How Much Does It Cost To Dig A Pond? [Rough Estimate]

Are you a fish enthusiast? Have you ever thought of having a pond in your backyard? Maybe you are discouraged because of the cost of building a fish pond. But the truth is, building a fish pond is not as expensive and tedious as you think.

Obviously, the next question on your lips is, “So, how much does it cost to dig a pond? Well, if you stick around a little bit longer, you will surely get an answer to that question.


But before we go deeply into pond installation, it’s important to note that the cost of digging a pond might vary depending on variables including its size, the kind of soil, and its location, just as with any building endeavor.

That being clarified, let’s take a look at the types of fishing ponds.


Types of fishing ponds

One of the first things you’ll need to do if you want to build a fishing pond is decide what kind of pond you want to dig. In this section, we’ll discuss the types of fishing ponds.

Backyard fishing pond 

A backyard fishing pond is a smaller pond created specifically for use in a residential backyard. 

If you’re a homeowner who enjoys fishing but would rather not leave your property, this is the type of pond you will have to install. 

Several aspects, such as pond size, pond materials, and design intricacy, will affect the final price tag of a backyard fishing pond.


Farm fishing pond

Farm fishing ponds are mainly constructed on farmland and are specifically installed for fishing. 

These ponds serve a dual purpose; providing the landowner with a steady supply of fish and offering recreational opportunities for passersby. 

Size, materials, and required machinery all affect how much it will cost to dig a farm fishing pond.

The primary elements that influence the cost of installing a pond  

Having a fish pond is a dream come true for any fishing fanatic. But before you start breaking ground, it’s crucial to have a firm grasp on the many variables that can affect the overall budget. 

Here are some of the main considerations that go into estimating the total cost of digging a fish pond;

Location of the pond 

When estimating how much it will cost to dig a pond, one of the most crucial considerations is the site where the pond will be installed. 

Constructing your pond in an urban or a rural region can affect the final price. Zoning laws, for instance, can be a source of extra expense if you’re constructing in an urban area. 

Costs can rise in outlying places due to the higher labor and material costs associated with clearing land and installing infrastructure.

Soil Type

When estimating how much it will cost to dig your pond, it’s also important to consider the soil type. 

Extra support for the pond’s foundation may be needed if the soil is very weak. Hard or rocky soil can make digging more difficult and increase the overall cost of the project. 

Also, to prevent water from leaking out of the pond, you will need additional drainage systems on some types of soil.


The price of digging a fishing pond will depend heavily on your financial situation. Before you begin digging your pond, it is essential to establish a budget. 

This will be useful in determining the pond’s dimensions, the types of materials to be used, and the standards to be set. 

It’s important for you to have some emergency funds stashed away in case any unforeseen costs pop up throughout the course of the project.

Job Quality 

The quality of the job is another major consideration when estimating the total cost to dig a pond. 

A contractor with a solid track record and years of pond-digging experience will charge you more for their services. 

Spending money on a professional service is the only way to guarantee that your pond will last and be safe for your fish.

Dimensions of the Pond

The size of the pond you intend to install is a major factor in estimating the total price. Normally, the larger the pond, the greater the installation costs. The cost of buying and transporting fish should also be considered if you plan to stock the pond.


The cost of materials used for installing a pond can vary depending on the market. An excellent way to gauge the price of pond digging is to request various estimates from local contractors in your area.

Build a Dam 

If you are intending to install a larger pond, you will have to build a dam. Estimating the total cost of a dam project requires considering not only the cost of materials but also the cost of labor, which may add up to the overall cost of installing a pond.

Now that you have known the primary elements that influence the cost of digging a pond, the big question is “How much does it cost to dig a pond?” Keep scrolling to find out.

Cost of installing a pond

Pond installation costs depend solely on the size of your pond. The larger your pond, the higher the cost of installation.

Small ponds for the backyard can cost anything from $5,000 to $55,000. The price of a large pond can reach $70,000. 

If you want to use a large pond for fishing, you’ll likely pay by the acre. They are usually simple and plain, needing merely a hole patched with the appropriate synthetic lining or dirt. 

It’s important to note that the cost can potentially quadruple after you factor in extras like gardening and ornamentation.

Tools and equipment needed for installing a pond

There is a wide variety of machinery and tools needed for the installation of a pond. Most ponds are dug out and constructed using the following tools and machinery;

  • Excavator
  • Backhoe
  • Bobcat
  • Bulldozer
  • Wheel loader
  • Dump truck
  • Shovels
  • Rakes
  • Hand trowels
  • Post hole diggers
  • Chainsaws
  • Leveling equipment
  • Water pumps
  • Safety equipment (hard hats, gloves, safety glasses, etc.)

What is the ideal depth for a pond?

The depth of the pond is a crucial factor to think about while designing a pond. Several criteria, such as the pond’s function, the fish species, and the local temperature, should be considered when determining the optimal depth for a pond.

A fish pond’s depth needs to be between 8 and 12 feet. Numerous types of fish would flourish in a pond with this depth due to the constant temperature and abundance of oxygen.

Step by step guide to digging a pond 

Here are easy steps you can follow to build your fish pond; 


It’s important to have a solid strategy laid out before beginning excavation. Think about the overall budget, the size and shape of the pond, and the soil type you’ll be excavating.


After planning, you can begin marking out the spot where you want to install your pond. You can mark out your pond’s size and shape with the help of stakes and string.

Obtain government approval  

Getting permission from the appropriate authorities is the most important stage before filling or building a fishing pond. It is unlawful to build a pond without going through the proper channels. 


After getting approval from the government, you will have to excavate the area you intend to use.

The excavation process includes removing earth to achieve the desired pond depth and contours. You can use an excavator or backhoe to achieve the depth you want. 


Damming is another essential step in installing a pond. After the pond has been dug out, you have to dam the ground surrounding the pond. This will prevent water leakage.  


Lining your pond helps keep the water in place. There are numerous materials that you can use as pond liners, but be sure to choose a durable one, you may need to learn how to fix pond liner to wood.

Water inlet and outlet sources

You have to put in place water inlet and outlet sources after lining your pond. Make sure the pond’s water line is kept clean and functional. Also, use high-quality pipes, as this will reduce the need for routine maintenance.

Set up equipment 

Setting up equipment like a pump, aerator, and heater will help your fish ponds look better and be healthier. None of these things are compulsory, but they make your fish feel comfortable.


The question “How much does it cost to dig a pond?” has been answered in detail in this blog post. Note that this cost is variable and is set by your individual requirements.

You can construct it yourself, or you can contract with professionals. A beautiful pond that is healthy for your fish is yours, no matter which route you take.


How much does it cost to build a pond?

Digging a pond can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $70,000 or more on average, depending on factors including pond size, soil, and location.

What factors affect the cost of installing a pond?

Factors that affect the cost of installing a pond include; pond size, soil type, location, and market.

Can I dig a pond myself to cut costs?

Though digging your own pond can save you money, it is a time-consuming and difficult task that demands the right tools and expertise.


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