Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Bottom's Up!

Or should I say bottom's down as we have finally installed the two bottom drains and the soil pipes at the base of our new pond.

These bottom drains are much, much larger than the standard ones available in specialist shops as they are custom made by one of the members of our Koi club. Both the lid and the bottom part are moulded fibreglass, to be connected on to 4 inch soil pipes upon installation. These large drains remind me of alien space crafts, or rather the props used in filming cheap, alien B-movies!
Say cheese! Me for scale (and yes I've gone platinum for autumn)
Off to a good start with some breakfast by the pond!
What appealed to me about the design of this bottom drain is that the lid are on hinges, which makes it easy to lift up and close back using a net whilst under water. And also the size and shape of the bottom part itself makes it easier to remove any sediment that may settle into it. Koi can be very inquisitive and has the tendency to occasionally dislodge the lid of ordinary bottom drains, and if this happens virtually the only way to put it back on is to dive in (or you can also drain most of the pond water, which isn't practical either). Bearing in mind that the pond will be 6 foot deep with 8000 gallons of water, diving and draining are neither practical options so we had to bear this in mind at the construction phase, and opted to go for this design as it eliminates this possibility (unless Koi learn how to use a screw driver!).

Knickers getting comfy in the drain before it got filled with water
Prior to the installation of the pipework, another thing we managed to accomplish was to lay the concrete base of the filtration house, which is adjacent to the pond. It was important that we get this done quite early on so we can start laying the blocks for the walls of the building, and gets it ready so that we can continue to work on it during milder spells in winter. 

So after marking their final positions, we had to dig a shallow hole where the drains will go as well as the trenches where the soil pipes will pass through. A bigger job that had to be done was to chip off one side of the pond, the one beside where the filtration house will be, so the soil pipes can jut out and be connected to the filters much later in the project. Once all the rubble and chalk was out, we glued the pipes together, put them into place, checked the levels, backfilled and concreted them in place. Well almost all of them. It was getting too dark so we only had to do the essentials and will do the rest in the next few days, but at least most if has been done.

Solvent welding the pipes
And once the concrete had dried, we have started to build the walls up on that side of the pond.

So three important project landmarks happened in the last week: the base of the filtration house has been laid, the bottom drains and pipes are put in place, and the pond finally has walls on all of its four sides. Phew!



  1. Now that is a big project. Hope to see the finished work.

  2. I still can't believe you guys are doing this yourself. I continue to be in awe!

  3. At first I thought you had spent so much time working outside this Summer, that the sun had bleached your hair! I am still having trouble getting my mind around a fish pond that is six feet deep.

  4. Love your looks a bit grey, as in platinum jewelry not platinum blonde. I would love to go that color.

    But well, to the real subject of this post...congratulations!

  5. Blimey. That's serious building work. Very impressive. I wouldn't know where to start myself.

  6. You are moving right along and everything looks really good.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

  7. Everything is looking good, the pond and your hair. Very nice!

  8. I am torn between being hugely impressed at the sheer scale of the work you are doing (and the way you are doing it), and the thought that your bottom drain looks just like a giant bedpan. Which makes the sight of your cat sat in it rather disturbing... Love the hair!

  9. Thanks Donna, Gerhard! Still loads more to do but I'm pleased with how we're getting on with it :)

    Ahh Hazel, it will be six foot deep indeed :) There is a reason for the depth, will explain in a future blog post. And yes it was the sun that bleached my hair, lol!

    Thanks Loree! I'm pleased with the finish (hair I meant) which I jokingly say it matches the chrome railings at work, lol! I seriously love it though, will probably stick with this shade for the entire year. As for the pond, we'll get there soon :)

    Thanks David! Starting was the tricky bit but once you do it's difficult to stop :)

    Thanks Cher, Bom :)

    Thanks Janet! Your reply made me laugh but it's not an ergonomic bedpan if it was :) It actually reminds me of one of those french urinals (ewww!). The drain is filled with water now so the cat can't sleep in it anymore, I'm sure he's got better places to sleep at :)

  10. You are very brave to tackle a project like this, I am really looking forward to seeing the end results which I just know will be impressive. Didn't have a choice my hair just turned that colour on its own, unfortunately its now also starting to disappear.

  11. Really enjoying your pond build. The hinged bd design is very clever. I had to get in my pond one winter (of course it was winter) to put the bd cover back on. No fun!


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