How To Best Find And Fix Pond Leaks Quickly

Inspecting liner for damage

Leaky ponds are terrible for many reasons, some of which you may be experiencing right now. A pond leak can lead to a swampy yard, higher water bills, and more stress. This is why pond owners want to know how to find and fix pond leaks quickly.

If you have a leaking pond problem, there are several ways you can fix it. Most issues are pond liner leaks, which you can usually fix.

Find out how you can fix your leaking pond in Maryland and pond liners below.

How To Find Pond Leaks

Finding a pond leak is the first step to fixing the problem. If you’re losing water, this actually makes the process easier.

  1. Move your fish into a separate tub filled with their old water in case the leak is near the pond bottom
  2. Turn off the system and any extras like an auto-fill device
  3. Fill the pond up to the normal level
  4. Allow the pond water to drain
  5. When the water stops, check the water line for the source of the leak, such as low edges, pond liner tears, failed skimmer seals, etc

If the water level only drops a bit or doesn’t drop, the leak isn’t in the pond basin. This means it’s somewhere else, and you’ll have to go searching for it another way. Many leaks are found by searching on hands and knees, looking at the pond liner for any damage.

The Milk Method (Or Dye Method)

You can use a gallon of milk or some non-toxic dye to find a pond leak. Let the colorful liquid run from the top of the feature. Watch where it goes, as it’s likely to leak out with the other water where the damage is. Don’t be shy about pouring it in; the leak area could be small and hard to see.

Once you find the leak, you can determine the best way to fix it.

How To Fix A Leaking Pond Using Liquid Rubber Products

Here’s one way you can fix a pond liner leak using a certain liquid rubber product.

  1. Drain the water down to about 6 inches
  2. Remove any fish and plants
  3. Place the fish in a shaded tub filled with their pond water
  4. Drain the rest of the water
  5. Clean the pond bottom of muck, sediment, and anything else
  6. Remove any repair patches if there are any
  7. Pressure-wash the liner
  8. Allow it to completely dry
  9. Use a liquid rubber seam tape on the damaged area
  10. If you have an EPDM liner, clean it with acetone and then use a liquid rubber EPDM primer
  11. Use a sprayer, roller, or brush to apply a liquid rubber sealant to the affected area
  12. Allow the coat to dry completely
  13. Apply 2 to 3 more coats or until you reach a 30 mil. thick membrane
  14. Allow 3 to 5 days for drying
  15. Refill your pond
  16. Wait 24 to 48 hours to see if there are any leaks still
  17. Treat the water so it’s good for your fish
  18. Put your plants back
  19. Properly reintroduce your fish to the water

Other Ways To Fix A Pond Leak Based On The Type Of Damage

Searching for look in stream

Many leaks are pond liner leaks, meaning something is wrong with your pond’s liner. There are many causes for pond liner leaks. Before you fix the leak, make sure you take care of whatever caused it, such as a tree root growing through the liner.

Here’s how you can fix the common leaky pond problems.

Pond Sealant For Small Holes

If the damage is only 1 to 2 inches, this is a great way to fix it. Pond sealant is safe for fish and plants.

Here’s how to use it:

  1. Remove fish and plants
  2. Drain your pond
  3. Dry the damaged area
  4. Apply the sealant as the directions say
  5. Wait for it to cure

It can take up to 8 hours to cure, so if you have any fish, you may want to do this earlier in the day. Then they won’t have to stay in a tub all night. They’ll need shade and an aerator to be comfortable.

Repair Kits For Larger Holes

This is a patch for holes ranging from 2-by-2 inches all the way up to 30-by-30 inches. Most kits come with primer, a sticky patch, and a roller.

It’s quite easy to do:

  1. Remove fish and plants
  2. Drain your pond
  3. Dry the area
  4. Apply the primer
  5. Cut the patch into a circle
  6. Apply the patch using the roller
  7. Wait for it to set

Patches tend to blend in pretty well, so it’ll be hard for people (and maybe even you) to tell where it is.

