planted a few native willows around my one pond and selectively removed some of the alders and blackberries. And you can always weedwack a dry pond if it is getting a little ratty looking. Plant a Gunnera nearby and some Siberian irises or some pretty willows and be done with it. Good luck!
Posted: Aug-07-2003 at 8:58am
I think having a natural pond would be cool. Debbie and Wanda have a good point of the risks, though. I think you ought to look into it with the county and see if it is doable. Maybe the benefits will outweigh the risks.
Posted: Aug-07-2003 at 9:54am
Thanks for the replies -
I am in Kitsap County. From what I know, so long as I am not planning on filling it in, no one will really care. My neighbor would actually like it if I increased the depth and kept more water in my area - what he has stated he wants to do is clear his land of all trees, put in more drainage and have a two plus acres of lawn - so TOTALLY opposite of what I like! He smiles indulgently at my preference for the "natural" garden, and I shake my head at his desire to have all that empty space - and shudder at his "weed & feed"! Now, the good news is the water does not run off from his area - but as far as chemicals go I would have to worry about folks on the other side.
The very rear of the property is a true wetland - that I would just like to find more stuff I can plant in it. Right now, the dogs like to dive in when the water is high, so I will need to protect anything I plant - not too difficult, I have lots of experience with gardening and dogs!
Cory Downey Hart
Posted: Aug-07-2003 at 9:34pm
Cory, Oh Kitsap! Don't you mean Wetland County? Isn't everywhere a wetland here? :)
If it is a bonafide wetland then you shouldn't mess with it. Kitsap County has to answer to the same wetland gods as King County so their regulations are probably similar. However if it is just an area that has standing water over winter, it may not be a sensitive riparian area.