During hot summer months or extremely windy conditions, you may lose up to 2" of water a day, so it is important to try to
determine if the leak you suspect is really a leak, or if the water is evaporating. Also, the number of plants you have in your
pond will affect how fast you lose water. Both terrestrial and aquatic plants respire, and if you have a heavy plant load in your
pond at the peak of summer, your plants may be sending water off into the atmosphere through respiration.
If you still suspect you have a leak, it is important to first determine what kind of leak you have. First, turn off your pump, fill
the pond back up to capacity (treat with chloramine remover if necessary) and wait overnight. There are generally three kinds
of leaks you may experience.
1. A waterfall leak caused by settling.
2. A waterfall splash leak.
3. A hole in your liner. (By far, the worst kind of leak)
Now answer one of the first two questions, and then question #3 separately:
1. With the pump turned ON, I lose 2" - 3" a day.
2. With the pump turned ON, I lose 4" - 6" a day.
3. With the pump turned OFF, I lose over 2" a day.
If your answers are as follows, this is the kind of leak you are most likely to have and how to fix it.
You answered: 1. Yes; 3. No.
You have a splash leak in your waterfall. On a dry day, search around your waterfall for wet areas. When you find one (or
two), adjust the rocks in your falls to direct the water back into the stream liner and not out onto the surrounding ground.
You answered: 2. Yes; 3. No.
You have a waterfall leak caused by settling in your waterfall or stream bed. Because the dirt you used to construct your
waterfall was probably all loose, excavated dirt, it will settle, and all it takes is for one rock to shift 1/8" the wrong way and you
will start sending water out of the pond. These leaks are usually very easy to find. With the waterfall running, carefully remove
the rocks hiding the top edge of the waterfall liner in your stream bed. If a rock has shifted, water will be flowing out over the
edge of the liner. Remove the surrounding rocks as necessary and pull the liner up so that the water is no longer diverted over
the edge and back into the stream. Backfill against the liner as necessary and reset your rocks.
You Answered: 1. or 2. Yes; 3. Yes.
Bad news for you. You have a hole in your liner. A hole in the liner can be a very difficult thing to find, and a difficult
thing to fix too. I personally hate trying to find them. With the pump turned off, allow the pond to drain down to a level where
it stops losing water. CAREFULLY check around the top edge of the water level in pond for a pin hole or gash. If you are
unsuccessful looking at the liner from inside the pond, you may have to go to the next level and look at the liner from the
outside. Confused? In a minute, you'll wish you were still confused. When you are satisfied the pond has reached the lowest
level of the leak, put an inch or two of water back in your pond. You will then have to remove the rock edge from around your
pond and pull the liner up so you can look UNDER it. Looking at the liner from the back side, you will be able to see any holes
because the water will drain through them. Mark all the holes with a permanent magic marker on both sides of the liner. Keep
filling it up a few inches at a time and checking the back of the liner all the way around as you fill. When you get done marking
all the holes, drain the pond out again to the lowest leak and pick a hot, dry day to apply a patch. When all the holes are fixed,
and the patches have had a good hot, sunny day to seal to liner, go ahead an fill your pond back up again and start the process
of elimination over again until you are satisfied you have found all the leaks.
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