When You Need To Add Pond Liner

Sometimes you just need more pond liner. That’s where joining tape comes in. It’s sticky on both sides so you can stick two liners together. You can also use it for smaller damages and to reseal skimmer boxes.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Clean and dry the pond liner
  2. Apply primer
  3. Use joining tape on the liners
  4. Let it set
  5. Tuck it back into place

You may need to shore up the area more so you don’t fix one leak just to have another come up.

Extra Large Pond Liner Damage

If your pond liner is damaged beyond repair, you’ll need to replace it. This involves emptying the entire pond, taking anything off of the liner, and replacing it. This is one way to get rid of any pond liner leaks, whether you see them or not.

Fixing Leaks In Large Ponds

These are solutions more fit for larger backyard and farm ponds as opposed to backyard garden ponds and koi ponds.

Add Water

This isn’t a real solution, but if your pond is large and the leak is small enough, you can just pump in water overnight. Check with local authorities to see if you need a permit, as it may be a requirement if your groundwater withdrawals exceed 10,00 gallons daily.

Compact The Soil

Sometimes a leak can be loose or aerated soil, allowing water to seep through. Fixing this is a big project.

You’ll need to first fully drain the pond. Then, remove debris at the bottom of the pond. Till the bottom 12 to 16 inches deep. Finally, compact the bottom with a roller. The compacted layer should be 6 inches in shallower areas and 12 inches in deeper ones, usually 10 feet and deeper.

Add Clay

Clay isn’t permeable, meaning water can’t seep through it. This makes it ideal for stopping leaks in ponds. You’ll need to follow the same process as with compacting the soil.

The material you add needs to be at least 20% clay. It’s preferable to spread it in 1-foot layers after you compact it.


Bentonite is a clay-like material that expands when wet, making it ideal for sealing cracks and holes. To fix a pond leak with bentonite, first, make sure the area around the leak is dry. Then, apply a layer of bentonite to the area and wait for it to dry. Once it has dried, you can then add water to the pond. The bentonite will swell and seal the leak. This method can be used for both superficial leaks and leaks that are deeper in the pond. While it is not a permanent fix, it can help to prevent further leakage and damage to your pond.

Bentonite is also effective at absorbing toxins and unwanted particles from the water, making it an ideal way to keep your pond clean and healthy.


There are various chemicals you can add to the soil in and around the pond to help fix leaks. One of these is sodium polyphosphate.

Sodium polyphosphate is an inorganic compound made up of sodium, phosphorus, and oxygen. It is commonly used as a fertilizer, food additive, and industrial cleaning agent. Sodium polyphosphate can also be used to fix pond leaks.

When added to the soil around a leaky pond, the sodium polyphosphate helps to bind the soil particles together, making the soil less likely to erode. The phosphorus in the sodium polyphosphate also helps to encourage the growth of grass and other plants, which can further help to stabilize the soil.

While sodium polyphosphate is not a permanent fix for a pond leak, it can help to temporarily repair the problem and prevent further damage to the pond.

Add Liner

Adding a plastic or vinyl liner is one of the most effective ways to fix a pond leak. The liner will create a barrier between the water and the soil, preventing further leakage. They’re better for smaller ponds or ponds with bad leaks that happen repeatedly. While it’s highly effective, it’s also on the expensive side.

You Can Trust The Experts At Premier Ponds To Quickly Find And Fix Your Pond Leak

If you have a pond on your property, it’s important to make sure that it is properly sealed and waterproof. A leaky pond can cause all sorts of problems, from structural damage to the surrounding area to serious health risks for your fish and other aquatic creatures.

That’s where Premier Ponds comes in. We have the expertise and equipment to quickly find and repair any leaks in your pond.

So, don’t wait until it’s too late – fill out our contact form today. We promise you won’t regret it!


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