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Pond water levels dropping is a common problem that many pond owners come across and can seem quite worrying. Everybody’s first thought is “I have a leak in my pond” and “there must be a rip”. However, only 5% of suspected leaks turn out to be leaking, so don’t panic just yet!
There are a few different reasons that could be causing the water levels to drop. We’re sharing 8 reasons your pond may be losing water, including how to diagnose and fix the problem.
Causing water levels to drop roughly 1 inch per week, evaporation is the most common cause of pond water loss. But don’t panic, this is normal. Factors such as location, time of year, pond size and especially weather, can affect the rate at which evaporation occurs. For example, high temperatures, sun exposure and wind can cause significant amounts of water to evaporate.
Evaporation can be reduced if the pond is shaded. However, unless your pond is located in an area where it can get shade, or you can add it, this may not be an option for you. Fortunately, water loss from evaporation is naturally replenished through rainfall.
If you take matters into your own hands and top up your pond water with a hosepipe, it’s important to do so little and often. This minimises the amount of chlorine entering the water if you can’t treat the tap water before adding it to your pond.
2 Tips for Adding Water to a Pond with a Hosepipe:
– Rather than replenishing all the water in one go, try adding a small amount every day.
– When adding the water, use the rose attachment on the hose to create a sprinkle rather than a pour.
Doing it this way ensures some of the chlorine will be burnt off before entering the water. However, if you must replace the pond water in one go, it’s essential to use Chlorine Klear to remove all of the chlorine from tap water. Then, add a dose of Pond Klear after topping up, this will help to replenish bacterial levels.
Depending on the type you have, pond plants are another cause of water loss because they consume water from the pond. Especially plants which bloom in summer, such as lilies, which typically consume large quantities of water.
Aquatic plants aren’t the only ones which can affect water loss. Terrestrial (land) plants also have an impact on pond water levels, if say, the foliage was hanging into the pond water. Weeping Willow trees are a good example of this. When its leaves are hanging into the water, it will consume a large amount of water. Especially because it’s a large tree. To avoid this, we recommend trimming back plants which surround the pond to prevent foliage from accessing the water.
However, while plants will consume a large amount of water, Plants can also help with reducing pond water loss. Plants are great for providing ponds with shade and therefore can reduce the rate of evaporation. Although all of this is dependent.
It’s easy to see how pond water levels might drop if you consider water intake from pond plants coupled with natural summer evaporation. Other than getting rid of your plants altogether, (which isn’t recommended), there’s no real solution to stop plants consuming the pond water. The best thing to do is replenish the pond water with a hosepipe in the same way you would to replace evaporated water, as mentioned before.
If you have a waterfall, water feature or fountain pond pump in your pond setup, these could be the culprit to your disappearing water. If they are not perfectly aligned, they can splash or spray small amounts of water out of your pond. While splashes generally might seem insignificant, they can add up to a noticeable amount of water loss.
It’s also important to consider how splashes increase pond water evaporation. Splashes expose more pond water to more air, which then increases the rate of water loss through evaporation. Even more so when there’s wind.
Spend a couple of minutes watching your waterfall or fountain to see if you can see any obvious water splashes. If you see any splashes, adjust rocks to direct water or change the flow rate to keep splashes to a minimum.
Leaks from Pumps, Filters & Plumbing
Despite what many pond owners think, leaks are the least common cause of pond water loss. However, they are still a potential cause so it’s important to check for them.
First, check all fastenings on your pond pump and filter pipework. These are sometimes made of brittle plastic that over time will degrade and possibly crack or split causing small leaks in pipework joints. If you do spot any leaks, replace the part as soon as possible to avoid any further leaks.
Then check the filter media inside your filtration system as this can often become blocked if not cleaned regularly. Resulting in water overflowing from the filter box. If the filters are dirty, take them out and give them a quick spray with the hosepipe. This will wash away any dirt or algae. Some pond keepers recommend using pond water to clean the filters as the tap water from hosepipes can kill bacteria. We believe it is more detrimental to use good, bacteria-filled pond water to clean the filters and that a hosepipe is much more effective.
Rips Tears & Cracks in The Liner
Sometimes, water loss can be caused by damage to the liner. Try to check for any splits, rips or cracks in your pond liner. To spot a leak, you will need to let your water level drop until it stops. At this point, it should make it easier for you to find the leak and repair it. Be careful when letting the water drain that it doesn’t drop too low. If it starts to get too low, you could start to expose your fish to predators and reduce the available oxygen levels in your water which are crucial to a fish’s health.
If your water starts dropping too low, re-home your fish whilst you repair the leak. When re-homing them, be sure to use water from your pond rather than tap water to reduce the chances of stress and illness in your fish.
There are various factors around the edge of a pond that may cause it to lose water. Other than evaporation, low edges are one of the most common causes of water loss in ponds. This is when water escapes from the edge of a pond, typically at its lowest point. It’s also a sign that a pond’s edges are not level, explaining why water is being lost.
Similar to ‘low edges’ you must ensure pond liners are in a good position to contain water. For example, if a pond liner detaches from the edge, it may cause the water to escape. A simple fix for this is to simply pull and readjust the pond liner to lift the edge. Then secure its position using rocks or heavy ornaments.
Finally, consider what surrounds the edge of your pond. If your pond is surrounded by rocks (or other porous materials; such as wood) touching the water, they may absorb some water from the pond. If you have rocks which are partially submerged in the pond water, they are likely to increase water loss. This is because the thinner water will evaporate faster.
Depending on the location and nature of the pond, there may be a chance that wildlife is interfering with your pond water system and causing water loss. However, in most cases, it wouldn’t be water loss significant enough to notice. For example, birds may use your pond to bath and take residual water with them when they fly away. Water consumed by animals can contribute to water loss, and that includes your pets. However, again, it would not be a significant amount.
The least likely but the greater cause of water loss would be if wildlife was to damage or interfere with aspects of the water system. Factors like plumbing, filters or the pond liner. This is something you would become aware of if you check for leaks and damage in the pumps, plumbing and filters, as mentioned earlier.
All the above reasons can contribute to the loss of water in a pond. Unfortunately, it is something that is likely to happen throughout the year. When topping your pond up from the hose, ensure you use a rose attachment and hold the hose at waist height.
This will help add oxygen in to the pond and burn off some of the chlorine from the tap water. Alternatively, you can use water from a water butt or use Chlorine Klear to remove chlorine from tap water. Either way, we recommend using Pond Equaliser to remove any harmful chemicals or heavy metals and to stabilise the water parameters of the added water.
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