Cleaning pond to start the season


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I had a new pond installed last summer. It's much different than my OLD pond, which I installed myself about 12 years ago; I only had to replace the liner once during that time. I had two pumps with external filters with pads which had to be changed every 7-10 days. One pump also ran a small fountain also. ....... NEW pond : installed by a landscaping/pond company. Oval about 12' x 14' with a waterfall. The sides and bottom are lined with slate and river rocks between them to fill the spaces. Most of the pond is about 24" deep but there is a deeper part (a circular area about 18"across and 30" deep) where the pump was installed with the pipe attached to run up to the waterfall. I put netting over the pond in the beginning of Nov. I removed the netting in mid-March. I'm ready to get the pond started. There are alot of leaves, twigs in it. I used to be able to use a pool net on a pole to clean everything out, even able to step into the pond to get things the net would leave behind. Now, since the pond is lined with rock, I can't net because the net could catch on the slate and rocks, pull some out and collapse the sides. The pump is hard to get to also. The pipe for the waterfall is attached to the pump (no external filters like my old ones) so I can't pull it up if there's a problem with it. I can't step into the pond because the rocks will put holes in the liner. Any suggestions on how to clean out the pond and, if needed, get to the pump? Thanks.
 
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Jhn

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Couple things, pics would go a long way to us helping.., walking on the rock won’t put holes in your liner if it is slate and river rock unless they stuck sharp edges up against the liner and the liner is a cheap plastic material and not epdm or hdrpe. One way or the other would just get in there and pull pump, then Would redo plumbing so pump is no longer in that deep part of the pond and easier to access and if something in your plumbing leaks it can’t empty the pond.
Surprising (but not really) with all the innovations in pond building over the years, why a company would install a pond without ease of access to pumps and something to pull the leaves and debris out of pond before it sinks is beyond me. Then installing the pump in the deep pet of the pond is just ignorance in pond building, but I digress.

Dealing with the hand you are dealt though would get a net and skim over the rock and get as much of the leaves out as you can, My last suggestion is get a tighter weave net to put over the pond for the leaf drop in the fall that will keep all the leaves out.
 
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If your pump is plumbed with hard pipe, there's no easy way to service it. If that's true, the company that did that is terrible at what they do.
Mine is plumbed with 1-1/2" black flex PVC. I have a thin rope attached to the pump which serves two purposes. It helps keep the pump suspended off the bottom so it doesn't suck up any debris that may collect down there. It also makes it very easy to pull the pump for cleaning/servicing. If it was plumbed with hard pipe, I wouldn't be able to pull it.

I'd be very worried about having slate sitting on my liner. Slate has extremely sharp edges. I never have sharp rocks, stones or whatever anywhere near my pond, not even nearby on the ground.
If you do have rocks, etc, it's a good practice to lay some protection on the liner first. Some people use liner scraps or underlayment meant for under the liner. The underlayment is a nice choice.

There are two camps when it comes to rocking the liner. Some like it, some don't.
I don't, but that's me. The liner is black and has so much biofilm on it that you don't even notice the rubber.

I net my pond in the early Fall due to all the leaves. I use a nylon pond net which is basically the same as the net they use to protect fruit trees from birds. I install a PVC frame to support the net. I don't take the net off until mid to late Spring. We have a lot of trees.
Even with the net, I have to do a good slow scooping with my large bag type pool net.

If you are going to keep your liner covered with stones, maybe you should invest in a pond vacuum. They are a bit expensive, but that would definitely help.
Or, get all the rocks and slate out and you'll be able to use a net when debris builds up.

So, it's your choice, but if it were me, I'd lower the water level, save the water, get in there and remove all the slate, change the pipe from the pump to flex pvc, tie a rope to the pump and put the water back.

Oh, and don't waste your money on any of that corregated "pond hose". It doesn't last long and will leak. Flex pvc is the best. It fits all PVC fittings, uses the same primer and glue, comes in all sizes, comes black or white and probably will last forever.

Another mention, I have all my plumbing within my pond and bog filter. If there's ever a leak, no water can escape the system.
 

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