Nothing is more frustrating to a Pond or Water Feature owner than dealing with a leaky pond. Here are 5 steps you can take to find a leak in your water feature before calling a Pro.
The First Step is to turn off the pump and let all of the water flow down to the reservoir or Basin. If you have a Pond-less waterfall you typically will have a pump vault as shown here. After all the water settles to the bottom reservoir take a measurement using a piece of duct tape and place the piece of tape in the pump vault or other point of reference in the reservoir. Wait 24 hours and see if the water has gone down. If it has not moved more than one inch down than you can move to step 2. If you find that it has gone down substantially you may need to call a pro as finding and patching a leak in a pond-less basin can be a big job.
The second step is check the plumbing. Check to make sure the pump and check valve assembly is securely fastened. If you have a Pond Skimmer make sure the fittings coming out of the back of the skimmer are secure and no water is leaking there. Sometimes when the pump is not fastened all the way down, the pressurized water can actually spray outside of the reservoir. Check to make sure there are no wet spot on the pipe running from the pump up to the top of your stream. Look for wet spots and you may have to dig up areas of the piping to make sure a tree stake or another object was not punched down through the line.
The 3rd Step is to start the water feature back up and check your edges. Typically you will find the majority of your leaks at this step. Many times the pond liner will settle from rain and the liner will work its way down and allow water to escape. The main areas to check here are on the edges of water falls. Make sure there is not significant splash out from the water falls. You may have to pull some rock work out and check to see if there are folds in the liner that is allowing water to flow outside of the liner.
If you’re still not finding any thing you can move to step 4 which will cost some money if you do not own a submersible pump out pump. If you own a water feature its a good idea to have a pump with a long corrugated hose so you can pump water out of your water feature if needed. This step can help you rule out which part of your stream might be the area of the leak. Since we ruled out the bottom reservoir as a possible leak area, we can turn off the water feature pump and use your submersible pump or sump pump as a bypass pump. Remove or turn off the water feature pump and place your sump pump in the in the pond or reservoir. Run the corrugated pipe of the replacement pump to the very bottom pool of your stream closest to the reservoir. Let run for 24 hours and see if you loose water. Next move the pipe up to the next pool up and repeat the process. For example if the pipe is placed in the very bottom pool just above the reservoir and you don’t see any water loss in the 24 hr period you can rule out that portion of the stream as the area with the leak. Work your way all the way to the top until you find that the water level in the reservoir is going down several inches in a 24 hr period.
Finally Step 5 is to call a professional. If you just cant seem to find the leak or don’t have the time or tools to take on the job yourself call a certified Aquascape Contractor in your area to help you fix the leak.