Cement brick farm pond


We have dug up 120ft X 65ft X 15ft farm pond and considering going for a permanent structure rather than using the sheets. We have a separate farm pond with the sheet and we use it as operating farm pond (inflows and outflows). The new one is more of reservoir and will only be used in those must use situations and given this we thought going concrete is a safe bet.

our thinking is going with concrete bed on the bottom and the side walls will be built using cement bricks (with metal/crushed small stones) and then plastering the insides of the wall. We will fill in the minor gap between the walls and mud with concrete. have been told that it is possible the concrete walls will develop cracks and there could be water seepage. I would like prevent this issue if possible.

are you aware of anyone building large farm ponds with concrete walls and any issues with them? any ideas to prevent cracks?

thanks - Sunil

Hi Sunil, I visited a farm two days ago who had a reservoir built in concrete. I asked them the question on leaks and cost, they said that they had not seen any leakage but the cost was very high. Point to be noted is the pond is 3-4 years old and not really as big as you are planning.

BTW- why do you want a concrete structure? Have you though of using used shipping containers as ponds?

hi , used containers seems a good option to store water,Please let me know about its availability.

About cement pond, Pond walls and bottom can be reinforced using gunny bags socked in cement grout at even a lesser cost,
One agriculture university /center in Wayanad District kerala has done it successfully
regards shebi.zac@rediff.com

Hi Sundaresh,

thanks for getting back to me. as told, I wanted go for a long term solution and hence concrete structure. Additionally, I don’t live near to farm and the thought of puncture/tear of the HDPE sheet makes me bit nervous. honestly, didn’t think about the shipping container option but sounds like an option. however, after having a look at the container prices 40ftX8ftX8ft @around 1.2Lakhs I guess concrete is better off. The hidden cost of the containers could be huge transportation cost, rust proof coating, making it water tight welding etc.,

thanks - Sunil

Hi Shebi,

I have seen those gunny bag kerala videos. again, the gunny bag price is not cheap (depending on the quality up to 25Rs) and also ponds built with gunny bags don’t have long enough history on it’s durability in the long run and that’s a risk. Cement bricks can be procured between 13-18Rs and am estimating all in all 4.5 to 5lakhs (including moisture sealant material) for my farm pond.

thx - Sunil

thank you sunil
may i know of the effective area a cement brick can provide?
What would be the cost per liter of water in your calculation?
What is this Moisture sealant meterials?
Regards and thanks shebi

Hi - cement bricks are typically 1 square feet. you can workout the maths 5 lakhs to about 35lakh liters storage. there are many variants of these moisture sealants…we are not yet there. will post once we finalize.


Why spent so much money. Dig the required structure. Let the rains fill it up. Over time the water will settle into the ground. (This is the primary idea of having a pond, everything else is secondary) By the pond size you have mentioned and depending upon the rainfall in your area, the water table in your farm will rise and the water in the pond will stay for a longer duration after the monsoon. You could use liners also… but why spend so much?


You raised a good point but unfortunately it’s not pragmatic for us . The average annual rainfall in this area is less than 300mm and over the years it’s getting even worse. The chances of water accumulating in this pond and contributing materially to the ground water table are much slim. The ground water table does gets charged during rainy season (natural process) and the only way we can secure and be confident is by tapping this water and ‘store’ for unforeseen conditions. We had to chose this option to store the water. It does get quite expensive.

thanks - Sunil

Hi Sunil,

Do you have a number i can call?


Hi Vivek, am overseas. Drop me a note and I will get back to you. thanks

we ended up opting for stone wall. Half way through the project…

FYI, finally completed


How much did it cost overall and what is the capacity?

Hi Chandra, cost us close to 11lakhs (unexpected included blasting the stone at about 1lakh). Capacity is around 35lakh litres. Point to be noted is we went with 2 feet wide wall.thanks Sunil

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Is rainfall the only source of this water? How did you calculate the pressure? You mentioned 2 ft wall. Was this is on all five sides? Did you build a thicker base at the bottom?

Good luck…


Hi Vivek,

In fact, bore water is the only source of water . At the bottom, the foundation is at a minimum 6 inches and the side walls 2 feet wide. We dug 15 feet deep, let it rest for 6 months (including the heavy rainy season) and then laid the foundation and plastering work. at that depth, about 40% surface area was rock for us.

the basis for this structure is a similar structure constructed 10 years back in the neighbouring area (which is intact to-date) and moreover they built directly on the surface (without digging) and has similar foundation thickness, wall width etc.,. Didn’t do too much engineering on measuring the pressure and adjusting the foundation accordingly. Given we dug deep, the walls are supported by the soil itself and with the rocky surface and resting it for 6 months hopefully our one should last long.

thanks -Sunil

How was the foundation made up? I mean was it reinforced with bars/rods or plain cement mixed with sand and stones? Thanks.

thin layer of sand as binding agent to soil and cement, then the concrete mix had rock dust, stones, sand, leak proof liquid, and cement. No iron used anywhere. thanks

Hello, just came across your post. Very insightful, thank you. We are embarking on a similar journey. Considered other options like jute sacks with cement, liners etc but now have decided to ahead with concrete- it will hoold approx 20 lakhs litres. Appreciate any advise from your experience so far. Any sort of waterproofing we need to do? Many thanks