Re: Backyard Drainage
The only way to take care of the pond will be to install drainage and to regrade the soil. The only way to improve the soil is with organic matter in the form of manure or compost. How you go about these projects will depend on your budget, yard size, and physical fitness. If your yard is more than a 50 foot square (2,500 square feet ), then I'd suggest renting a tractor to till and move the soil. If it's less than 50 foot square, then a renting a commercial walk-behind tiller will suffice for the cultivation and you can use a combination of garden rakes and landscape rakes to regrade.
Manure is plentiful from horse stables and similar places where quantities of animals are kept, and it's usually free for the taking. Another alternative is municipal compost - made from the green waste picked up from curbside residential customers which is usually available directly from the municipal waste management facility that produces it or local landscape material suppliers. There is usually a small fee from the municipality, landscape suppliers will charge more. The only thing with municipal compost is that it has a certain amount of plastic and other debris in it, as well as all the yard chemicals that folks tend to use to keep their yards green and critter free. All this isn't a big deal as long as you're only landscaping the area, however if you have a veggie garden in the plans, DO NOT use municipal compost in that area. Whichever you use, apply 4" or more and work it to a depth of 4" to 6" into the soil.
You may find that regrading the soil will be enough to produce natural drainage, however, you can't redirect run-off from your property to any adjoining property, you must divert it to municipal storm run off systems or create a French drain or dry well on site.
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