Last week I went through a brief history of the pond, what prompted a rebuild, and construction of the bulkhead. This week I’ll show how the sump was built and installed.
The sump is simply a 12 inch diameter piece of PVC 3 foot in length. It was installed at a height so that the ideal water level of the pond would be about a foot up in the sump, this would allow the installation of a float valve to help maintain this level. In addition, I ran an additional pipe to the sump area for running hidden wires and hoses into the pond.
The first step was to dig a trench from the new sump area to the pond. I placed the sump close to the artesian well head to minimize additional piping. The sump area will also have power run to it for the aerator and lighting, in the future I could also place a water pump in there for irrigation.
For the sump itself, I needed to seal the bottom of the pipe and ordering a PVC cap would be expensive (I got the pipe from Craigslist). A concrete plug was the simple and inexpensive answer here, all I need to do is pour it down the pipe and it would create a plug. To keep it from slipping out after hardening I drilled a few holes around the base and inserted some long nails in place, these would become part of the plug.
It’s hard to tell from this next picture, but with the pipe flipped over the nails remained around an inch above the ground so they would be in the middle of the plug.
Next step, mix up some concrete and drop it down the pipe. I set the pipe on a scrap piece of plywood and taped the nails in place so they wouldn’t get pushed out or leak. This all worked very well.
Once the plug dried I flipped the pipe over and made a hole in it for the feed pipe from the pond.
One more thing before installation, there would be a secondary pipe coming from the bulkhead for wiring, hoses, or any other additional lines needed to the pond. I needed a 90 degree bend for this pipe but using an elbow would be too sharp for pulling through. Using a propane torch, I heated a section of pipe and carefully bent it so give a nice slow bend without pinching it.
Ready for installation! Laying the pipe out was the easy part, the two runs were kept side by side with a slight gap between. Here’s where they ended by the sump.
Here’s a view looking down the sump. I used a little spray foam to help seal where the pipe came into the sump tube.
Looking towards the lake, note the pieces of 1×2 to keep the gap between the pipes when I filled the dirt back in.
A closer view where the bulkhead meets the lake. The bulkhead angle doesn’t match the lake slope perfectly but that’s OK. You can see the dirt near the top will be towards the back of the bulkhead, this is good as it keeps dirt out of the area where the pipes exit.
Another view, from the bulkhead looking back towards the sump. The total run is about 35 feet long and about 2 1/2 feet below the ground level at the pond.
View from across the pond for perspective of size.
With everything in place the dirt was put back over the pipes. The next step is to pour a concrete pad for the sump area. To preview the size and orientation I marked corners with these fiberglass rods. This will eventually be covered and surrounded by plants.
When building this last year I wasn’t documenting it for a blog otherwise I’d have more pictures of the process of making the pad. In any case, here’s the result after it was poured. In the next post I’ll show the process of building the cover and I also painted the pad, in future projects I add color to the concrete to save a step and it looks better in case the concrete gets chipped.
You can see a total of four things coming through the pad. There’s the sump, extra pipe to the bulkhead, a PVC run to go to the well head, and a smaller pipe for electrical. The black flex pipe coming up is a water line for a fountain. Here’s another view, looking towards the pond.
Next steps are to connect the well and float valve, paint the slab, hook up the aerator and run the aeration line, hook up the fountain, and build the cover for everything.
One more note about the build, notice the slab looks pretty thick. I actually built up the middle with dirt at about 3 inches, total height is about 6 inches. I wanted it to be high enough to keep everything above probable flood level and keep mulch and dirt out. Turns out we had record flooding later in the year and this was just about perfect, water never came above the top of the slab. All electrical I have run outdoors has the connections up high to keep them out of water and it all remained functioning during the flood.
Until next time, happy planting!