Bottom drain


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I’m looking to add a bottom drain to my pond, and have a basic understanding on how they work. My biggest concern before I tackle it is to make sure I know how to winterize it. I know you need to get the water out, but am unsure how to do that. What fittings are needed... etc. I am in southern Wisconsin so we get rather intense winters.
 
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I placed a valve in a 45 gallon drum at the bottom of the pond level and a drain valve so I can drain all my lines above the bottom level of he pond for the winter.I will place some insulation in the drum for the winter.

Valve chamber.JPG
 
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So if I understand that correctly, there will still be water between the drain and the valve?
 
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Why the bottom drain @Blake ? How big is your pond?
I’ve heard great things about them, and less maintenance. Right now it’s about 1000 gallons but I’m looking to at least triple it next year.
 
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Less maintenance? You mean less bottom cleaning? I'm assuming you'll plumb it to a filter, so that in itself adds maintenance.

In my opinion - and please note, just my opinion - bottom drains may have value in a dedicated koi pond where there is a heavy fish load and no plants or gravel to help deal with the waste they produce. But in a garden pond with a well managed bio load I don't really see the value.
 
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Less maintenance? You mean less bottom cleaning? I'm assuming you'll plumb it to a filter, so that in itself adds maintenance.

In my opinion - and please note, just my opinion - bottom drains may have value in a dedicated koi pond where there is a heavy fish load and no plants or gravel to help deal with the waste they produce. But in a garden pond with a well managed bio load I don't really see the value.
I suppose I could’ve worded that better. Yes I suppose less bottom cleaning/cleaning of the pond itself in general. Most if not all of the maintenance would be on the filter(s) whether it be cleaning out mechanical, or back flushing or whatever. I do appreciate your opinion. I’ve seen people who swear by them and would never have a pond without them and also people who never had one and never will.
 
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That's kind of where it falls - love it or see no point. A lot depends on the style pond you choose to have, like I said. I have a gravel bottom pond so a bottom drain would be more trouble than help!
 
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That's kind of where it falls - love it or see no point. A lot depends on the style pond you choose to have, like I said. I have a gravel bottom pond so a bottom drain would be more trouble than help!
Curious, how do you keep your bottom clean? I have a gravel bottom currently.
 
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I really don't do much... just scoop the leaves that fall in and otherwise basically leave it alone.
 
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For a smaller pond a main drain /bottom is probably over kill. The one major draw back to a main drain in colder climates is the fish will go toward the bottom to hopefully find a temp above 34 degrees for them to go basically dormant. The problem with a main drain is this will pull this "warm water " out through the pipes thus never allowing for that pocket of still warmer water. But in a larger pond and in the warmer weather i think they are beneficial to the over all health of a pond. bUT REGARDLESS OF WHICH WAY YOU GO making the bottom of your pond in the shape of a half circle making all the debris slide to the center of the lowest area is key. easy to clean and easy for a main drain to pull the waste out of the pond .
 
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I would argue that in an eco-pond, there's no need for the waste to be removed from the pond. The beneficial bacteria will break it down (hence the importance of a gravel bottom as additional colonizing surfaces for bacteria) and the plants will uptake the results of that process. The key as always is low bio-load and lots of plants in contact with the water - either in the pond or in a planted wetland filter.
 
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So if I understand that correctly, there will still be water between the drain and the valve?
Yes there will be water in the line between the valve and the bottom of the pond, This is why the valve is well below the ground level to hopefully not freeze in the -30c temps we get in the winter.
 

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