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v0.31:Murky pool

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This article is about an older version of DF.

Murky pools are small pools of water on the surface of the map. They can be filled with freshwater, saltwater or brackish water.

Murky pools act as a finite water source and a biome.

As a water source[edit]

A pool can be used as a water source and dwarves with the fishing labor enabled will attempt to fish in them.

Murky pools can evaporate completely in summer in sufficiently hot climates, or can be drained manually, but in either case can be refilled by rainwater or melting snow or ice.

Drinking from a murky pool will give dwarves an unhappy thought. Dwarves will not normally drink from murky pools if they can at all help it; preferring alcohol, well water, or running water from a brook/stream/river over water from a murky pool.

Using water from a murky pool to wash injuries results in a higher chance of the wound becoming infected.

Sometimes the only water visible on the map is in murky pools. In hot and scorching climates, its typically a good idea to quickly create a cistern to collect the water from murky pools before it all evaporates.

As a biome[edit]

The biome pool means the area in the pool (under water) and close by the pool. This kind of biome won't be shown on the embark screen , but most biomes have some.

There are six types of pools, divided in climate and the kind of water. They are listed in the following table:

Brackish water Freshwater Saltwater
Temperate Temperate brackish pool Temperate freshwater pool Temperate saltwater pool
Tropical Tropical brackish pool Tropical freshwater pool Tropical saltwater pool

These are also used for any dwarf-made pools of water, even those that may be connected to rivers.


In order to remove a murky pool, you must first remove the water. You can do this with a pump, or you can let pools evaporate in hot/scorching climates, or you can just dig into your pools from the side and let the water drain away and evaporate.

The bottom of a murky pool will keep its "murky pool" status, presumably to let the game know that water should collect there during rain storms. You can't build certain structures, including farm plots, on dry "murky pool" tiles.

To de-murk those tiles, simply build a paved road on top of them, and then remove it. The floor covered by the road will become standard soil once the road is removed. Be aware that once you do this the tiles won't gather rainwater anymore.

A drained Murky Pool tile will block trade depot access.


Only very few creatures are found in murky pools. There are:

Adventure Mode[edit]

Conducting combat around murky pools is dangerous, as you may dodge or be thrown into them and drown. Dried Murky Pools are even more dangerous, as no amount of Swimming skill can save you.

Thawing and drowning[edit]

In fortress mode, frozen murky pools will, when they thaw, do so instantly. Any dwarf standing on the ice will plunge into the water with a risk of drowning if they can not find a nearby ramp quick enough. (unless they have Adequate or better swimming skill, the fall will stun them.). To reduce the chance of this happening, you can use traffic designations: mark the ice as restricted, and put a high traffic ring around the perimeter of the pool. Or, if you don't need to fish from it, you can construct a wall around it or a floor over it.


Chasm · Desert · Forest · Glacier · Grassland · Lake · Mountain · Murky pool · Ocean · River · Savanna · Shrubland · Tundra · Wetland