Ponds & Waterfalls Resources
A pond or waterfall needs to be integrated into the landscape plan for the location. A well planned water feature will look like it is part of the natural environment. In addition to ensuring the design is appropriate we need to have a constant water source, electricity and drainage as part of the feature. Water features will see varying rates of evaporation depending on the size, type of flow and climate they are exposed to. In our climate water features will generally lose 1″ of water a week in hotter months (July – August) evaporation may be as much as 3″ a week. In addition to evaporation you will need to circulate the water in your feature continuously. This circulation is required to keep your water feature healthy. One of the things to be aware of that heavy rains can overfill your pond and you should have a path or overflow pipe from your water feature to divert excess water to place where it will not cause damage.
A pond or waterfall is an ecosystem just like a lake or a stream but on a smaller scale. Nature has taken thousands of years to create balanced ecosystems and our water feature is going to need some help to become a well functioning eco-system. Our water feature needs to circulate as mentioned above but we will also need to regular remove debris from the pond. We can do this with a skimmer or skimming net. We will need to ensure we have healthy bacteria to ensure the pond breaks down its waste and add nutrients back into the ecosystem. These bacteria live on surface in the water so it is important your pond has rocks and gravel to provide surfaces for the bacteria to attach to.
Ponds & Waterfalls Guide
There is a lot more to learn about water features. One of our main suppliers has an excellent online Academy. Visit Aquascape Academy for more info.
Frequently asked questions
Pump capacity should be such that it can circulate the entire volume of your pond once per hour. For example, a 2000-gallon pond requires a pump that delivers 2000 gallons per hour (gph). The pump size will be affected by the length of pipe and the height difference from the surface of the water to the spillway. Collect your pond specific information, and we will help you choose the correct pump and right size pipe.
Pumps in ponds should run 24hrs a day, 365 days a year to maintain a healthy pond.
Pumps are rated based on the delivery of water without a change in height. A 2000 gallon per hour (gph) pump will deliver 2000 gph pump will deliver 2000 gph across a level surface. The amount will be less as the height of the outlet rises. At some point the outlet will be too high for the pump and no water will flow known as pump cut-off. The pump curve is the graph that shows how much water the pump will deliver at varying heights.
A healthy pond is one that has vibrant natural cleansing system. Bacteria eats the waste and the bacteria feeds fish and plants. If this system is working the pond shouldn’t need any chemicals. Most urban ponds benefit from the regular addition of beneficial bacteria to support that cycle. If you have algae or other challenges, we have many natural additives that will help alleviate those problems and build a healthy ecosystem in your pond.
The short answer is regularly. The long answer is: it depends on the exposure, flow, time of year etc. A pond can lose up to 3 inches of water a week in the summer and as little as a ½ inch a week in the winter.