Water gardens or ponds have limited ways water can escape. The water available in a pond recirculates so the water level remains constant always. However, if you notice the water levels in your pond going down, that may be an indication of a leaking pond. To be certain of this, you need to perform a leak test. The test entails a process of elimination to help locate the problem area. How do you perform a leak test?
Before you start the leak test, check if your waterfall pump has a backflow preventer or PVC check valve. Also check if your pond’s plumbing has a waterfall filter box coming directly into the bottom of the filter chamber. If your pond has these features, you may have to proceed to step 3. If it does not, follow the step 2 instructions.
This step involves checking your check valve, underground plumbing, and waterfall box and connections. To do this, first you have to turn of the recirculating pump. If your pond has a waterfall filter and check valve, they should remain full when turned off. If you notice the water level is going down after turning the recirculating pump off, it could be an indication that the check valve is faulty. Check if the check valve is making a gurgling sound. If this is so, that is an indication that water is escaping the plumbing and then re-entering the pond through the pump.
A temporary solution to a faulty check valve is to insert a cap or plug over the plumbing. To determine if the plumbing is leaking under the ground, fill the waterfall filter manually. If the level of waterfall filter remains constant then that is an indication that:
- Plumbing outside the liner and check valve are ok
- The underground plumbing is ok
- The waterfall box and connections are ok
The third step involves checking the mechanical pond skimmer connection and pond liner. While the pump is still off fill the pond to a desired level. Use a coin to mark the water level by setting it on a rock below the water level. Keep the pump off for 12-24 hours before taking a reading. If the water level does not drop below the coin then that means the pond liner is ok. That also is an indication that the installed mechanical pond skimmer is water tight and ok.
If the previous tests confirm that your pond, the plumbing and waterfall hold water while the pump is off then it means there is one other way water is getting lost. It means that your pond is losing water when water is in motion and when the pump is on. Look at the following to determine the area of a possible leak in the sides of a waterfall and the sides of a stream:
- Check areas where rodent may be interfering
- Check if any rocks around the pond have shifted
- Feel the moisture behind the waterfall liner
- Visually inspect the pond stream or the pond liner along the waterfall
- Concentrate on the right and left of each waterfall area
As soon as you identify where the leak in your pond is taking place, you need to call a company that specializes in ponds and water services to fix the issue permanently. The longer you take before you fix a leaking pond, the higher the chances of making the situation become worse.
For more information about how to identify a leaking pond, contact Fitz’s Fish Ponds today!