Structural Repairs to the Garden Pond
Leaks can occur with most ponds, but are more likely to happen if you use cheaper materials than with the more expensive and robust ones. The commonest problem is the accidental piercing of the liner with a sharp point, which permits the water to seep away. Kits are supplied by the manufacturers for repairing this type of damage, and the manufacturer’s instructions should be followed to ensure a good and lasting repair. This also goes for the pre-cast pool shells.
With concrete the process is more difficult, and often entails draining, cleaning and painting the entire pond area with a repair medium, which can be either a liquid plastic or a bitumen-based paint. An alternative that has become quite popular is to line the concrete pond with a liner.
On the rare occasions when the pond has to be drained – either for repair or to remove debris, overgrown plants or too many fishes – a temporary pond should be set up. This can be made by using a piece of liner material laid inside a large box; or use a series of large bottles with wide mouths or large plastic containers, if they have a large water surface open to the air. The fishes should be caught with a net and transferred into a smooth plastic bowl before taking them out of the pond; this will prevent damage to their scales and the subsequent danger of disease.
Plants can be lifted out, but check that there are no fishes secreted in the matt of stems and leaves. Remove the remaining livestock by hand. Clean or repair the pond and refill it with water. Allow the chlorine to disperse before replacing the plants, and then gradually put back the cheapest fishes first to test the water; if they are fine, then add your prize specimens and keep a careful eye on the pond for the next few days.