Dropping water levels can be a cause for panic for many pond owners. Determining if you have a leak, finding it, and then fixing it can seem like a daunting task. But do not worry; with a little detective work and these helpful tips, you will get that pesky leak repaired. Start by tracking down the problem so you can find your solution.
Step 1: Rule out Evaporation
In the heat of the summer, it is not uncommon to naturally lose up to an inch of water per day (give or take). Features with a long stream bed with a lot of surface area or few floating plants are more susceptible to water loss than others. If you suspect that it might be evaporation, fill your pond back up and keep an eye on the water level.
Step 2: Search for a Wet Spot
If you are losing more than an inch daily, something might be amiss. Check your perimeter, as leaking water has to go somewhere. Is there water pooling somewhere? Does one area have thicker weeds or lusher grass? If you find a damp area, you could have water going over the liner. Take a closer look at the liner and construction.
Step 3: Pause the Pump
Next turn off your pump for a few hours, but leave your aerator running to keep dissolved oxygen levels high. Did your water level change? If not, you will be looking for a leak in your waterfall or plumbing, so check out Step 4. If so, your liner has a leak, jump down to Step 5.
Step 4: Plumbing Failure
Check all your connections for any that are loose and dripping or too tight and replace them if needed. Next, take a closer look at your waterfall and skimmer boxes for cracks. Take this time to also double check that the liner is properly attached. The last place to look is your stream. Rocks shift over time, so if you see any out of place, return them to their original position. When doing so, look to see if the movement caused the liner to tear. If you find one, use a Liner Patch or Pond Liner Patch Kit to fix it up. Once the rocks are back in place, use some waterfall foam to fill in any gaps and keep them from moving again.
Step 5: Leaky Liner
Before patching the leak you have to find it. Let your water continue to leak until the water level stabilizes. Your water will stop leaking once it is lower than the hole, so check the first few inches of the liner above the water surface. Once you find the hole, patch it up or use some Pond & Aquarium Sealer. The sealer can be used in wet or dry conditions making it the perfect option.