Finally, I started on the new duck pool (lots of pix!) FINISHED!!!


13 Years
Apr 27, 2007
Central MA
I originally had a formed 150 gal pond in this 5' x 6' space but after using it for one season I decided it didn't serve the purpose in the way I wanted it to so I pulled it out April 2010. Then, we had a sweltering summer so the next phase was put on hold and the four new ducklings lived in this space for several months. Now that the more comfortable weather is here I've finally started on building the pool the way I want it!


9-26-10 ~ DAY 1
Installing the outlet pipe and inside drain pipe



WALLS Phase 1- Added first layer of sand for slanted walls

Re-installed outside West wall

WALLS Phase 2- Added second layer of sand for slanted walls

Sprayed sand lightly to pack down and done for the night (not too bad for the first days work!)

10-02-10 ~ DAY 2

WALLS Phase 3 - Added third and final layer of sand for walls. Used measured sticks to help create the desired slant. Total time to filter sand, and fill/haul/empty 10 wheelbarrows of heavy, wet sand and tamp it down = 2.5 hours.


All 4 walls are now slanted (hard to tell in photo though) and have been lightly sprayed down.

Plans for tomorrow:
Cut and fit underlayment and pond liner to space and install/silicone drain to them both.
Trim top of liner/underlayment and install trim edge around entire top perimeter of pool.
Install utility pump (for winter water aeration to keep water from freezing) and test it out. Won't actually start using it until freezing weather hits.
Add a floating exit ramp (still thinking on this one...)
Phew! I'm tired and my back is sore
. Time to take ibuprofen
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More pampered duckies. They better start to lay golden eggs to repay you for all the back breaking work and money invested into them. Nice work, and I'm sure it will be worse it in the long run.

PS Don't show the ducks were the gold spray paint is or you may get your wish.
10-03-10 ~ Day 3

Underlayment in place.

Liner & concrete block. Once I placed the pump on top of the block I realized it was too high so I replaced the block with two bricks (thanks to DH for scouting around the yard to find them

About an hour into filling.

Pool finally full, took 1.5 hours.

While I was waiting for the pool to fill I started digging up the 3-4" of sand in the 10' x 17' run to be replaced with pea gravel. I got about 1/5 done. I believe getting rid of the sand will help keep the pool much cleaner since sand seems to be at least half of the waste in their little pool. I think it'll be easier for me to clean too because the sand gets compacted and really smells to high heaven at times. I was thinking I could occasionally spray it down with both water and a weak bleach mixture to clean/disenfect. Gotta think more on that part...

Started putting trim pieces around top to keep liner/underlayment in place. Don't know if those pieces are going to do the trick or not, gonna have to rethink using them... I have to work for the next couple days so the ducks are going to have to wait a few more days until the job is finished. I don't think they'll mind since they're kinda freaked out by that liner section hanging down into their run

Here's a picture of the pump and box (and water bottle for sizing). It is manufactured by Pentair and is a Flotec FPOS1200X. It is a continuous use, oil free, waterfull/utility pump safe for animals and fish. It pumps 1200 gph. I turned it on once the pool was full and it "bubbles/pumps" out about 8-10" into the air. It's a nice flow and I don't think it'll disturb the ducks at all. Later on I'll post a link to view the video.

This pump was very reasonably priced about $88-$89.00. The salesmen at Pentair (Ron & Keith if I remember correctly) were very helpful in listening to what I wanted from the pump which was firstly to keep the water liquid (not heated) all winter long and secondly to be able to pump out the water/waste. They explained that this was the only pump to use for that application. It was suggested to me by Keith to call the Home Depot contractors desk and special order it instead of ordering directly through the manufacturer (which would be more expensive). I did and it took a week to come in.

