Is there a leak in your pond, or are your fish drinking all the water?

Evaporation

First, let’s have a look at evaporation...what it is, and what it isn’t. Evaporation is caused by water turing into vapor and escaping from your pond. The amount of water loss will vary according to the region of the country, and the time of year. Ponds that are located with moderate temperatures and high humidity can expect to see 1” to 2” of water loss per week during the spring, summer and fall. That means in our area an average 11 x 16 pond with 4400 gallons will lose 40 inches of water per year. The quantity and size of your waterfall will also affect the amount of water loss. Regardless of the climate and 4 x 6 pond with a 20 foot stream and five feet of cascading waterfalls may lose as much as 2 inches or more every day! Why? Splashing and moving water has greater exposure to additional evaporation than the water in the pond itself.

Evaporation is not filling up your pond one evening, and waking up the next morning to find the water 6” inches lower. That’s a leak! If your pond is experiencing a loss of water at a more rapid rate, you have either a leak, your fish are drinking the water or your neighbor is taking water from your pond at night to water his lawn. Seriously, let’s figure that it’s a leak. What do you do now?!

Stream and Waterfall Leaks

Most leaks occur around the stream or waterfall, so your first line of defense is to carefully inspect the edges of your stream and waterfall. As the soil around the stream or waterfall settles, it can create low spots that may cause water to escape over the edge of the liner. Look for wet mulch or gravel, muddy areas around the perimeter. If you find a spot that’s leaking, all you have to do is lift the liner up, and push some soil under it in order to raise the edge. Bingo - leak fixed!

Another possibility is that water is splashing out of your stream. to fix a “splash leak” all your have to do is adjust a few of the rocks under and around your waterfall. This will contain or redirect the splash and it will stop the splash leak. Once again, you’ve solved the problem the easy and cost-effective way... using common sense. One more possibility is to check the area around the waterfall box or biofalls at the top of the stream or waterfall. Has water somehow gotten backed up and is falling out of the back of the waterfall? Sometimes a build up of leaves, sticks or twigs or the filter mats or bioball bags can shift and dam up the stream and cause water to spill out of the back or sides of the biofalls/ waterfall box.

Still Leaking?

If , after you’ve checked the stream and waterfall, and your pond is still losing water, it’s time for a little more work. You’ll have to shut your pump off for a day. By doing this, you will be able to determine the approximate location of the leak.

 

Step-by-step

Fill the pond water up to the appropriate level.
Make a mark on a stone or skimmer with a permanent marker to accurately keep track of this level. Do Not do this “by eye” or use the water level ring in the pond. This will not help the “Pond Squad” when we come out to your pond.
Unplug the pump
Let the pond sit for 24 hours
After 24 hours, check the water level. If the water level has not dropped, then we know the leak is somewhere in the stream or waterfall area and not in the pond basin itself.
If the water level did drop, you do in fact have a leak in your pond.
To find out where the leak is occurring, allow the water level to continue to drop. (Remember step 2! Do not pug the pump back in until we have resolved the leak issue. You never want your pump to “such air” this could permanently damage it.) The level, where the water stops dropping is the level where the leak will be. You should make a mark where the water level stops dramatically lowering. To relieve stress on your fish during this time you may want to use a bubbler or aerator in your pond. This may take a few days to allow the water to drop.
Now the fun begins! At this point, call in “The Pond Squad”.
Please have all your exact measurements and documentation ready and give us a call. We will pull out our best "seek and find" rescue efforts into action! Many leaks are easily found.

For The Pond Squad to come out and do a leak fix it is: $300.00 for the first hour, plus any additional materials/products used. If it takes more than an hour it will be billed at an hourly rate. REQUEST MAINTENANCE FORM