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How To Find A Leak In A Pond: 3 Easy Methods

Your pond can get any type of leakage on the pond itself. While some water loss is natural because of evaporation and splashing, a huge amount of loss of water can be problematic.

Finding the leak is actually more difficult than fixing it. For quick leaks, try placing some milk in a squirt bottle and sprinkling it into the water near the pond’s perimeter. The milk will cloud the water if there is no hole. But, if there is any hole, it will flow toward it.

However, we wouldn’t recommend this method for slow leaks. You can get leakage in many areas of a pond and it can be caused for many different reasons. Now, let’s look at how to find a leak in a pond.

You need to inspect some areas in and around your pond for leaks. Here are three simple steps that you can follow to find any leak in your pond.

Steps To Follow For Finding Any Leakage In A Pond

Examine The Sides For Overspill

Fill your pond to the desired water level first, then carefully inspect the pond’s sides for water spilling over. Tight curves in streams as well as to the left and right of a waterfall are two common places for water to spill out.

Also, inspect the pond’s outer border for water pooling or moist spots. This is an indication of water spillage.

If you don’t see any water overflowing and there are no moist spots around the pond or water garden, go to the next step.

Check The Main Pond

Turn off the pump. If the water level continues to fall, the leak is most likely from the pond rather than the plumbing or water features.

Allow the pond to leak until it stops and marks the level with chalk all around the pond. When the water level has stopped rising, inspect the chalk line carefully for any damage.

Check The Plumbing and Water Features 

Turn off the water supply. If the water level in the main pond remains constant, it indicates that the leak is coming from the plumbing, the waterfall, or the stream, rather than the pond.

Examine the plumbing joints and repair or tighten any loose or broken joints or pieces of pipe. If the leak isn’t caused by the plumbing, examine the waterfall and stream for leaks and simple overflows.

The simplest technique to check for overflow over the liner edge is to look for damp areas around the perimeter and remove any obstructions. A moist area could potentially indicate that the liner’s edge has dipped below the water level. 

Sometimes, water could wind up leaking through the joint between two liners. This is a rather major malfunction that will necessitate removing the waterfall in order to locate and repair the issue. 

Now that we have discussed the steps to find any leak in your pond, let’s look into the ways how you can fix them as well!

Fixing The Leakage

As we have said earlier, your pond can get any kind of leaks in any place. These leaks can be of different measures. For instance, leaks in rubber liners can be as huge as a large gash or as small as a pinprick.

Leaks can be caused for different reasons as well. Concrete leaks could be caused by cracks or corrosion of the concrete. This can be visible over much of the concrete lining in older or poorly constructed ponds.

Leaks in Clay-lined ponds can be found through fractures that are not always visible. It is primarily produced when the water level is allowed to fall, allowing the clay to dry up, or by root damage.

Here are some methods to fix three types of leaks that are generally found in ponds.

Pond Liner Leak

There are several ways available for repairing a hole in your pond liner and preventing water from leaking. And the method you choose is dependent on the size of the hole.

If the hole is less than 5″ in diameter, we recommend using an underwater pond sealant or a patch kit

If you decide to go with underwater sealant, clean the surface of the liner where the tear is first. Then, directly apply the sealant to the tear’s surface. Allow 24 hours for curing.

To apply underwater sealant, you do not need to drain your pond. It can be applied and cured in the water.

For using a patch kit, clean and cleanse the area of the tear with a solvent wipe first before applying. Then, use a dry scrub sponge to scrub and dry the affected area. Remove the patch’s release paper and apply it to the tear. Use a seam roller over the patch to ensure a firm connection.

If the hole is longer than 5” in diameter, it is recommended to replace the liner.

Concrete Pond Leak

Concrete ponds, no matter how sturdy and long-lasting they are they can develop leaks. These can be caused by settling, tree roots invading, or a blow. It is simple to repair them, and the pond does not need to be drained.

The first step is to locate the leak. If the pond has previously held water, check for a crack. Most of the cracks are vertical and easily visible.

If there are mossy algae on the concrete, a wire brush swipe should uncover it. Cracks can be horizontal and difficult to locate at times. If the pond is losing water, the crack can be found directly at the low watermark.

We recommend sealing the fracture by using a non-toxic sealer after you’ve determined its location of it in your concrete pond. Prepare the surface according to the instructions for the sealer you’re applying.

Depending on the sealer, you may need to combine it with a hardener. Allow drying after applying the sealant. It usually takes around 24 hours to fully cure.

Clay Pond Leak

It is recommended to use bentonite for pond sealing on clay and soil foundations, which are common in farm ponds.

Sodium bentonite grows exponentially, almost up to 15 times its original size when exposed to water. This expansion plugs in the gaps in the pond’s foundation and keeps it from leaking water.

But always read the manufacturer’s instructions before applying bentonite. There is a possibility that you’ll have to drain the pond below the damaged area. If you have a lot of cracks, you may even need to drain the entire pond.

Refill the pond to the appropriate level and check for leaks to ensure the crack was correctly filled.

Final Verdict

A pond leak can be a very inconvenient scenario. Moreover, if left unchecked, it can be hazardous for your pond’s fish and ecosystem.

Whether your pond has a liner or concrete or clay base, you can always detect and repair the leak by following these simple steps. It will not only save you time but also a lot of hassle as well.

Q. How to use dye to find a leak in a pond?

A: Simply re-fill the pond with water just above the tear line and add a little amount of pond dye to the water. If there is any hole, the dye will be pulled towards it.

Q. What is the average amount of water loss in a pond?

A: Evaporation causes a pond to lose about 1 inch of water per week on average. Evaporation rates of up to 3 inches per week are typical in bigger ponds.

Q. Can a leaking pond seal itself?

A: Yes. Ponds that seep a little can seal themselves through natural siltation.

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