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How To Find a Leak in a Pond and Fix it.

Posted by on Dec 29 2023

A pond leak can be a frustrating discovery that can lead to your outdoor water feature not looking its best and even a loss of wildlife if left unchecked. While some water loss is perfectly normal due to natural evaporation, a substantial drop in water levels can indicate that you have a problem that needs to be fixed. Often the trickiest step is knowing how to find a leak in a pond. But with a little DIY magic and the right supplies, you’ll not only find the cause of the water loss but you’ll also find out how to fix a leaking pond. 


How do You Find a Leak in a Pond?

The first step is to establish whether there is a genuine leak or whether the drop in water level is a result of natural evaporation. Heat can cause slow and steady evaporation which is normal during long hot summers. However, if the drop in water levels is dramatic, rapid or uneven and can’t be blamed on hot weather, this may indicate a leak is at the root of the problem. 


Identify the Source of the Leak

The next step is to carry out a thorough inspection of your pond’s perimeter. Keep an eye out for any visible tears, punctures, rips or cracks in the liner. Pay attention to the areas around the edges and between rocks. Signs such as wet spots around the pond and muddy patches can point towards the source of the problem. You may even be able to follow the sound of trickling water to the source of the leak in some cases. If the signs of a leak are not visible during your inspection, it's a good idea to rule out any plumbing issues.


Check your Pond Pipes and Fittings

Next is to discover whether the water loss is due to the pond pump leaking, a leak in the pipes or something related to the pond liner. To eliminate a leak in the pond pipe fittings you’ll need to check the pumps and pipes for wear and tear. Look for loose connections, cracked hoses, broken filters or malfunctioning pumps. Tape for threaded fittings and pressure pipe glues are a good way to reinforce pond pipes to reduce the chance of future problems.


If your pond pumps water out to filters, features like waterfalls or streams, try turning off the pump for a day and make a note of the water level (be sure to make the proper arrangements for your fish while the pump is switched off). If the water levels drop while the pump is off, this may indicate an issue in the pond. If the water levels remain the same while the pump is off, this may point to an issue with the pond pipes or the pond pump and replacements may be needed.


How To Find A Leak In A Pond Liner

Once you’ve confirmed the loss of water is due to a leak in the pond and not the plumbing, it’s time to locate it. There are a few ways to tell where a leak in a pond is coming from and the first is to observe the water line. If it seems lower in a particular area, perhaps around a group of rocks, the tear in the liner could be hidden underneath.


Using pond leak detection dye is another way to find a leak in a pond liner. Add some dye according to the instructions to colour the water and watch where it flows. The dye will flow towards the leak’s location giving you a better chance of finding and fixing the problem. Using pond leak detection dye is particularly useful for large ponds. Alternatively, some people find using milk to find a leak in a pond liner useful for finding fast leaks, especially in smaller areas or around the perimeter.


When you’ve found the location, you’ll need to feel around until you find the hole or tear causing the issue. You may need to clean the area of any built-up algae while you search and then circle the area with a white marker or chalk when you eventually find the rip or tear in the liner.


How to Fix a Leaking Pond

When you’ve identified the leak, it’s time for some basic pond repair. The type of supplies you’ll need will depend on the size of the tear. With smaller tears and minor rips between 1 and 2 inches in size, pond sealant can be used to repair a liner. Some pond sealants can be used underwater while some must be used after the pond has been drained and the area dried so be sure to check the manufacturer's instructions thoroughly. For large damaged areas of your pond liner that are up to 280mm x 380mm, a pond liner repair kit can be your saviour. First, clean and dry the area, then patch it according to the manufacturer's instructions. 

If the damage is too severe, you may need to replace your pond liner. If in doubt about repairing your pond liner, always seek professional advice.                                             


To minimise the risk of future leaks, you can take preventive measures such as regularly inspecting the pond, avoiding sharp objects near the water, and ensuring proper installation of pond liners and seals during initial construction. With adequate maintenance, including trimming overhanging vegetation and monitoring water chemistry with pond testing kits, you can contribute to the long-term health of your pond.


CD Aquatics have a range of pond supplies to help you keep your pond in tip-top condition. If you’d like more information about pond repair or replacing pond pipes and fittings, contact our friendly team who will be happy to help.


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