If you’re thinking of adding a pond to your garden, then you’ll want it to be as safe as possible, especially if you have small children or pets. Starting from scratch is the easiest way to design the safest pond, but you can also make adjustments to existing ponds if you need to. Here’s how:
Put up a fence around it
If you have small children this is the best thing you can do. It can be wooden and decorative, or chain-link and more utilitarian; either way, the children mustn’t be able to get through it without you being there. You can also make a couple of custom aluminium metal signs to explain why the fence is there.
Put in a wire mesh cover
If you don’t want a big fence, then the next best thing is a wire cover over the surface of the pond. If a child does fall over, the mesh will stop them sinking – they will get a bit damp, though…
Dig sloping edges
If a child or a pet manages to get through the fence (they are surprisingly clever when it comes to getting into trouble!), then sloping or stepped edges in the pond will help them to clamber out. Pond liners can become very slippery due to algae, so rocks and grid-steps along the sides is especially useful.
Secure any decorations
If you have sculptures or, say, a bird bath, near the pond, then children may be tempted to climb or “ride” on them. If the ornaments aren’t secured, they could easily topple over, landing the child in the water.
Fit a pool alarm
Pool alarms work well in ponds, too. They sound if something – a child or a pet – falls into the water. If you have big fish – koi carp, for example – in the pond, then their movements may trigger the alarm, so a surface-level alarm might not be the best option. You can also get alarms which go off when something gets too close to the pond, before they even get close enough to fall in.
Dig your pond so that it can be seen from the house
Of course, you will be supervising your children when they’re near the pond, but there may be times when they sneak out, or neighboring children sneak in. This is when accidents can occur because you’re not aware. If the pond is clearly visible from several windows, then you’ve got more chance of spotting the kids approaching it or playing near it. If they know that you’ve got hawk-eyes, they’ll think twice about sneaking up to the pond and you’ll be able to avert danger before it has much of a chance.
Cut back any overhanging branches
If your pond has any trees right next to it, then you should cut any overhanging branches right back. This not only prevents children from climbing over the pond – imagine how easy it is to fall straight down into the water – but it also stops leaves and other debris from falling into it. If there are any other bushes or big plants obscuring your view of the pond from the house, then these should go, too.