Backyard ponds are often constructed of either a rubber liner or concrete. With So-Cal’s constantly shifting ground, whether it be from earthquakes or some other natural occurrence, stress can be caused on the main body of the pond, waterfall, or stream which can create water loss on your pond.
In our experience, koi ponds or water gardens that are 5 years or older often experience some sort of water loss.
Some common causes or water loss are
In a mature landscape there is most likely mature trees or shrubs that a pond contractor may have to work around when designing and installing a new pond. These mature tress and shrubs have a pretty well established root system that are constantly looking for water. These roots will eventually make their near the pond and sooner or later into the pond, whether its over or through the liner, skimmer or waterfall filter.
Once the roots are in the pond you may begin to experience water loss. The roots not only pull water out of the pond for to provide water to the plant they are connected to, but also wick water out via their root system similar to how a sponge would. The roots wick out the water, saturating the surrounding landscape which only encourages additional roots to make their way to the pond and exacerbate the situation. Root penetration can be responsible for 100% of the water loss in some cases.
Rodents, oh the rodents. Rats, squirrels, rabbits, gopher and moles all need water and a safe place to call home and unfortunately ponds provide that safe place.
We see all too often improper compaction around the edges of ponds, streams and mostly under the waterfalls. If the pond contractor who built your pond has experience they would know that the area needs to be thoroughly compacted to prevent settling which would provide that safe little home the rodents are looking for.
Once the rodents make their way under or behind the liner of the pond or waterfall it is a matter of time before they eventually decided they want to expand their little dirt condo and add a room. They dig out the dirt and chew through the liner. Once this happens its usually a large and easily noticeable water loss. This can sometimes be repaired however other times the area may need to be rebuilt.
Leaves, twigs and other plant matter can easily block a stream or waterfall area and divert the water out of the intended path which will cause water loss. We usually see this type of issue in the winter and beginning of spring after the leaves have fallen from the trees or the new weaker branches are heavy with new leaves. The leaves or branches create a little dam which causes the water to back up and leak over the side of the stream. Sometimes it may be a small drip and other times a steady stream of water. Either way, this is water loss.
In older, smaller or DIY ponds a simple tubing may be used for the supply lines from the pond pump to the pond filter and waterfall. These lines sometimes become brittle from sun exposure, the cold or the heat which make the tubing stiff or brittle and eventually leads to a crack and water loss. PVC pipe which is commonly used in koi ponds and water gardens, if not properly installed can leak and even blow apart if its under too much pressure. This could be catastrophic as the entire pond could drain in just a few minutes which would lead to… well a horrible site.
A simple water leak or drip can add up to hundreds of gallons lost a day and negatively effect not only the pond, but the landscape and your bank account. If you think you may be experiencing water loss please call us today to set up a pond inspection before it gets out of hand!