General Question

simone54's avatar

How can I save my pond and prevent it from drying up?

Asked by simone54 (7575 points ) January 24th, 2013

There is a large (about 120 feet around), man-made pond on my property. I live in El Cajon, San Diego County, California where it barely ever rains. I could tell it was at it’s maximum depth two years ago because the water level even with the pipe drain. We have a rainy season here that lasts for three months then it doesn’t rain until the following rainy season. We had a pretty dry rainy season and a hot dry season last year. My pond is down about five feet. The current rainy season seems to be another dry one. I feel like the pond will dry up over the summer. There are a lot of fish, birds and other animals that depend on the pond for living.

Is there any creative ideas to fill the pond or maybe get more out of the little rain we get?

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8 Answers

Coloma's avatar

I used to live in El Cajon in my college age days….brutally HOT, OMG!

If your water rates are not too exhorbitent you could keep the pond filled, at least halfway, and, you might even be able to get an agricultural water permit if you plant fruit and nut trees around the birm.
I am in the Sierra foothills on a 5 acre property and have an Ag. permit for reduced water rates because there are Walnut trees on the property.
Look into Ag.permits and I commend you for your concern in helping provide an oasis for wildlfife. Cheers to you!

LuckyGuy's avatar

We can buy water and have our own tanks filled for $3.59 per 1000 gallons. You read that correctly. Virtually free. The local farmer has a 350 gallon tank that sits in the back of his 1 ton pickup truck. They charge him $1 to fill up.
See if your municipal water system has the same deal. He gets a load when he goes into town for groceries. or a haircut. It is a gift.
I think of those poor people in Africa facing such hardships carrying water for miles. OTOH maybe that is not the best place to live.

syz's avatar

You could use rain barrels to collect what rain there is (from downspouts on your house) and then use that to supplement to pond as needed.

(I have two 65 gallon rain barrels that I can cap-off when full to reduce evaporation.)

tedd's avatar

I’m not sure the process for such a large pond, but you could line it with something. This would however effect any life in the pond that depends on digging into the soil of it.

pleiades's avatar

Cool! I’m from San Diego too!

Hm, I have an uncle who lives in Eastlake, doesn’t get consistently as hot as El Cajon but he has a pond with a tropical gazebo type thing on top the pond. Underneath the wood there is plastic. The water that evaporates just collects and eventually falls back into the pond. He also has a ton of trees surrounding the pond. My point is, I wonder if you are exploring ways you can surround your pond with objects that would prevent the evaporation?

Also, would you ever consider collecting beach water and desalinating it at home? There are plenty of articles explaining the process of desalination.

pleiades's avatar

Also what is the base of your pond? Cement? dirt/rox?

simone54's avatar

@Coloma Where have some fruits trees. We had already been looking into get an Ag. Permit. It still might cost to much to fill the pond though.

@LuckyGuy I haven’t found anything like that in our area. It’s unlikely because we’re usually in a drought.

@tedd The pond is very big. I wouldn’t be possible to line it.

@pleiades The base is dirt.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I have a dug pond 70 ft in diameter. I sprinkled it with several hundred pounds of bentonite clay . That sealed it.

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