Insane water loss from bogs?


Miami Al

Donor
Joined
Jun 6, 2021
Messages
67
Reaction score
38
Location
Hollywood, FL
Hardiness Zone
10b
Country
United States
Our water loss is like 5 gallons an hour. I am looking everywhere for leaks, but I am wondering if it is possible that it is evaporation plus the plants in the red/blue pots. There is no visible leak around the pots. I have one last connector to check for leaks. I have a uniseal with a union to the flex-pvc that is underground. I am thinking of coating the uniseal with marine grade silicone. But if that doesn't resolve it, is it possible that the plants + the flow from the pipe to the pond is draining that much water? If so, I think I may need to connect my fill pipe to our well and run it through some filtration. Its a bit much to refill with city water.

Thoughts?

pond-photo.jpg
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Apr 12, 2021
Messages
84
Reaction score
57
Country
United States
Evapotranspiration or ET* alone can lower a pond level by several inches a day. I use no pumps, fountains, or falls and still need to top up my water gardens and bog saucers almost every day, in hot dry weather.

* ET = evaporation + plant transpiration.
 

Miami Al

Donor
Joined
Jun 6, 2021
Messages
67
Reaction score
38
Location
Hollywood, FL
Hardiness Zone
10b
Country
United States
Evapotranspiration or ET* alone can lower a pond level by several inches a day. I use no pumps, fountains, or falls and still need to top up my water gardens and bog saucers almost every day, in hot dry weather.

* ET = evaporation + plant transpiration.

Thank you! I currently would need to top my pond off 6 times/day to keep it from dropping too far.

I'm going to rule out the last possible leak location, but I'm going to fix this correctly this weekend.
 

Miami Al

Donor
Joined
Jun 6, 2021
Messages
67
Reaction score
38
Location
Hollywood, FL
Hardiness Zone
10b
Country
United States
You did install a bottom drain- right? That could be the source of the leak. Just a thought.
The skimmer and bottom drain are plumbed separately. When the bottom drain + urn is running (and bogs/skimmer are not) there is near zero water loss. When the skimmer+bogs are running, water loss is massive.
 

addy1

water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins
Moderator
Donor
Joined
Jun 23, 2010
Messages
40,833
Reaction score
24,897
Location
Frederick, Maryland
Showcase(s):
1
Hardiness Zone
6b
Country
United States
I have a huge bog, during our 90 to 100 degree days with a ton of plants I lose about 2 inches of water a day, no way 5 gallons a hour. I can keep it level running my auto fill for about a 1/2 hour, at 3 gallons a minute that is around 90 gallons a day. Including loss from the steam and all the other ponds.
 
Ad

Advertisements

Jhn

Joined
Jul 3, 2017
Messages
1,620
Reaction score
1,489
Location
Maryland
Showcase(s):
1
Hardiness Zone
7b
Country
United States
Agree with @addy1, there is no way you are losing 5 gallons an hour from evap and plants on those little bogs. My evap loss with bogs, waterfalls, a urn/ball thing that has water running over it into dry rocks then into the pond and I am not losing much even when when it is blazing hot and the pond gets all day sun. Definitely a leak somewhere In your skimmer/bog/plumbing.
 
Joined
Apr 12, 2021
Messages
84
Reaction score
57
Country
United States
I have a huge bog, during our 90 to 100 degree days with a ton of plants I lose about 2 inches of water a day, no way 5 gallons a hour. I can keep it level running my auto fill for about a 1/2 hour, at 3 gallons a minute that is around 90 gallons a day. Including loss from the steam and all the other ponds.
I don't know the area of your pond, addy, but let's say it is 100 square feet.

For a 100 square foot area pond. If the water drops 2 inches in one day, that is 28,800 cubic inches or almost 125 gallons of water loss. 125 divided by 24 hours equals 5.2 gallons an hour of water loss.
Of course that falsely assumes that the water loss is the same day and night. Actually, you'll be losing much more during the day when the evapotranspiration rate is higher than at night. During the day you could be losing over 10 gallons an hour!

Miami Al's pond looks like it might be about 24 square feet, not including the bog areas. I wonder how many inches of drop he is experiencing?

I suppose I could back-calculate the area of your pond from your claim of a 90 gallon fill (...on the calculator...) Is your pond about 72 square feet?

If so, 90 gallons divide by 24 = 3.75 gallons an hour, but again, the actual rate will be higher during the day, likely over 5 gallons during the hotter part of the day.