While DH was helping me figure out how to install the drain hole doo hickey into the underlayment/lining and then screw it into the drain pipe that was already installed I realized it was going to be a triple pain in the backside. The main problem is the way the pool is set up which is INSIDE an existing structure which made it extremely difficult to sculpt the sand walls, never mind getting down there close enough to actually screw this drain hole doo hickey into place. I was thinking "how the heck am I going to be able to fix the walls again with the liner in place?". Everytime I had to climb in and "fix" something my big cloddy feet would cave in a small section of that wall and I'd have to re-repair it again!
It was getting old FAST. Anyway the main reason I was going to have a waste drain was to not over use the pump all year long and just use it during the winter months.

I decided to forgo installing the drain hole doo hickey (and cutting a hole into the liner/underlayment which was giving me major anxiety!) at this point and just use the pump to pump out the waste and water when necessary. I'm going to use it this way for the winter and spring and see how it goes. If I decide next year that I want to go ahead and put the drain hole in I still can since the waste pipe is already in place. I'll just have to pump out the water, lift up the underlayment/lining, climb in there and screw the drain hole (with plenty of silcone mind you!) in. We'll see how it goes. Fingers crossed for NOT having to put in the drain hole

One suggestion I would make to anyone thinking of building a pool like this would be to not put in in a run like I did. If you have the opportunity to put one in your run I'd advise giving yourself at least 18-24" around each side which will make it much easier to work with. I ended up having to cut holes in the back run walls so we could stretch the liner in place and since the job is still incomplete tonight I had to close up those holes with zip ties. I've got to rebuild those walls since the zip ties are soooo attractive not to mention not predator safe, so I'm going to just frame in doors on both sides which will make cleaning much easier in the long run. But, it's added another day to this job.

More to come...
Oh yeah, pampered for sure. Actually, the pool is more for my enjoyment since they are perfectly happy with their little one. I always wanted to have one big enough that they could actually swim in instead of three of them floating in a circle touching each other since there was so little room
. I know the sq ft will only be 5 per duck but that's better than what they have now which is about -50 per duck since only 3 can fit at a time and that's a tight squeeze.

I've locked up the gold spray paint. I'm still waiting for the cayugas to start laying and I check every day. The chocolate runner and welsh harlequin started laying a few weeks ago and are going strong. Love the runners blue eggs!
BTW, the main reason I am posting so many pictures and giving such detail is payback. Over the years on BYC I have learned so much by viewing other peoples details whether it be chicken coops, duck houses, runs, aviary etc that I wanted to help someone else out in the way I've been helped. This old thread from October 2009 was the one that seriously got me to thinking about building my own duck pool.
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It looks great! One thought for you, they will carry rocks into the pool, rocks even bigger than pea gravel. So you might want to think about putting large rocks for a couple feet out from the pool to minimize this. It's especially bad (as I'm sure you know!) if they can reach anything from the pool that they can fit in their mouth.
10-11-10 ~ Day 4

Today I achieved about 95% finality on the duck pool. There are still several jobs that need to be done to the run before winter hits (e.g. finish shoveling OUT the sand and bring in pea gravel, put 18" sight barrier all around the bottom perimeter for more security since they like to sleep up against the wire walls, install the water drinking station so it is level, build a plexi glass wall for their sleeping quarters which face south so they can have sunshine all winter long
, build some "lean to" panels to extend their 10'x17' run by about 12'x 7' for the winter months, build two wire hinged walls for easier access to the back side of the pool and finally plastic cover all the walls!)
but I feel like I've accomplished so many things that were on the original list already.

This is a green plastic fence "ramp". Hopefully, they will be able to grip it to climb up onto the triangle shaped deck...

Triangle shaped deck installed

7' ramp (sprinkled with sand while the waterproofing coat was still wet)

This is a temporary green plastic netting (with entry way to pool) wall to keep them from jumping out of the pool (which is a 2.5'
drop to the ground!). I will probably build a nicer structure to replace it in the spring but for now this is it!

When I let them into the run for the night they immediately ran into their sleeping quarters (under the nest house with it's brand spanking new sand covered ramp) quacking LOUDLY. I couldn't persuade them to come out but hopefully in the morning I will find all six swimming in their new pool.


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