My large pond (8'x10') liner started to leak in 2008. When the water level fell to 4", it stopped. I had a billion mosquito larvae in there! So I punched more holes in it to drain the water. I expected to repace the liner fast!
Well, I didn't. The daunting task was moving the stones around the liner. I built the pond 20 years ago and I've learned that I an nowhere near as strong as I was 20 years ago! 20 years ago, I lifted those stones and set them in place carefully. Now, at 60, it is all I can do to merely roll them over out of the way. One stone must have weighed nearlt 100 pounds and it took me 15 minutes to just roll it over!
I can hardly believe I ever moved them to begin with! I recall lifting each of them into a wheelbarrow and moving them into place. They were "heavy" then but I could lift them into the wheelbarrow. I can't imagine doing that now! I could barely roll them today... One had actually fallen into the pond and it about killed me to lift it outside the area. I'll probably wake up tomorrow with pulled back muscles.
Being 60 ain't like being 40! I'm no special sports athlete, but I've always been able to push my body farther than my friends. I'm now losing that. :( There are some of those stones that I could lift into the wheelbarrow at 40 that I can't lift off the ground now...
But I DID get them moved eventually. It was quite a trick in some cases because I have plants all around the pond and didn't want to crush them.
Next, I have to shovel about 4" of composted leaves from the past 2 years out of the bottom. That's good stuff and I will use it in my garden, but it is going to be awkward getting it out. I'll be down 2' and lifting it up to the wheelbarrow 2' high. I think the snow shovel is the way to go.
Then I can put the new pond liner in over the old one, bury the edges on the ground, move the stones back on the edge, and refill the pond. I'll bet that takes a week! At least it should be good for another 20 years. After that, I won't be able to renovate it again.