I'm not trying to put anyone on the spot, and I still have no real idea about all the parameters of Miami Al's pond, but 5 gallons an hour isn't an unrealistic number for evapotranspiration, let alone total water loss.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Dec 21, 2015
Messages
1,272
Reaction score
685
Location
Hershey, PA
Showcase(s):
2
Hardiness Zone
6A
Country
United States
This is not evaporation. You’re losing water somewhere.

One possibility is the pump is too weak to push the water and the water is backup to the pond and over flowing. This can happen after a few weeks as algae build up in the bog and plants grow.
 

Jhn

Joined
Jul 3, 2017
Messages
1,620
Reaction score
1,489
Location
Maryland
Showcase(s):
1
Hardiness Zone
7b
Country
United States
@Marck, if miama al, is topping up his pond 6 times a day to keep it from drooping too low in his pond, (below his skimmer opening I assume).Evaporation and transpiration on that pond and those tiny bogs causing that much water loss is a bit unrealistic. Especially if it is consistent daily loss, rain or shine on the pond.

@Miami Al One on a different note from your bogs being the issue, a potential leaking spot I can see from your pics is the urn spitter laying on its side dumping water back into the pond. The water could easily run up under that lip on the urn and be dripping out on the underside of the urn.

After checking all,your plumbing connections….Easiest way to check it is by bypass the bogs all at once, ( run a temporary return line), see what water loss you have, if it is fine then add one bog at a time back into the return flow.
 

addy1

water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins
Moderator
Donor
Joined
Jun 23, 2010
Messages
40,833
Reaction score
24,897
Location
Frederick, Maryland
Showcase(s):
1
Hardiness Zone
6b
Country
United States
I don't know the area of your pond, addy, but let's say it is 100 square feet.
I have a 27 x 4.5 bog, 27 foot by 20 going to around 10 foot pond, a 85 foot stream with 3 small ponds, two deck ponds, around 200 ish gallons, a 9x9 foot 1000 gallon stock tank a 300 gallon stock tank, and 2 other liner ponds around 9ish feet by 2ish feet. all in full sun.
Way more than 100 sq feet of surface. Never added it up, prob never will lol
My hot tub pond 300 ish gallons can lose around a inch in two weeks if not longer, sometimes less, from evaporation, plant use
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Jul 12, 2009
Messages
3,133
Reaction score
1,938
Location
Mount Pocono, Pennsylvania
Hardiness Zone
6a
When the skimmer+bogs are running, water loss is massive.
You just answered your own question.

It's either the skimmer, bog or plumbing that feeds them, not evaporation.

Remove each feature one by one. Process of elimination.

A Uniseal does not need any sealant.
 

Miami Al

Donor
Joined
Jun 6, 2021
Messages
67
Reaction score
38
Location
Hollywood, FL
Hardiness Zone
10b
Country
United States
@Marck, if miama al, is topping up his pond 6 times a day to keep it from drooping too low in his pond, (below his skimmer opening I assume).Evaporation and transpiration on that pond and those tiny bogs causing that much water loss is a bit unrealistic. Especially if it is consistent daily loss, rain or shine on the pond.

@Miami Al One on a different note from your bogs being the issue, a potential leaking spot I can see from your pics is the urn spitter laying on its side dumping water back into the pond. The water could easily run up under that lip on the urn and be dripping out on the underside of the urn.

After checking all,your plumbing connections….Easiest way to check it is by bypass the bogs all at once, ( run a temporary return line), see what water loss you have, if it is fine then add one bog at a time back into the return flow.
Ironically I threw out my plumbed alternative return line right before this happened. But That was one of my thoughts, going to try it.

Checking one of the connections underground (need to fix the bucket location anyone, too many rocks, it's too high).

Components that are connected:
Skimmer (water drops until level in bucket and skimmer, about 1/3 up skimmer)
Bucket (has uniseal at bottom with return pipe, incoming pipe)
1" PVC line from Bucket to Bogs
3x Bogs

The Bottom Drain + Other Bucket + Urn are NOT the problem because once the water level drops and stops feeding the bog "system" the water lossage stops.

So the loss is either:
a Leak in the pre-filter
a Leak in the bogs
the plants in the bog itself
 
Joined
Apr 12, 2021
Messages
84
Reaction score
57
Country
United States
@Miami Al A few questions: What is the surface area of your pond? Did you measure how many inches of water drop? Or does your pond auto-fill and you are reading a meter or gauge?

