How To Winterize A Pond: Pondless Waterfall, Water Feature, Or Fountain
Whether you have a pondless waterfall, koi pond, or outdoor fountain, there are a few important steps to take to winterize any water features that you may have in your backyard.
One step to take is to ensure that the pond area is free from debris such as fallen leaves, branches, or dead plants. The presence of these is often the largest contributor to maintenance requirements. Proper placement of a water feature away from potential debris can lead to a maintenance-free waterfall. In other cases, more notably in the fall months, such organic materials will deteriorate in the pond. This lowers the quality of water which can in turn decrease the lifespan of the pond pump. It is recommended to cover the pond water supply using a net or trimming nearby branches.
Much like a pool, it is essential to keep the pond free basin free of decomposed organic sludge. If draining of the pond followed by a sweep is not possible, it is recommended to use a pond vacuum. One should not over clean because the fish, frogs, tadpoles, and other organisms will often use the organic sludge at the bottom of the pond to nest in.
Another concern if you have fish is that the levels of ammonia, hydrogen sulfite, and nitrates will be increased as a result of the debris. Hydrogen sulfide in particular is poisonous to fish. Also, because fish require oxygen to survive, it is recommended that an open hole is maintained to allow oxygen in and to let carbon dioxide out. If you find that the water has frozen over, it is recommended to open the hole using boiling water as banging on the ice can irritate the fish.
Proper pump care for a pondless waterfall is necessary in harsh climates that are well below freezing temperatures during the winter months. It is recommended that you disconnect the pump, drain, and store in a dry place. It is also recommended that the waterfall be drained and covered to protect the internal hose/plumbing systems. If you have fish, it is recommended to try and leave some form of aeration system on for the pond to provide a fresh supply of oxygen to the pond. If the weather is too cold then a regular aquarium air pump will do in a pinch (even if the water is freezing). Floating pond heaters are available in stores and serve the purpose of keeping the pond surface from freezing over.
Pond owners will find that the deeper and larger the pond, the less maintenance is required in the long-run as a natural ecosystem builds up over-time. Smaller ponds that are shallow tend to require more careful attention. this is especially true in the winter as they can freeze over killing the fish inside. Fish often stay near the deepest areas of a pond during the winter months.
WaterfallNow’s waterfalls on the other hand can run year-round as Vancouver’s temperature is not as harsh. Because water rarely freezes in the Lower Mainland, BC, we are able to operate almost all of our waterfalls in any season without any issues. The fiberglass kevlar backed membrane can withstand even harsh freezing temperatures without fear of cracking that could cause significant damage to the structure or worse – leaks.
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