Wife worried about depth of pond and grandkids falling in

I have a small pond 650 gal with a depth ranging from 0 inches to 30 inches at built in drain. It is raised about 18 inches above ground behind a retaining wall. I have just goldfish and lots of plants. I built it with a 6 inch plant shelf all around. I have lost a bunch of fine fish to Blue Herons and racoons have torn up my plants. I have since installed a scarecrow motion sensor sprinkler which seemed to work fine except that it used a LOT of water (my water bills were tremendous). I also tried an electric fence all around and it works well also, but doesn't look too good so I reverted to the scarecrow. Now my question: I would like to weld a rebar grid (4-6 inch spacing) together and place it on the plant shelf so you couldn't see it really unless you are right on top of it. I would make it in sections so I could remove it for maintenence. It would satisfy my wife's anxiety to know the grid was there and the water would effectively be only 6 inches deep in case one of our grandkids or neighbor kids fell in. We have no fence and our yard is open to a public greenbelt area which kids use all the time to play. Is this a viable alternative? Should I paint it with epoxy paint to keep the rusting metal from fouling the water? Would the rusting metal harm the fish or plants? Sorry for the long post, but I need some help with this one. Thank you kindly for time and thoughts.
Chumley
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I'm going to cross post this to rec.pond where you will get more answers I think. I would think rebar would rust right away....

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it would take a couple years, but a kid can drown in less than an inch of water... how deep is the pond, what dimensions & how stupid are the kids? my grandparents had a lilypond about 6'x3' & we sailed boats in it & tried to jump across it all the time (well, jumping across happened mostly when we were all dressed up fancy for church or something...and we never quite made the jump. got yelled at alot <g>). it couldn't have been deeper than 3', i guess since we could climb right out. i know they worried about us falling in & drowning, but we never did. my grandpa ended up filling the pond in after we grew up because the neighbor kids were apparently dumber than we were, or maybe thier mom had less of a sense of humor about wet muddy kids... lee
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A toddler can drown incredibly fast, see below.
how deep is the pond, what dimensions &

It's nothing to do with intelligence.Small children are more susceptible to shallow drowning (and smothering face-down, and just stopping breathing) because it takes several years for the immature human brain to develop automatic breathing reflexes.
Janet.
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Uh, I think that children are born with the diving reflex .... just like baby water mammals like seals and dolphins. They wont breath with their face in the water. I have never been able to overcome it so I cant swim doing the crawl for example. The breathing reflex itself is automatic, and under voluntary control pretty early in life. My mother relates that at 6 months I wanted a certain food so badly that I held my breathe until I started turning blue. Scared my mother half to death. Ingrid
.Small children are more

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I have a net OVER the pond now for the winter in Portland, Oregon (Zone 8) and I keep the system running all winter and even tho the max depth is 30 inches I have no problems with freezing. I did get a 1 inch crust of ice but the pump was circulating and the waterfall was falling and now things have thawed and all is well. My wife worries about the stupid kids and so do I. Our county codes say that ponds or pools 36 inches deep would qualify for fencing and I have a million dollar liability rider on my homeowners insurance (for the idiots and stupids and lawyers, or is that an oxymoron?) What about the netting underwater rather than the metal grid. I can see that there could be a problem with the solid metal grid.

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can you get netting that will hold 80-90 pounds? a 3' fence will keep toddlers out (mostly. go for vertical slats & make sure the crosspieces are inside, but be aware some toddlers climb). kids older than 4 should be taught to stay away from other people's property unless the have permission anyway. lee
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Actually something that can catch a persons leg is more dangerous. I had an adult relative die in 1 foot of water because his leg got trapped and he couldn't get out. When he passed out, he drowned. There is no substitute for a fence to keep small children out. Then there are nets that you can suspend just under the water to keep people out and fish in. It prevents herons from eating all of the fish.
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Please attribute the posts correctly. This is not what I said. I said that I would post the question to rec.ponds so that the person might get replies (alt.garden doe not seem to have anyone there.) DKat

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Chumley wrote [in part]:

Depending on your local building codes, a pond 30 inches deep might qualify as a pool requiring fencing. Before making any alterations that might not suffice, you should check with your local Building and Safety Department.
If you fail to comply with the codes and a child is injured (or worse), the liability coverage in your homeowner's insurance might be void. Many insurance policies do not protect you when you violate the law.
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