Since many ponds across the US and Canada are susceptible to freezing during the winter months, pond owners are encouraged to practice proper backyard pond maintenance in order to protect them from damage caused by the freezing temperatures. Even the frost brought on by winter can be enough to cause freezing damage to pond equipment and other pond decorations.
During a mild frost, preventing the water from freezing over can be as simple as dropping a tennis ball in the water to slow the formation of ice. If the ice does freeze over, then removing the ball will create a much-needed oxygen vent for fish and aquatic plants. Another inexpensive option involves covering small ponds and other water features with either layer of bubble wrap or other insulators. Regarding pond decorations, most people choose to take their decorations inside for the winter to keep them from incurring damage.
How to Enjoy a Winter Pond
There’s a certain allure about being around outdoor bodies of water in the winter. So, in addition to some of the methods mentioned above, how else is it possible to keep a pond running through the winter?
- Try to keep the water features running in order to keep the necessary oxygen aerating the pond. In addition, moving water will not freeze as fast as standing water, so you may be able to stave off a solid freeze, especially if a return to moderate temperatures is expected.
- However, if freezing temperatures are going to last a while, it is best to shut down your pond water features, drain the water from them, and remove the pond pumps. The pump will need to be submerged in water or you run the risk of having the seals dry out and crack, potentially damaging the pump beyond repair. The same rule applies to the filter and the lines. Keep them on as long as possible to continue the oxygenation of the pond water. Like the water features externally mounted pumps or filters need to be drained carefully or internal cracking could result.
Put in the effort now and you will be glad when spring comes that you don’t have to buy all new equipment. Remember, the key to keeping your pond running through the winter is proper pond maintenance, and you’ll be rewarded with the aesthetics created by old man winter.