Glossary of Pond Building Terms

This is a glossary of terms that we have used throughout the website and will help you understand what the instructions are referring to in any of the building and construction pages.

Aggregate Described as being ‘fine’ or ‘coarse’, aggregate is added to cement and water to give bulk to concrete and mortar mixes. The most usual forms are sand (fine aggregate) and crushed stone (coarse aggregate).

Batching Method of measuring materials for one batch of concrete, mortar or render. All batching in this book is by volume.

Batten Lengths of timber commonly used as part of a roof structure.

Bentonite Natural, montmorillonite clay mined for a wide variety of uses in industry and as a clarifying agent. Packaged in powder form with various additives (forming hydrous aluminum silicate) for use as a sealant for ponds and dams.

Bog Area of wet spongy ground.

Bond Method used to strengthen and hold brick walls together. Bricks are laid in various patterns to form different bonds.

Bore Hollow part of piping; term used in relation to internal diameter.

Butyl rubber A synthetic rubber used to line ponds and pools.

Chicken-wire Wire netting with a hexagonal mesh, traditionally used to fence-in chickens. Useful for DIY concrete ponds.

Clay puddling Traditional method used to seal ponds with impervious clay.

Cobble Rounded stone used to form a path, patio or road surface. Man-made cobbles are usually regular in shape and more like setts (see below).

Course A continuous row of bricks. Several courses form a wall.

Curing Keeping concrete or mortar moist to ensure a chemical reaction which gives it strength as it hardens.

Datum point A known point which is utilized to attain levels; for instance around the upper surface of a pond.

Dressed stone Stone that has been cut to create a reasonably smooth surface which is suitable for building.

EPDM Relatively inexpensive rubber made from an ethylene propylene polymer.

Face-brick Clay or concrete brick manufactured for use without plaster.

Fibercement Material composed of cement, organic fibers and sometimes a small percentage of asbestos, which can be molded to form pond shells, fountain features and pot plant containers.

Float Process used to smooth floor screeds or rendered walls.

Form-work Shuttering used to form a profile which holds wet concrete cast in situ.

French drain Drain filled with hardcore to allow water to drain through.

GRC reinforced cement used to mold architectural features and various products including fake rocks.

Gypsum plaster An internal plaster finish, containing hydrated calcium sulphate, used on both bare and rendered walls. Certain gypsum plasters (e.9. cretestone), are used to skim ceilings and plasterboard.

Hardcore Various materials including broken bricks, or stones used to improve drainage or compacted to form a well- drained sub-base beneath concrete.

Hardwood Botanical classification identifying broad-leafed species of tree.

Hot tub Forerunner of acrylic hot-water spas, hot tubs are traditionally made from Californian redwood and incorporate all the fittings found in spas.

Level Flat horizontal plane. Various instruments enable you to ensure that wails and other surfaces are flat and level.

Marbelite A mixture of white cement and granular marble dust used to plaster the internal shell of swimming pools.

Mortar Mixture of cement, sand and water used to bond bricks when building a wall or other structure.

Peatbog Bog composed of soil and vegetable matter with a high acid content.

pH Degree of acidity or alkalinity of pool water, measured on a scale from 0-14.

Piling Post or heavy beam driven into soft sand to support a deck, bridge or other structure. For pile foundations, holes are bored into the ground and then filled with reinforced concrete.

Plaster A protective coating applied to bare brick or cement block walls. Some people refer to plaster as a cement and sand mixture (see Render), in parts of the world, it refers only to gypsum plasters.

Plumb Flat, vertical plane.

Polyethylene Polymerized material, including polythene, often referred to as ‘plastic’. May be manufactured as sheeting or molded to various shapes.

Prime Procedure used to make some pumps start working. Certain surfaces must also be primed – or prepared – before they can be painted.

PVC Commonly used abbreviation for polyvinyl chloride, a thermoplastic made from a polymer of vinyl chloride. Available in both sheet and molded forms.

Render A coat of mortar (sometimes referred to as ‘plaster’) generally applied to exterior walls. There are various rendered finishes, although smooth stucco is probably the most common.

Setts A small block of stone (traditionally granite) used for paving.

Screed A smooth mortar layer spread over concrete to create a flat surface.

Shuttering Framework of wood or steel, erected as a temporary support for concrete to be cast on site.

Softwood Botanical specification identifying conifers.

Square Of square or rectangular shape. To ensure a structure is square, its corners must be at right-angles (90°).

Water head The height a pump can spurt from the surface of the water in a pond or pool (see Fountains).

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