Does Your Water Feature Leak?

by Ben Bowen

Water features are the super cars of the landscape. When you see one, your heart can not help but want it. But your brain isn't sure its a good idea.

One of the main reasons people hesitate to buy a water feature (or a super car, I would imagine) is reliability. Don't all water features leak?

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Water Feature Leaks

Many water features will eventually have a leak. A well built, very simple water feature, may go decades without losing any water. But a truly impressive water feature is not simple. It has streams, pools, falls, and a pond. The plumbing and filtration systems can be a source of leaks too.

Does this mean you should not have a water feature?

Not at all. The key is to build quality water features and then maintain it properly. What is a "quality" water feature? An example that directly effects the possible of leaks involves the edges of the stream.

Is this beauty worth an occasional repair?

Is this beauty worth an occasional repair?

The stream has a liner that holds water. Most leaks originate in the stream. The problem is almost never a rip or tear in the liner (that stuff is hard to cut on purpose!) The issue is usually water getting over the edge of the liner. How can this be prevented?

If the edges of the stream are merely hidden with soil or rocks they can slowly slide down or settle. We make a practice of securing all edges with mortar- which we then decorate or hide for a natural finish. The mortar bonds to the liner and keeps just where you need it. This simple step, which most landscapers bypass, eliminates most leaks!

Even when everything is built correctly you can eventually have a leak. Water is a tricky foe and nature likes to help it out. Leaves can gather on a fall and raise the water level behind them. Squirrels or mice can burrow under a stream and cause settling. Freezing water can divert your stream right out of the pond!

How Bad Is A Leak In Your Water Feature?

Ok, so you have a leak. Is that a big deal? Usually not. We repair dozens of water features (mostly built by others) a year. Most leaks are diagnosed in a few minutes and repaired in under two hours. The average repair costs under $200.00.

Is the prospect of a leak a good reason to forego a water feature? Only you can decide that. However, if you decide to include one in your landscape, please contact us. We would love to show you what we can do!