Here at Modern Design Aquascaping Inc., we get so many calls from people who have water features and they think they may have a leak. Often the conversation goes, “I think my feature is leaking, can you have someone run by and see what they can find?” This note will cover the procedures we follow in order to be efficient with a clients time and money.
Let’s start by saying that having someone run by and take a look, while it sounds like a good idea, is a ways down the list of to-do’s in order to properly diagnose a potential water loss issue. The first thing we want to, in order to solve your issues, is to break the feature down into pieces. If there is a pond and stream, for example, we will turn off the pump in order to eliminate the stream and plumbing from the equation. We can then fill the pond to it’s capacity, take an EXACT water measurement, and then set a timer. Keeping a log of this information is invaluable to the technicians who are working on your feature.
The timer allows you to tell how much water level goes down per 12 hours. The more information we get, the better! Feel free to take measurements for 48 hours at least. Important: If you have fish and/ or a biological filter, there are precautions you need to take in order to maintain healthy oxygen levels. Reach out to us for more information on that if you need to. (LINK TO CONTACT FORM) What happens next is you will find out one of two things, the pond is loosing water (more than 1/4” in 12 hours) or it is not. If the pond is loosing water, you will have to let it leak down to the level where it stops leaking and then search for the problem and fix it. Remember that if the water level drops more than what is safe for your fish, you will have to deal with that as well.
If the pond is not leaking, you have successfully eliminated that portion of your feature from the problem. The next thing to test is the plumbing. In order to test the plumbing system, we simply cap off the plumbing where it connects to the pump, fill the filter system (from the top side) to the point of over-flowing, and wait some more. Twelve hours is enough time to see if the plumbing is holding water. If that level doesn’t drop, you have eliminated that from the equation. If water level in the plumbing system drops, you have located a potential problem and you can then look deeper into that area.
The next area to inspect is the stream. Look closely at all edges to ensure that there are no low-edges in the liner. Inspect the connection from the filter box to the liner. Look for blockages or obstructions in the stream that have made a dam and caused the water level to go up over your liner.
Each scenario here will give you insight into a problem that cannot be seen by just quickly looking at the feature. Folks often think we are trying to avoid coming out but I always ask, “What do you think we will see that you cannot?” If you have spent any effort at all to look for the obvious, we will need to dig deeper to find solutions! With a bit of time bantering back-and-forth on the phone, we can almost always diagnose a problem and come up with a solution. Some people even end up finding it with our help and don’t need hiring us to do anything. We are always available for free phone consulting for troubleshooting and answering questions.
Call our office at Modern Design Aquascaping Inc. at 865-995-1234 or fill out the on-line form at http://www.mdaquascaping.com/contact.html and we’ll call you. We would love to give you a no-cost estimate right over the phone and help get your pond up and running this year!
John Adams is a professional pond artist and builder.