Avid skiers Bill and Dori Hamilton have a plan, should fire ever break out on their property near Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Only a few feet from their back patio, a large koi pond holds 8,500 gallons of water and doubles as a reservoir in case of fire. A portable pump and a hose can wet down their house should the need arise.
Bill used a mini excavator to dig a 6-foot-deep hole that's approximately 25 by 50 feet wide, covered the cavity with a rubber liner, and edged the pond with river rock and sandstone.
Three levels of shelves hold aquatic plants such as water irises and lilies. More than 100 koi and goldfish inhabit the water.
Dori surrounded the pond with flowers. In the foreground is yellow 'Moonshine' yarrow. Behind the pond are bachelor's buttons in shades of blue and purple, yellow daylilies, blue meadow sage, silver sage, and Sedum 'Autumn Joy'.
To keep the pond from freezing over in winter, the Hamiltons keep a bubbler and the waterfall running.