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Pond Retaining Walls: Ideas And How To Build One

Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that at no cost to you, we may receive a small commission for made purchases.

Beginning any sizable yard project can seem like a daunting task, and retaining walls for your pond are no different. 

But whether you are struggling for ideas, or simply want a quick how-to on the construction process, our handy guide has got you covered. 

Retaining Walls

Retaining walls are rigid stone walls designed to support soil laterally, especially at the bottom of sloping ground or in bodies of water. 

They can be seen on country roads, where they cut through hilly countryside, and they use stone to support the soil at different elevations to ensure it doesn’t break through. 

They are ultimately used for separating and preserving integrity of sloping terrain. 

Types Of Retaining Wall

There are several different types of retaining walls, including gravity walls, cantilevered walls, piling walls, and anchored walls. 

Gravity walls consist of heavy barricades, using their superior weight to increase their gravity and resist the push of the soil behind them. 

Cantilever walls appear in a reverse “L” shape, using a lip under the soil and a thick barrier to manipulate the force of the soil to keep it in place. 

Piling walls are set deeper into the ground, using the lower soil level in front to add reverse pressure, and resist the push of the soil behind. 

Anchored walls are straight vertical walls that use metal or concrete struts plunged into the soil tok create stability. 

Building Your Retaining Wall

Pond Retaining Walls Ideas And How To Build One (1)


Before work can begin, it is important to have the right materials. These can include natural stone, fine gravel or cement, a laser level to ensure straightness, and a shovel. 

The Steps

The first step is to dig a trench. This needs to be about 6 inches deep, and as wide as the thickest piece of natural stone you intend to use.

This lip created by the trench will help to keep the stones sturdy and in place, despite the force of the soil. 

The next step involves placing the largest and flattest rocks at the bottom of the trench to act as a strong foundation upon which to build the retaining wall. 

The next step is part of a recurring process, and involves mixing the cement or the gravel and filling any gaps along the foundation level. This will create a firmer base. 

Then you can begin to add the next layer of stone, using the cement/gravel to hold them in place. Repeat this process 3 or 4 times, using the cement/gravel to fill any other gaps to ensure strength. 

Continue this to the desired height, trying to ensure a sturdy, balanced, and finish that is aesthetically pleasing. 

Other Ideas

This can of course be done to any shape or dimensions you choose, and depends wholly on your preferences, and the area in which you are working. 

Whilst circular or semi-circular shapes are simpler, it is not uncommon to have four sided designs.

Be sure to plan what you want beforehand, taking into account space, desired shape, depth, and the kinds of materials you wish to use. 

Most stone will be suitable, as long as it isn’t porous, as you don’t want water to be able to pass through, or the density of the wall to be undermined. 

Final Thoughts

And there we have it, our quick how-to for a basic retaining wall (see also ‘Retaining Wall Drainage: How To Drain Water Properly’). 

The only thing left is to try it yourself. Remember though, planning is everything!

author avatar
Anthony Barnes
Anthony Barnes is the founder of Water Heater Hub and a second-generation plumber by profession. Before developing Water Heater Hub, Anthony Barnes was a full-time plumber, and he has undertaken a wide variety of projects over the decades. As a second-generation plumber, it was easy for Anthony to get used to the technicalities of all from a tender age


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