1) Using cardboard or visqueen plastic sheet material, place the shell upside down on the pattern material. Cut out a pattern of the "footprint" of the shell by cutting the pattern material around the flange edge . Slide the shell off the material and mark the exposed pattern "this side down".
2) Turn the pattern over, with marked side down. Place the pattern in the desired location for the pond. You will be using the pattern to accurately cut the earth for excavation for the pond. However, we strongly recommend NOT digging right away. "Live" with the pattern for a day or two. Moving it slightly around, viewing it from different angles at different times of the day until it's in the right spot. Once it's in the ground, that's where it's going to be for a long, long time. Make sure you have placed it where you really want it.
3) Excavate, maintaining a gap between the outer shell wall and the excavated hole of about 8". Be sure to maintain a finished excavation such that the top flange edge is several inches higher than the surrounding finished landscape level. You don't want rain run off getting into your pond. Provide an excavated depth to allow for a 3" deep bed of coarse fill sand in the bottom of the hole. Provide adequate drainage from the site. French drains are aften used for this purpose. For other options call: 707 853 0118.
Cut a trench for a bottom drain pipe in the floor and up the side wall of the excavation, depth and width depending on the model of drain used. Provide a trench deep enough that the drain pipe is "suspended in mid air" in the trench. Wet the 3" deep sand bed.
4) Place and level the pond shell after plumbing the bottom drain in place. This is best done with two people or more. Move the shell back and forth until it nests in the wet sand.
5) Add about an inch of water to the pond. Check and adjust for levelness of the shell.
Add several more inches of water.
6) Start using coarse grade fill sand to back fill the outside perimeter of the shell. (Coarse grade fill sand is available at landscape supply yards.) Never add more sand to the outside perimeter of the shell that is higher than the water level inside the pond. The "suspended" drain pipe trench will get filled with slurried water/ sand mixture in the next step.
7) Once you have about 6" of sand around the perimeter, and 6" of water in the pond, start hosing in water into the sand around the shell, obtain sand/water to about the consistency of "yogurt" or concrete mortar. Continue adding water in the pond, while adding (at the same depth) sand to the outside of the shell.
DO NOT be tempted to use your feet to"pack" the sand around the perimeter as you fill with water. This WILL result in caving in of the fiberglass wall.
Make a consistent effort NOT to place your weight around this newly placed slurry of sand. RATHER, let the water do the work!
8) Several days after this initial backfilling you will gradually be able to walk up to the edge. Complete the border edge finish, allowing mortar, dirt and general landscaping materials to get in the water. DO NOT attempt/expect to be able to "use" this initial fill water as "final" pond water. Vinegar will clean the pond of any concrete, mortar or other landscape debris when you are ready to drain and clean the pond with finished, clean new water before starting up your pump and filter system.