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Basement Leak Grows Into Backyard Lake

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Basement Leak Grows Into Backyard Lake

There’s a lake in the back yard of 4705 Liberty Rd. that used to be just a leak in a basement.

Well, what would you do if the builders digging the foundation for your new house on your new property suddenly hit water? (The water level is high in that area.)

“It had to be pumped somewhere,” expalined Dr. Lyle Andress. “No one who I talked to about the pond idea thought it would work.”

That was two years ago. If the pond isn’t “working”, it’s fooling about 50 varieties of fish and three turtles living in it.

“An excavating company dug the pool in one day,” said Dr. Andress. “It cost about $240, including the truck to haul the dirt away. The hard clay soil holds the water almost like cement.”

The kidney-shaped pond is about 50 feet long, 40 feet wide, and about eight feet deep in the center. The doctor built a dock, a miniature water wheel, a bridge and a redwood picket fence—the latter for the protection of neighborhood children around the pond. He and his wife have a son Clark, 2, and a daughter Julie, 4 months, and last week they acquired an orphaned kitten.

The pond is the focal point of a strikingly landscaped yard, bordered by gardens of marigolds, roses, snapdragons, petunias and geraniums. There are water lilies and cat-tails along the banks and at one end of the yard are three pine trees Dr. Andress planted 20 years ago, when his father owned the land, as a 4-H project. The pond has to be weeded once a month, but instead of crab grass, Dr. Andress paddles out in a five foot row boat and pulls algae and seaweed.

The sump pump and rain keep the water level from going down more than a foot.

Dr. Andress and his wife’s uncle caught most of the fish at Clear Lake. They feed on insects and algae and, with warm water being pumped in, have survived two winters.

There may have been an ulterior motive for the pond besides landscaping. In the winter it freezes over into an ice skating rink! Dr. Andress also swims in it during the summer.

"It's especially clear in the spring,” he insisted, admitting however, that no one else in the family would try it.

No one will deny that the water makes a versatile addition to a back yard. Michigan can now begin labeling itself the land of 1,001 lakes.

THU JUL 14 1966

Need To Store Some Extra Water?

Dr. and Mrs. Lyle Andress and son, Clark, stroll around their backyard pond at 4705 Liberty. Dr. Andress got the idea for the pond two years ago when the basement being dug for their house began filling with water. Now the pond, banked by a miniature bridge, dock and water wheel doubles into a swimming pool and ice rink and is the home of 50 kinds of fish.