Pond loses about 6" of water within an hour of switching on


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Hi, because I am the "patient one", I have had to perform all of the pond duties....so my question is: We have had this pond now for 13 yrs, had run great until this year. We determined that the pump had died when we turned it on in the Springtime. We went and bought a comparable pump for the size of our pond and it runs just fine, BUT, when I turn on the pump the water drops about 6 inches within an hour. I have cleaned out the pond, did my due diligence to find leaks, and taken care of them in the past, but we can't leave it on constantly (i.e. day and night during the Spring, Summer, Fall) for fear that the water will drop and leave the pump unmonitored and burning up before morning.
We did not install this, pond. The guy that built it for us has since passed away so we have no one to ask about the water fall or plumbing placement. We (meaning I) would have to dig the whole thing up just to trace the placement of the plumbing as I am the only one who cares about the wonderful sound of the pond. BTW, I'm a 73 soon to be 74 year old female and I hurt bad enough after doing a days worth of yard work without putting myself through the process of digging up my pond!! *wink*

Can you think of any other reason that this could be happening?

Thanks, Vicki in Washington State
 
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addy1

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Welcome to the forum!

Did this start after you installed the new pump?
 
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The first thing that comes to mind is that the old pump was not as strong as the new and the new pump weakened a fitting somewhere or it has raised the water somewhere . but this is all a total guestimate.

SO i'm impressed you got on the internet at 73 and found this site now what about some pictures lots of pictures of your pond that is our best weapon in helping you out
 

j.w

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@Vicki in Washington State
Not sure why your pond is going down. What part of Washington are you in? I'm up north in Arlington, same age lady as you.
 
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The first thing that comes to mind is that the old pump was not as strong as the new and the new pump weakened a fitting somewhere or it has raised the water somewhere . but this is all a total guestimate.

SO i'm impressed you got on the internet at 73 and found this site now what about some pictures lots of pictures of your pond that is our best weapon in helping you out
Your thoughts about the strength of the new pump being stronger than the original one. In the past I have crawled all around that thing and we had a mole digging underneath the stream and I thought I'd fixed it. I will need to do some more crawling and see if any moles have returned, although it didn't cause the pond to empty as soon as I turned it on originally. Such a soothing luxury, to hear the water running...but a royal pain in the butt to have to work so hard to achieve the luxury!

Thanks for the compliment on the age and the internet....you can find just about ANYTHING on the internet if you just go there and type your question (s), right? That is all I did to look at this web site. Nothing special.

Will have to look into sending pictures. I do not have or want to pay for a Smart Phone so I will have to do it the old fashioned way: take camera, take picture, take out card, down load/upload the pics from the card, then post the pics to you! I don't know when I will get around to doing this as I am fighting the time crunch of Summer and the weeds in my flower beds. Fall is just around the corner and the rain will start and the wind will be blowing!!!!

I had way too many crucial issues to do to keep me from going out and tearing all of it apart (the flower beds of course) That and the very long and wet Spring we had!

Thanks for the reply and suggestion, Vicki in Washington State
 
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View attachment 153362@Vicki in Washington State
Not sure why your pond is going down. What part of Washington are you in? I'm up north in Arlington, same age lady as you.
Thanks for the reply. We are in the Southernmost part of the state. Washougal, WA in The Columbia River Gorge. I can look out my windows and see the Northern face of the gorge in Oregon facing me. Wonderful views.
 
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I would think that with losing that much water in an hour, that you should be able to find an area that is pretty saturated without having to dig up all the plumbing. I totally understand not wanting to dig. I'm coming up to 67 and my diggers aren't as strong as they used to be.
 
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I don't know who Combat Wombat is and I haven't received any messages about my pond issues. But thanks anyway. What kind of raised net over your pond do you have? Do you have any pictures you can post? I have always wanted to put a net over mine because of the horrendous amount of leaves we get here. I tried a deer net tossed across the pond at our old house, but instead of keeping things out, I managed to trap a few birds who got caught by their feet and died as a result. I felt so bad.
 

j.w

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I use a wide weave fishing net up on high stakes w/a short wire fence down below. The net is clipped to the fence so nothing can push on it. I just unclip to lift the net when I need to get in there to do anything. Not the greatest look but I have peace of mind and live fish! Birds fly right through it. I ordered it from a fishing net company back in Tennessee. Was pretty cheap too. Had to sew two pieces together tho w/fish line as my pond was wider than the width of the net.

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Hey I think @combatwombat lives down your way @Vicki in Washington State
He doesn't have anything better to do, maybe he can come down and dig everything up for you,lol!

Shovel's retired. Rent me an excavator, though, and I'll be there for as long as you want me.

@Vicki in Washington State, if the water loss happens only when you turn on the pump, the leak really has to be either in the plumbing or the waterfall/stream. And the amount of loss you're talking about I think would produce a pretty noticeable wet spot with a little investigation.

How big is your stream? And how big is the pond? Small pond + big stream could mean much of that water "loss" is actually just water in motion. But I guess you'd know that already if you've operated this system for a few years now?
 
