Secondary Water-- What does this mean for my pond?


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So we inherited a 3500 sq foot bog, now a struggling pond. I have never seemed to be able to get the pond in control. It has been murky and foamy almost the whole time I've had it, aside from the first 2-3 weeks when it was clear, no matter what I do to it. Well, today I found out that the auto-refill is fed by secondary water (which is what our sprinkler system runs on). I called the water company to find out the source of the secondary water and was told that the first part of the year, it is mountain snow run-off, and then when that goes dry they get it from Utah Lake (a very warm, shallow lake not too far away). This year, she said, since we're in our 3rd year of drought, the lake is low and much more full of sediment and algae than usual. They also had to go to lake water earlier than usual because of the lack of snow pack.

So.....in what ways does that affect my pond? I'm sure it must. But I just don't know how big the affects are.

(Additional info) My pond is brownish appearance (though the water is clear), lots of floaties, always sudsy/foamy, and covered in string algae and brown algae. 12 or so small goldfish and 2 small koi. 2 big waterfalls, 2 aerator stones, a UV/bio/mechanical filter.

I would wager a guess that the first few weeks when everything stayed clear and lovely that we were on mountain water. And then when we switched to lake water, that's when all this ugly stuff keeps getting pumped into my pond. Anyone have actually knowledge about this??

Thank you!

Taken 9/14/15
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Meyer Jordan

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If what you have been told is true, then, without a doubt, the lake water is the source of your problems. In all likelihood, with this lake normally being shallow and warm, the water is usually eutrophic (high in organics/nutrients). Considering the lake level is also now low because of drought. the eutrophy has only been magnified.
It would seem that the obvious solution would be to disconnect the auto-fill from this secondary water supply and use only municipal supplied water in the future.
 
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Do you have any idea of how much water loss you have a day? Turn off the auto feed and see what happens. If the loss isn't great then the auto feed isn't putting much into the pond. If it isn't putting much into the pond then the water it's adding isn't the problem.
 
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I"m losing a ton! I haven't turned the auto fill back on since discovering the source of the water, and the pond has magically cleared right up! But I am losing 6" a day if I run the waterfalls. If i don't, it's only 1/4". So either I have a leak somewhere in the pipes to the waterfall or there is a LOT of evaporation taking place. Either way, I'm going to need to hook that autofill back up to culinary water or else I have to drag the hose over to the pond every day and refill it for an hour or longer. UGH.
 

sissy

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Rocks get hot in the sun and you could loose a lot of water through evaporation .Especially if your rocks are in the sun and then you add splashing into that .Plus if you get wind that will add to the lose .Could you just leave the hose out there or get a couple of those expandable hoses .I have 2 on my front porch and love them .They stretch out when water is turned on and they go back when water is turned off and are really light weight .
 

Meyer Jordan

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I"m losing a ton! I haven't turned the auto fill back on since discovering the source of the water, and the pond has magically cleared right up! But I am losing 6" a day if I run the waterfalls. If i don't, it's only 1/4". So either I have a leak somewhere in the pipes to the waterfall or there is a LOT of evaporation taking place. Either way, I'm going to need to hook that autofill back up to culinary water or else I have to drag the hose over to the pond every day and refill it for an hour or longer. UGH.
Sounds like a definite leak somewhere around the waterfall. Unlikely that it is in the plumbing. Water is probably being diverted over the liner in one or more spots. There will be a pronounced 'wet spot' in the immediate vicinity of the leak. Not evaporation!
Make sure , if you use municipal water, to apply 'Dechlorinator' when you fill the pond.
 
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There's no water pooling anywhere around the pond. If there is a leak, it has to be the plumbing. The way mine was built (not by me) the water goes directly through the pump into the plumbing, under the ground up to the top of the waterfall and comes out a pipe in the rock. So if it's leaking, it's so far under the ground that it's not ever reaching the surface.

My landscaper told me he loses 3-4 inches to evaporation a day on his pond. So maybe it's possible. We are the 2nd driest state in America. But 6" seems like a lot. I found one website that said 1/4" a month for Utah, but that can't be right. Even with my waterfall off I lose about 1/4" to evaporation each day.

Sadly, no. It would be a major nuisance to leave the hose out. Not only does it cut right through our patio and where my kids play/ride bikes, but I use it for other things like watering the plants, slip n slide, etc. So I'm just going to have to get the auto-fill converted to culinary water some how.

At least the pond water has cleared up. That's such a miracle after how much I fought every problem you can think of this summer with no success. Now I just need to get the waterfall going again! :)
 

addy1

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The water could be going under the water fall. I fought a leak when I first built it, there was a little redirection of the water that really dropped the level of the pond. The water was dribbling over one rock, missing the liner, soaking into the ground.

Took a while to find it too, other rocks covered up the dibble.
 
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It definitely sounds like a leak to me. The question is is it the liner or the pipe. To determine which it is you will need to bypass your existing pipe by using a new length of pipe and laying it above ground. If you do it this way be sure to attach the new pipe to the same spot the existing pipe is. If you are still loosing water then it's the liner. If not then it's time to replace the existing pipe. Depending on the diameter of the pipe and if there are any 90 degree bends you may be able to snake a smaller pipe through it. If not then you have to dig. Unless you use your pond in the winter you can bury the pipe just a few inches below the ground. It sounds like the patio will be a problem but possibly you can go around it with a longer pipe. Another option would be to move the pump to another location if that would help get around the patio. The pipe is simple but if it's the liner not so simple.
 
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sissy

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after this if you find it is not leaking from the pipe the you could run the piece of extra hose up the water fall and see what happens .You could buy sump pump hose to try it out with as long as your pump will except 1 1/4 inch hose at 10 dollars you may find your leak or it just may be evaporation .
It definitely sounds like a leak to me. The question is is it the liner or the pipe. To determine which it is you will need to bypass your existing pipe by using a new length of pipe and laying it above ground. If you do it this way be sure to attach the new pipe to the same spot the existing pipe is. If you are still loosing water then it's the liner. If not then it's time to replace the existing pipe. Depending on the diameter of the pipe and if there are any 90 degree bends you may be able to snake a smaller pipe through it. If not then you have to dig. Unless you use your pond in the winter you can bury the pipe just a few inches below the ground. It sounds like the patio will be a problem but possibly you can go around it with a longer pipe. Another option would be to move the pump to another location if that would help get around the patio. The pipe is simple but if it's the liner not so simple.
 

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