@addy1 So yeah, you have at least 600 square feet of surface area, including the bog. When you said you refilled two inches of drop with 90 gallons, you were just talking about one of those ponds, right?
 

Miami Al

Donor
Joined
Jun 6, 2021
Messages
67
Reaction score
38
Location
Hollywood, FL
Hardiness Zone
10b
Country
United States
@Miami Al A few questions: What is the surface area of your pond? Did you measure how many inches of water drop? Or does your pond auto-fill and you are reading a meter or gauge?

@addy1 So yeah, you have at least 600 square feet of surface area, including the bog. When you said you refilled two inches of drop with 90 gallons, you were just talking about one of those ponds, right?

I am estimating the water loss based on inches. Surface area is 28 Sq Ft.

In my old pond, which has just spitters and in-pond plumbing, I ran a hose refill 2x/day for 5 minutes. South Florida is REALLY hot, and in a small pond water splashing is an issue.

However, I was wondering if the bog plants were possibly sucking down water in a measurable way.

So the answers I'm getting are:
1. It's mostly likely a leak
2. Need to identify the locations
3. But bog plants will increasing the sucking down of water

I'm going to address everything and identify the leak.

But, I'm also adding a 1/2" barb into the pre-fill bucket that feeds the bogs (and possibly that feeds the urn as well). When I add water, I'm going to hook into into the well pump that powers the sprinklers instead of the city water line for cost reasons. Going to make sure it goes through the filtration prior to entering the pond.
 

addy1

water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins
Moderator
Donor
Joined
Jun 23, 2010
Messages
40,833
Reaction score
24,897
Location
Frederick, Maryland
Showcase(s):
1
Hardiness Zone
6b
Country
United States
@Miami Al A few questions: What is the surface area of your pond? Did you measure how many inches of water drop? Or does your pond auto-fill and you are reading a meter or gauge?

@addy1 So yeah, you have at least 600 square feet of surface area, including the bog. When you said you refilled two inches of drop with 90 gallons, you were just talking about one of those ponds, right?
The main pond, the stream ponds, the deck ponds all drop on real hot days. The other 4 are on a constant feed from the big pond so they maintain their level. Which draws water from the big pond. When the deck and stream ponds pump fires up then their level is brought back to full. At times that will drop the big ponds level. Depending on how low they got. The water just goes into the main pond. At times no drop other times a big drop, low humidity high winds the level drops, hot hot hot and the plants suck out the water and evaporation etc. I am guessing as to how much water, we get 3 gallons a minute with our well pump. I put the auto water system on a timer, I change the amount of time over the summer, more in mid summer less spring and fall.

I have never worried about the amount of refill. If we get a edge leak, a critter stepped on the edge the leak it is obvious. I just dropped over a foot due to a critter, crushed down the edge of the liner on one of the small ponds. The flow is slow into them, but it sure did drop the big pond level overnight.
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Apr 12, 2021
Messages
84
Reaction score
57
Country
United States
Thank you addy1 and Miami Al. it is good to learn about others' water loss. I'm sure mine is especially high, due to low humidity and many plants. Of course the plants do transpire, but they may also reduce direct evaporation by shading the water and soil.
 

Miami Al

Donor
Joined
Jun 6, 2021
Messages
67
Reaction score
38
Location
Hollywood, FL
Hardiness Zone
10b
Country
United States
So bottom drain and urn are running. Virtually no water loss. There is some splash and evaporation, but in the evaporation and rain balancing out levels.

I am pretty certain that the problem is NOT in the brand new skimmer + gasket, there is no water leaking behind there.

Going to slather sealant anywhere I can reach on urns.

In the event that is is simply the plants sucking the water out because they are small and rapidly growing, I have no problem topping off from the sprinkler well a few times a day, that's a good use of water to me.
 
Ad

Advertisements

addy1

water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins
Moderator
Donor
Joined
Jun 23, 2010
Messages
40,833
Reaction score
24,897
Location
Frederick, Maryland
Showcase(s):
1
Hardiness Zone
6b
Country
United States
My bog is stuffed with plants I don't see that sort of water loss. Can't even walk through it right now. it is 27 feet x 4.5 feet wide. I can't see your plants sucking out that much water, but you never know.
 

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question

Top