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I use a wide weave fishing net up on high stakes w/a short wire fence down below. The net is clipped to the fence so nothing can push on it. I just unclip to lift the net when I need to get in there to do anything. Not the greatest look but I have peace of mind and live fish! Birds fly right through it. I ordered it from a fishing net company back in Tennessee. Was pretty cheap too. Had to sew two pieces together tho w/fish line as my pond was wider than the width of the net.

View attachment 153364

View attachment 153365
Not bad at all! But if the birds can fly through it, then the netting is too large and the leaves will get through as well. That defeats the purpose for me! Nice pictures, thanks for sharing! Maybe I can think of a way to put smaller netting up with fence posts to keep the leaves out! Thanks!!
 
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Shovel's retired. Rent me an excavator, though, and I'll be there for as long as you want me.

@Vicki in Washington State, if the water loss happens only when you turn on the pump, the leak really has to be either in the plumbing or the waterfall/stream. And the amount of loss you're talking about I think would produce a pretty noticeable wet spot with a little investigation.

How big is your stream? And how big is the pond? Small pond + big stream could mean much of that water "loss" is actually just water in motion. But I guess you'd know that already if you've operated this system for a few years now?
Yeah, the water loss only happened after we bought another pump. The pond is about 850 gallons, stream is about 25' long from top to the pond below. I think, if I remember right, the pond is about 6' x 6' and about 6' deep. It's very frustrating. I don't know where the plumbing is...probably right below the stream! No, I think it might be either the falls or the plumbing, sorry to say. I'll have to keep hunting for the cause until the Winter! LOL
 
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Not bad at all! But if the birds can fly through it, then the netting is too large and the leaves will get through as well. That defeats the purpose for me! Nice pictures, thanks for sharing! Maybe I can think of a way to put smaller netting up with fence posts to keep the leaves out! Thanks!!
Yep you see that Red Japanese Maple tree by the pond. It puts leaves right into the pond but I was thinking of just laying some smaller holed netting right there in that corner top and fastening it down tight to see if it would stop the leaves from getting in. Gonna give it a try this Fall. I could take it off after the leaves all fall off. You could always get the wide holed net and then in the fall throw the small holed one over the top and take yours off too when the leaves are done.
 
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I don't know where the plumbing is...probably right below the stream!
It's often buried in the berm right next to the pond/stream edge. But you never know.

No, I think it might be either the falls or the plumbing, sorry to say.
How does water exit the plumbing and enter the stream? If you can access the plumbing, try adding a temporary pipe to the end and diverting water right back to the pond, bypassing the stream. That will tell you if the leak is in the plumbing or the stream.
 
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Are you sure you are losing water?

When the water level drops 6" in an hour, does it keep dropping beyond the hour or dies it stop at that point?


It can also be that you are not actually losing water but instead displacing water to the stream and it appears as a loss in the pond.
Remember, the stream will hold a decent amount of water in itself. So if the pump is off, theres no water in the stream and there will be more water in your pond. Once you turn the pump back on, water from the pond will get displaced into the stream mimicking a water loss in the pond.

If that is not the case and you are actually losing water, oftentimes water loss can be from a waterfall or a stream, but can also be the plumbing itself.

The best thing is to isolate each one individually to determine which is the culprit.

Can you possibly disconnect the pump output and run a temporary hose to each feature one at a time to determine the culprit?

For example, if your stream is fed first and that feeds the waterfall then feeds the pond, maybe skip the stream and just feed the falls.
If you still have water loss, take the falls out of the equation and feed the water directly into the pond. If you still have water loss, it's the pond leaking.
 
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I would think that with losing that much water in an hour, that you should be able to find an area that is pretty saturated without having to dig up all the plumbing. I totally understand not wanting to dig. I'm coming up to 67 and my diggers aren't as strong as they used to be.
Thanks, my hands aren't as strong as they used to be and also my back isn't as good either. I should have taken better care of my body when I was younger! LOL (and I have't found any saturated dirt , so....)
Yep you see that Red Japanese Maple tree by the pond. It puts leaves right into the pond but I was thinking of just laying some smaller holed netting right there in that corner top and fastening it down tight to see if it would stop the leaves from getting in. Gonna give it a try this Fall. I could take it off after the leaves all fall off. You could always get the wide holed net and then in the fall throw the small holed one over the top and take yours off too when the leaves are done.
Yeah, I saw that Lace Leaf Maple and thought, mine drops a ton of leaves! I don't have my Lace Leaf Maple at my pond but with the wind here in the Columbia River Gorge, you have no idea how fierce the wind is! Unless I would cover it with very small netting or a tarp, there is a very strong chance I would have leaves in there! You have no idea.....we have approx 9 acres and there are so many leaves!! Well that is all I have to comment on right now. Got to go and pull weeds!!!!! (a curse, brought upon myself 14 yrs ago when I was younger) I never thought when I built all the flower beds and planted all the plants and flowers I would get OLD and stiff trying to just keep up with it! LOL silly me.
 

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