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Is my pond leaking?

Hello all,

I would appreciate a bit of advice from experienced pond owners...

I built a small wildlife pond last November and ever since it has been losing a millimetre or two of water a day. The water loss is so slow that a a decent amount of rain will top it back up again - and as we have had so much rain over the last few months I haven't been able to determine if there is a level at which the water loss stops.

I drained the pond a couple of weeks ago but couldn't find an obvious hole in the butyl liner, and I so refilled it.

I am aware that ponds will naturally lose water through wind, evaporation etc, and as the water loss is so slow I hope this is what is happening - but I would only have expected this to happen in warmer summer weather, and in any event, my pond is in a fairly sheltered and shady spot.

Would such a water loss continue to happen through the winter and spring?

Thanks, in advance,





  • GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 2,286

    This is normal water loss to evaporation. It will be less in the winter on the whole and usually will not be noticed because of more rain. But in the spring warm daytime temperatures and cold night temperatures produce a lot of evaporation. Think of how misty it is in the mornings sometimes at this time of year. If I go out to my pond on such nights I can see the mist rising off it.

    As a very rough guide for a medium sized garden pond if one lost even as much as an inch of water in a week, it is likely to be the results of normal water loss from the pond.

    If it was an inch overnight, one would assume it was leaking.

    My solution is to have a water butt connected to the pond so that it can be topped up easily.

  • treehugger80treehugger80 Posts: 1,923

    just check all the sides and make sure you don't have a low section that its running out of, the ground can settle when you put the weight of water/ edging stones into a pond

  • DicemancDicemanc Posts: 40

    Thanks Gemma - that's reassuring. I had imagined that the pond would lose water in warmer weather, but not in the depths of winter!

    Treehugger -- thanks for the idea. I have checked the sides and they are ok, so that's not the problem.

    I'll stop worrying and start enjoying my pond.


  • drag it all out and reline it as it will drive you insane , as it did to me years ago with a concrete one image

  • DicemancDicemanc Posts: 40

    I'm considering it - although another option is just to fill it in image

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,256

    Why? It's evaporating at a millimetre or two a day?  What's wrong with that?  Even a plastic bowl of water left out in the garden will do that image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • Forester_PeteForester_Pete DevonPosts: 152

    As long as it is built as a wildlife pond should be with gently sloping areas water loss in dry periods is fine. It exposes different habitats and will quickly fill back up when it rains.

    Do bear in mind that you should always use rainwater for a wildlife pond. Tap water contains far too many nutrients.

    I have two water butts for topping up the pond in very dry conditions, unfortunately they are below the level of the pond so I have to pump to refill! but it is only done done very occasionally so all those marginal habitats the bugs like are exposed often.

  • GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 2,286

    I have three water butts connected to mine, being clay I can have some water loss but if it went down too far and exposed the clay it would crack in the sun. image

    I'm not sure why OP is really worried about a couple of mm of water loss either Dove. I thought I had reassured this is perfectly normal and compared to most ponds sounds like an extremely minimal amount of water to lose. I don't know of any pond that doesn't go up and down with the seasons or in a garden that doesn't need occasional top-ups with rain water.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,256

    Our pond level goes up and down with the seasons - at the moment it's full almost up to the level of the lawn surrounding it - last August/September the water margin was a good 4 inches lower if not more.  It's what ponds do -even swimming pools need topping up from time to time.  image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • DicemancDicemanc Posts: 40

    Apologies for the 'filling it in' comment - it was meant to be tongue-in-cheek, but it obviously didn't come across that way...  I'm definitely going to be making the most of the pond, and will just have to get used to topping to up occasionally.

    Thanks again,



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