What To Do With An Unwanted Pond? [7 Awesome Ideas!]

Do you feel like that backyard pond is an eyesore? Not exactly safe for your children? Or maybe you'd like to spend less money on pond maintenance? You're in luck because we've got some ideas for that unwanted backyard pond!

Some ideas we have for an unwanted pond include:

  1. Filling it in
  2. Turning it into something entirely different (i.e., Sandbox, Garden)
  3. Removing it entirely
  4. Transforming the space into a BBQ
  5. Natural pool or wading pool
  6. Making it into a fountain
  7. Undergoing a complete renovation

If any of these ideas seem appealing to you, continue reading! We will provide you with all the inspiration you will need for your next outdoor project!

Beautiful designed garden fish pond with water lily in a well cared backyard, What To Do With An Unwanted Pond? [7 Awesome Ideas!]

1. Filling In An Unwanted Pond

You can easily embark on a DIY project to fill in your unwanted pond, thus reclaiming your yard space. You will want to follow the steps below.

  1. Remove any plants, live animals, or fish from the pond.
  2. Pump out all the water with a sump pump or other means.
  3. Remove anything lining the pond. This would be gravel, sand, or rocks.
  4. Remove the liner or plastic tub creating the pond.
  5. Backfill the space with gravel or rocks.
  6. Backfill again, this time with small gravel. This will fill any empty areas ensuring a solid fill-in and preventing the ground from sinking in.
  7. Pack it all down.
  8. Add sand to make the area level with the surrounding ground.
  9. If you're planning to put down gravel, now would be when you would add your weed barrier.
  10. Follow through with your intended plan, whether it be pavers, gravel, stones, or topsoil.

Pavers in back yard and level area for patio

This is a helpful walkthrough video of the process with before and after shots:

See this sump pump on Amazon.

2. Transforming Your Pond Into Something Else

If you'd like to turn your pond into a rock garden, you'll want to follow the directions above to fill in the pond. Once filling with sand is completed, place any large stones on top.

Fill in any extra spaces with gravel mulch.

The rock garden provides sharp drainage, so if you add plants to your new landscape piece, you will want to pick only plants that require this drainage.

Many perennial succulents and shrubs can meet this type of drainage requirement.


Sandbox in the playground for small children

If you have small children, another option you can transform your unwanted pond into would be a sandbox. Small children love to build sandcastles and play in the sand.

This might be the perfect solution for you if you have small children!

You will want to follow the directions for how to fill in the pond. Once you've removed the rocks or other sub-straight-lining the pond, you'll want to fill it with play sand.

Or you can fill in the pond entirely and then add an enclosure for the sandbox on top.

Check out this play sand from Amazon.

3. Removing The Pond Altogether

If you prefer to have your pond gone with your yard space back to grass, you will want to follow the directions for filling it in up to the backfilling step.

Instead of backfilling, you will want to purchase soil or dirt from a gardening center or landscaping supply store.

Fill in the pond area with dirt or soil, level it off, so it is level with the rest of the yard, and then either plant lawn seed or put down sod to reclaim your yard space.

4. Creating A BBQ Space With My Pond

Backyard hardscape patio with outdoor barbecue and kitchen

You can easily fill your pond with the recommended steps above to create a wonderful backyard BBQ oasis. You'll want to follow the steps for filling your pond in, and once you have leveled and covered the ground with your desired materials, you can build your BBQ.

You can build your BBQ space on pavers, stones, or another preferred surface.

You can go with a simple, inexpensive BBQ on paver stones, concrete, or tiles. Or you can go all out and contact a contracting company to build your perfect outdoor space with a built-in BBQ area.

You could even use some of the materials from that old pond if you have boulders or other materials left!


Deck chairs around a fire pit on the edge of a lake at dusk

Another option after filling in your pond would be a nice cozy firepit where the pond once was. You can accomplish this by first filling in your pond.

Then place your desired surface materials where the pond once was and get a fire pit or a paver fire pit kit. The paver kits are easy to install and add a unique built-in look to a space.

Check out this fire pit on Amazon here.

5. Create Natural Or Wading Pool

Natural pools have been a popular concept in Europe since the 80s.

They are quickly becoming popular in the U.S. market. These pools use plants as part of a natural filter system to maintain and clean the pool vs. chemicals.

DIY kits and pool building companies can help you design and build the natural pool of your dreams.

If you don't like the idea of a whole pool, you could use this technique to create a small wading pool for guests to enjoy or for your fur babies to cool off in!

6. Turning Your Pond Into A Fountain

Aquatic garden in a home backyard

Turning your pond into a fountain feature can help maintain the pond water and keep it more transparent and cleaner. It has benefits all year long and improves the water for the fish, preventing die-off.

To transform your pond into a fountain, you can add a fountain aerator that is the adequate size for your pond.

Another option is to consult with a professional fountain building company; pool builders often have fountain building expertise.

They can assist in building the perfect fountain out of your existing pond or adding a fountain feature to the pond.

7. Renovate Your Space Completely

Say your pond isn't exactly what you want, yet you'd still like to maintain the water feature. Enlisting the help of a qualified landscaping company, you can plan out exactly what you want with your existing pond.

Many chose to renovate their existing pond into a pondless waterfall or update the rocks or tiles adorning the pond to fit their unique style.

Other options include expanding the existing pond and creating a larger water feature.

Adding plant life and rocks can also add the desired effect to the space for some homeowners. Or you could go in the opposite direction and renovate the existing pond into a modern garden feature.

You can also do pond renovations over time. The entire pond doesn't have to be overhauled at one time. You can opt to renovate a waterfall feature or update the pump equipment.

Maybe you want to do some updating on the exterior materials.

What Is The Cheapest Way To Fill A Pond?

The cheapest and easiest way to fill in an unwanted pond is by following the steps in #1, removing the liner, and then backfilling with rocks, sand, gravel, or the dirt you choose.

This will be the most cost-effective and easiest DIY option available to you.

What Is The Average Cost To Fill In A Pond?

If you plan to fill in the pond yourself, the highest cost will be the dirt or topsoil you use to fill it with. An average range for filling it in will run between $150 and $250.

If you go with a landscaping company, expect to pay about 50% more for labor costs alone.

If you already have the tools to use yourself or have friends or neighbors who would be willing to loan you the equipment filling it in yourself is by far the cheapest option.

To Finish

There are quite a few options for transforming a pond that may be on your property you're unhappy with. The pond doesn't have to be an eyesore. There are many options for converting an unwanted pond into the landscaping feature you've always wanted.

Whether you want to embark on a DIY project or enlist the help of a professional, there are options for your unwanted pond. Or, worst case, you can opt to fill it in and reclaim your yard space!

If you enjoyed this article, consider these for further reading:

30 Fantastic Corner Garden Ideas [Photo Inspiration]

How To Build A Pond In Sandy Soil

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