How much is too much?
There may be times of the year that you may notice you are filling your pond more than normal. That's okay and to be expected as weather conditions change. But many water feature owners fear that they are filling way too much for it to possibly be evaporation. It must be a leak, right? Maybe, maybe not...
Weather Conditions That Cause
Increased Filling of Your Water Feature
Sometimes it's just the weather. Our weather changes frequently and drastically in Indiana. Here are some weather factors:
- Low Relative Humidity
Low amounts of moisture in the air has a major impact on water loss. It's not uncommon to lose a lot of water in a short period of time -- inches in a day is possible.
Windy days pick that water right up and move it on.
This seems like a no-brainer, but if we've had several overcast days and then several very sunny days, you will see a difference.
- Lack of Rain
Again, this seems pretty simple but, think of it this way... We've had normal rainfall and then it starts to gradually taper off. You haven't had to add water to your water feature for weeks and then you suddenly have to start adding water every few days. You may become alarmed.
In winter we have very low relative humidity which makes water loss pretty bad anyway, but when ice starts to form, it can form above the normal water level. Esentially when this happens the ice is taking water right out of the pond and continues to do so until it melts.
Factors in Water Feature Construction That
Cause Increased Water Loss/Evaporation
Sometimes it's just how the water feature was built. At Cool Ponds our years of experience has taught us how to design water features to avoid these issues. The following are design elements that could allow your water feature to require more water than normal:
- Oversized waterfalls
- Long streams with ponds or basins that are too small
- Anything that splashes
- Plants that backup the waterfall -- this can happen over time to any feature without proper maintenance
- Terrestrial plant roots that make their way into the waterfeature -- they wick up water and may pull the liner down
- Aquatic Plants (This is Good!) -- Aquatic plants are good, but they do use water out of the pond. A pond with lots of plants will need more water added to it.
How do you determine if it is evaporation and not a leak?
As a rule, a water feature that is leaking will lose water consistenly. Water leakage can be caused by many common issues:
- Low edges
- Holes or cracks in the liner (or critter damage)
- Leakage around filters
- Cracked or damages tubing
What about automatic fill valves?
An automatic fill valve can be installed on a water feature from an exterior water line. When the water level falls below a safe level, the fill valve opens up and the feature is filled to the appropriate level.
Cool Ponds does not routinely install automatic fill valves on our water features. Why? First of all, depending on the fill valve, they have a tendancy to stick open. This is a real problem for ponds with fish. Chlorinated water flowing freely into a pond can kill the entire fish population of a pond in a matter of hours. Second, if there ever is a leak in the water feature, with a fill valve you wouldn't know it. That would be a waste of water and the leaking water could possibly cause some damage to the feature, your home, etc.
Measuring Water Loss
Always measure the water level from a specific place to the water level. If you have a skimmer on your pond, there should be an overflow in it. This is where you should measure. Don't determine the water level on a rock. Rocks wick up moisture. There will always be a water line on the rock above the actual water level where the water has soaked in. (Sometime people see this line and assume there's been a recent, sudden water loss but it's always there. Also, new ponds will seem to loose a large amount of water immediately. Often times this is the water being wicked up into the rocks.)
What about filling with chlorinated water?
Is using a product to de-chlorinate the water always necessary when topping off a pond?
If you have fish, using a dechlorinator is always a good idea; if you are adding more than 10% of the water volume, it's a must! It's also smart to have some dechlorinator on hand in case of emergencies. It's very common to start filling the pond and forget about it. Set a kitchen timer to help you remember that you're filling!
So when you feel like you are filling your water feature a lot, consider the weather conditions first. It might all just be temporary!
901 E Hanna Ave, Indianapolis, IN 46227
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