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When Ponds Misbehave: The Art of Leak Detection

22nd Jun 2023

When Ponds Misbehave: The Art of Leak Detection

Ah, the joys of pond ownership! Every now and then, ponds can be a little mischievous and develop leaks. Fixing these leaks is usually a breeze. In fact, most leaks occur in the stream or waterfall area, making them quite easy to spot. And don't let hot summer weather fool you—sometimes what appears to be a leak is simply good ol' evaporation playing its tricks. If you do think you have a leak in your pond, follow our trusty tips below to detect and conquer any leaks that come your way, allowing you to get back to the real business of enjoying your wonderful pond.

Is It a Leak or Just a Mirage?

The first step in your leak-detecting journey is to determine whether it's a genuine leak or the work of evaporation. Natural evaporation is a regular occurrence in every pond, and it varies depending on the time of year and your local climate. For example, if you reside in the scorching heat of Far North Queensland, don't be surprised if you lose three to five inches of water per week during the summer. On the other hand, if you're near the refreshing Great Ocean Road, expect a more modest evaporation rate of one to two inches per week.

Step One: Unmasking the Culprit

If your water loss exceeds the usual evaporation rate, it's time to put on your detective hat. Leaks are often found near waterfalls or streams, and they tend to reveal themselves with wet spots in the soil or mulch. Check along the edges of the rocks near the waterfall or stream to see if the water is sneaking over the liner's edge. If it is, simply build up the edges using soil, rocks, and gravel to prevent any further water escape. You can also call in the professionals to handle it, but where's the fun in that?

Step Two: The Plot Thickens—Leak in Hiding?

If your excavation efforts near the waterfall or stream don't uncover any wet spots, it's time to move on to step two. Turn off the waterfall and keep a watchful eye on the water level in your pond. When the water level stabilises and stops dropping, you can be sure that the leak is lurking at or just above that level. It's possible that water is making its escape along the shoreline due to plantings or foot traffic. If this happens, simply bolster the edge with soil, rocks, and gravel to prevent any further sneaky leakage.

Step Three: Enter the Plumbing Zone

If the water level drops to the point where it aligns with the skimmer opening, the pond itself is holding water, then the culprit might just be the skimmer faceplate. Fixing this kind of leak could be as simple as re-sealing the faceplate. However, if the water drains from your biological filter, the plumbing is to blame.

If you built the pond with your own hands, you might want to try your luck at fixing the plumbing leak. But if you called in the professionals like our Certified Aquascape Contractors to create your aquatic masterpiece, it's best to rely on their expertise once again. By conducting some initial detective work yourself, you'll save the contractor some time and help pinpoint the problem more efficiently.

Step Four: The Liner's Secret

When the water drops below the skimmer opening, it's time to turn your attention to the liner itself. To discover the leak's hiding place, inspect the liner at the water level. You may need to move a few rocks around to uncover a small tear or gouge. Once detected, patch it up like a pro repairing a bicycle tire using a pond liner patch kit. Fill the pond back up, and don't forget to add Pond Detoxifier to the water to ensure your beloved fish remain unharmed by any tap water additives.

Back to Blissful Pond Life

In most cases, a little systematic detective work is all it takes to locate the source of a pond leak. At each stage of the investigation, the question arises: Will you take on the challenge yourself or call in a CAC to solve the mystery? Remember, leaks often occur around waterfalls, which means they can be remedied quickly and easily.