Waterfall leaking or just natural spray/evaporation ?

lindsayanng

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Over the winter we turn off the waterfall and the pond held water just fine. There was very little water that needed to be replaced.

Last week we turned on the waterfall and it brought back all those questions I had through last summer. It seems that we loose about 1/4" of water a day and obviously 1" over 4 days.

The pond surface area is a little under 24 square feet and the waterfall is from one of those kits. It's about 1.5 feet square and is about 2.5 feet about the pond surface. Last year I tore the whole thing down and rebuilt it and I am confident that it is pretty darn water tight but I'm sure there's always a possibility for a few small drips going astray.

So is the rate at which my pond is loosing water relatively normal?

Also, I live in CT so we haven't had super warm sunshine yet to cause normal evaporation.
 

SE18

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losing 1/4" is pretty normal.

so if you turn off the waterfalls now, are you losing water?

Check that first
 

DrCase

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I Would check around the water fall
If you have to rebuild it put a liner under it to make sure all the water ends up in the pond
 
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Setting a straight sided container filled with water into the pond, or near, will give you a good idea of the local evaporation rate.

Since you're "confident that it [waterfall] is pretty darn water tight" that would be the first thing I'd check. Just the way the curl world seems to work. I think Mr Spock said something like that.
 
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Keep in mind wind conditions as well. Sometimes I'll only lose an inch in a week, but if the wind blows I can lose an inch in a day just because of all the spray being blown off the waterfall.
 

JoaniePA

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My waterfall is lined, but after we turned the pump on I was losing more like 2 inches a day. Turned out that the rocks had settled over the winter so that when the upper pool (first drop) filled up it spilled over the sides little bit. I turned the flow down and moved one of the rocks in front of the pool so that less water could fill into the pool before spilling down the falls. Now the levels are holding. I'll probably go out and tweet the construction of the falls when the weather warms up.
 

addy1

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I have found low spots off and on, as things settle. Right now all appears stable, famous last words.............
 
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If you calculate 1" at 24 sq ft that would be about 15 gallons every 4 days. That sounds like more than just evaporation. I agree with Herz that a picture might help.
 

lindsayanng

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Well te fall has a liner under it and I am definitely sure that wind can spray some water in different directions. Actually, when I said evaporation I kinda meant everything that naturally will take water from the pond. Things that would happen no matter how my pond is built. I should have been more clear.

When the waterfall is not flowing almost no water leaves the pond. Its definitely the fall causing it but I know that the smaller tub at the top means it's more likely to evaporate and the splash from wind and just random little bits splashing this way and that way.

I will posts picture later today or tomorrow when I'm at my computer.

I have already rebuilt this fall twice but the loosing water issue has been there since the beginning.

I thought about adding another liner at the top and funneling the water away from the corners and more towards the center.
 

lindsayanng

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So i finally got pics. Sorry it took so long. Stupid iphone wouldn't let me post pics to this forum.

So in the pictures you can kind of see (if you look between the rocks) that I actually have liner to extends about 4 inches on either side past the edges to hopfully catch any water that is diverted via a crooked rock (like the one on the top left). I guess you can see that there is quite a bit of spray that hits that large rock to the left as well, so I suppose it could be wind and splashing..

This waterfall was actually MUCH MUCH taller but I took it down thinking it would make it a little quieter and stop the water leakage, but it has not.
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The loose rocks will move in the winter. Mine do, and it's not unusual to 'tweak' the waterfall each spring (and several times during the summer because it's fun to change the flow and sound).

Not sure if it's a coincidence, but I also live in Connecticut and my pond is losing water at a higher-than-normal rate. It's an established pond, so either the evaporation rate is much higher than normal for our area & time of year -- or I have a new leak. The lack of rain makes the decreased water level more obvious than when we have our normal wet March and rainy April to help fill the pond back up.
 
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Text book waterfall leak if I'm seeing correctly and hearing you correctly. The water on the biggest rock is outside the liner I assume. And water seems to go well beyond that as the lower rocks to the left also appear wet. That's a lot of water. I can't see too well on the right but I'd suspect the same problem there too.

IMO all rocks outside of the liner should be bone dry. To me the falls liner for this type of falls should extend from over by the hose on the right and the same distance on the left or maybe a bit further.

Side note...
If the walls behind the falls is a concrete fence or concrete garden wall then no problem. If it's the house or a garage you have a big problem. Lot's of mold and algae on the wall. Could be a lot of damage there (99% sure). If I'm seeing what I'm seeing I'd pull out all the rock down to the foundation and look for wood damage in the wall and repair if needed. Once rot gets into wood in a wall it doesn't stop when the problem water is removed.

Pretty common to see ponds up against homes which often does a lot of damage. IMO a separate wall should be built out from the house using a cement board like DuraRock or Hardie board. Total cost for materials is probably about $100 and can save you a few thousand later.
 

herzausstahl

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Agree with waterbug, guessing your liner does not extend out far enough to catch all the water that is finding its way through the rocks. And it would definitely be worth it to check for water damage if that is a foundation wall for your house or garage just to be on the safe side. Will give you a good excuse to redo the falls again. :) It might be worth it to redo the catch basin under the falls, extending the liner under all the rocks and making sure it is all sloped back towards the pond to make sure it all finds its way there.
 
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I'm also losing water in my pond. I filled it up on Tuesday night, 12 hours later it was down about 3/4". Thursday it was about 2" but it's been holding for a day. I'll be damned if I can see where it's going.
 

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