Quarantine and Ponds

March 2020 Special Essay

What do ponds have to do with the coronavirus virus? If you're considering plans to move to the country for a period of quarantine or already live rural, you will have seen advice to stock enough food and household supplies to tide you through a period of self-isolation, say 2 to 3 weeks. And as many folks with country living experience know, ponds can also come in mighty handy during power outages and storm disasters -- and quarantines.


Ponds can supply water for general household use (washing, toilet flushing), garden and crop irrigation, critter water, even drinking when properly filtered and/or treated. Ponds can supply food fish whether stocked or raised and harvested long term. Winter ice for food refrigeration. Even hydro-powered electricity.

They can be a place for recreation and relaxation. Kids especially might be happy to have a pond if they can't leave the property.


There's nothing new about using ponds in emergencies. Survivalists, preppers, bugger-outers, they've all built them and used them. They've been popular since the beginning of the back to the land movement in the Sixties and Seventies, especially for those living off the grid. In fact, if you go back a thousand years and more, you'll find accounts of communities using ponds for self-reliance, notably monasteries and castle estates and villages, including escape from the black plague. Pond spillways turned mills for grinding grains, pressing fruit, and sawing wood. You get the idea.


I have no idea what the future of this virus will be, but for those planning to spend time in country isolation, consider how helpful a pond can be. I know I have a sense of "pond security" knowing there's a year- round supply of good water in my yard.


The following is a list of links to articles, writings, and videos describing various ways ponds can be used to support self-reliance. And a couple of insights into the Year of Eighteen and Froze to Death, and the volcano that triggered it. Societal shutdowns can happen for a variety of reasons (plague, climate, war, etc.). So, like the Boy Scouts say, Be Prepared.  And check the internet for more DIY and history, and all Earth Ponds books and videos.

Read More Pondologies

Topics vary from month to month and provide great information when researching where you want to build a pond, or how to keep it clean.  Other areas of interest are pond use for more than swimming, and how to keep fish happy in your pond.