Finding Leaks In Your Pond Is An Art Form
In our Twin Cities, Minnesota (MN) area service calls, we use a consistent troubleshooting methodology to narrow down the source of your leak or repair needed, as quickly as possible. We start with the most likely suspects, such as leaky plumbing connections, old skimmer, filter leaks, and improperly formed waterfalls. If you live in the Minneapolis or St. Paul area, and are having pond problems such as a pond leak, and the source of the issue is not found in these areas, and we've ruled everything else out – you may have a hole in your liner that needs repair. See our Pond Repair page for more information on liner repair.
Understanding The Basic's Of A Leaky Pond
Pond Leaks are among the most misunderstood and misdiagnosed problems Pond owners can have in their pond. Understanding the basic principles of leak detection and repair will save you time, money, and headaches in your water gardening adventures … Sometimes it's just evaporation! If You Can't figure It Out, Minnesota Waterscapes Services The Twin Cities Areas.
What is Evaporation?
First, let's have a look at what evaporation is and what it isn't. Evaporation is caused by water turning into a 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 in our area of the country with moderate temperatures and high humidity can expect to see 2 to 2 ½ inches of water loss per week during the spring and summer. Most of this evaporation should be replaced naturally by rain. However, if you live in an area with high temperatures and low humidity, it's possible to see 4 inches or more of evaporation in a week.
Other Leak Aspects
The quantity and size of your waterfall(s) will also 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.
What It Isn't !
Evaporation is not filling your pond up all the way one evening, and waking up the next morning to find the water 5 inches lower. That's a leak! If your pond is experiencing a loss of water at a more rapid rate, you either have a leak, or your frogs are drinking the water. Seriously, let's figure that it's a leak. What do you do then?
A Good Chance It's Low Edges!
Look for any low edges. 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.
Your first line of defense is to carefully inspect the edges of not only your stream and waterfall but also the perimeter of the pond. As the dirt around the stream or waterfall settles, it can create low spots that may cause water to escape over the edge of the liner. Keep your eyes peeled for wet mulch or gravel, or muddy areas around the perimeter of your pond. 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!
Maybe You're having a "Splash" Problem?
Another possibility is that water is splashing out of your stream. To fix a "splash leak," all you 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.
Low edges can be built back up by simply backfilling and compacting soil beneath the liner in order to raise the edge of the liner above the water level.
In addition to checking for low edges, you should also check your stream and waterfall. Rocks and excessive plant or algae growth, large animals cooling off in the stream or BIOFALLS® filter can restrict the flow of water and divert it over the edge of the liner. Plants and algae should be maintained by trimming them back in order to let the water pass freely. All in all, these leaks are extremely easy to fix.