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Pond Leaks

Do you have a pond leak?

Leaks are commonly misdiagnosed, understanding the basics of leak detection and repair will save you time and money.

The first question is, do you even have a leak? 

Ponds in our area can expect to see 1 to 1 ½ inches of water loss per week during the spring and summer. Some of this evaporation should be replaced naturally by rain. However, it’s not unusual to see 3 inches or more of evaporation in a week during July and August. The quantity and size of your waterfall(s) will affect the amount of water that is lost. Regardless of the climate, a 4’x 6’pond with a 20-foot stream and 5 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 does the still water in the pond. If that same pond was 16′ x 21′ pond, you’d probably never even notice the additional evaporation because it’s a larger pond.

If you have eliminated evaporation, you can follow the instructions below to isolate the leak yourself or give us a call. It helps to at least attempt to find the leak on your own since narrowing down the leak area can take several days. Our leak troubleshooting fees start at $395.

Complete a Leak Test

Do you find and low edges and obvious flow blockages? Settling at the pond’s edge is the most common cause of a leak, especially in a new pond. Typically, the low edges are found around the stream and waterfall where settling may have occurred after a few rainfalls. These areas are usually built up during the construction of the pond using the soil from the excavation, and are prone to some settling.

  1. Does your waterfall pump have a check valve?
  2. Does your pond have a Skimmer and a Biofall?

pond leakTurn off the pump

The first step is to find out if the leak is in the falls or stream or in the pond itself.  If you answered yes to the questions above, the skimmer and biofall should remain full when the pump is unplugged.

  • If the biofall does not remain full
    • Inspect the check valve, a faulty check valve will “chug” indicating that water is escaping indicating that the water is flowing back through the pump.  You must repair the check valve or buy new to continue the leak test.
    • Inspect the pipe from the skimmer to the back of the biofall
    • Inspect the Bulkhead on the back of the biofall
    • Inspect the Bulkhead plug or backflush port

Step 3: Check your pond liner and skimmer connection.

  • Fill your pond to your normal water level.
  • Mark the water level
  • Keep pump off for 24 hours, take a second reading.
    • If there is no water loss:
      • The pond liner is ok
      • The skimmer connection is not leaking.
    • If there is water loss:
      • Let the water continue to drop until it stops.
        • If the water stops below the skimmer face plate the leak is likely in the pond liner, check the liner around the pond where the leak stopped.
        • If the water stops anywhere within the skimmer faceplate, you may need to reattach and seal the faceplate.
Pond repair

Finding pond leaks

Step 4: Check your waterfall stream.

As mentioned above, most leaks occur due to settled liner or water being diverted over the liner’s edge. Once you narrow down the potential leak spots to the waterfall and stream:

  • Check the biofall weir attachment to the liner.
    • Reach behind the liner here to feel for water if possible.
    • Check both sides of the waterfall exit.
      • Look for any rodent damage or debris piles.
      • Check for any shifted boulders and rocks
    • Check any liner overlaps and seams within the stream and falls or at the point that the stream enters the pond.
  • Continue to narrow the potential leak spots by adding a temporary pipe to your pump.
    • Connect the pipe to the pump let it flow 5′ from the point where the water enters the pond
      • Let the system run for 24 hours and check the water level.
      • Repeat, moving the pipe up 5′ each day until you find the 5′ section where the water level drops.

Still no luck? It’s time to give us a call! 835-1777

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