As a pond owner, you can’t just dig a hole and fill it with water then call it a day, you also need to know about how to drain the pond when the situation calls for it.  Are you annoyed by the stingy or rotten smell coming from your lovely pond? Maybe it’s time to change the water.

Set up the draining pump, connect the discharge outlet with the hose, and place the other end of the hose into your garden or selected draining place. Simple!

I am sure, you want to have an in-depth knowledge of the draining process so that you can efficiently make a water change. Well, roll up your sleeves and start reading the draining process.

How to drain a pond: all you need to know

Maintaining a pond is pretty challenging, so most people don’t want to put up a pond in their backyard. They miss the heavenly glory that a pond brings to their surroundings.

However, the most annoying problem you will face with a pond is that it tends to have a rotten egg smell and disgustingly black or green watercolor filled with algae.

To keep the fishes and plants healthy, you need to change and clean the water as soon as possible. The most challenging part of cleaning a pond is the draining process, and there are many ways to drain a pond.  Let’s concentrate on the most convenient ones:

How to drain a pond With or Without Pumps

Draining A Pond with pumps:

Using a pump to drain a pond will make the process easier and time-efficient. There are various types of pumps available in the market, and you can choose any one of them according to your budget and other preference.

1. Draining with a Hand pump: Best Way To Drain a pond

If you have a small pond, then you won’t need expensive heavy-duty electrical equipment. A hand pump will be an appropriate choice. If you are capable of manually pumping out the water, then the hand pump will be the most effective and affordable choice.


It will be able to pump out 6 to 9 gallons of water every minute. You have a small pond, and let’s assume it can hold 100 gallons of water, then it will take you up to 10 to 15 minutes with a hand pump to pump out the water.

Keep in mind that a hand pump is the best way to drain a small size pond.

2. Solar Powered Pump for Pond draining

If you are concerned about the excessive use of fossil fuels and want to contribute to saving the environment, then choosing solar-powered equipment will be the best way to accomplish it. In the summer, when the sun shines the brightest, it will be the best time to use one of them.

A solar-powered pump usually has a 300 to 600 gallons per hour pumping rate. It will be pumping out water at a slower pace compared to other equipment.

3. Submersible pump for draining the pond

The fastest and most efficient way of draining your pond is using a submersible pump. It’s most favorable to a large number of people. It’s relatively easy to set up, and you can drain out of the water to your desired place.

I would like to suggest discharging the pond water onto your garden; the pond water filled with various nutrients will work as an excellent fertilizer.

For a deep pond, a submersible pump will be the best choice. When you’re setting the pump, keep in mind that the lifting power will be significantly affected by the pond’s depth. You would find the pumping capacity and other related information on the body of the pump.

To get the best results, you should set the pump at the instructed depth. The pump’s head height will tell you at which depth of the pond it should be set for maximum output.

4. Draining the pond with an External pump

An external pump is the most energy-efficient and has the most draining capacity. It has the best flow rates, can pump-out 10,000 gallons of water per hour.

You won’t have to worry as it’s a simple procedure. Just set up and operate. No more annoying clogs. Very easy to clean and maintain.

I think it is better to go for an external pump for a bigger size pond. It’s better than the submersible pump comparing discharge capacity and effectiveness. The submersible pump tends to get sunk, and you won’t face such a problem with an external pump.

An external pump will save you a handsome amount of money and time.

5. Drain the pond with a vacuum cleaner

You need a vacuum cleaner to keep the pond clean and tidy as it can clean the sludge and algae like the back of its hand. I’ll share a fun fact, you can take advantage of your vacuum cleaner discharge system to drain your pond.

A pond cleaning vacuum also has a remarkable ability to suck and discharge. By trial error, you can achieve the perfect combination for pumping out the water. Switching off the suction and keeping the discharge on might help with that.

Though the pond pumps are the best option for draining the water, a vacuum cleaner can be a feasible alternative.

Draining A Pond without the pumps:

You don’t have a pump, or your pump is broken? Relax!  There is an alternative method to drain the water out of the pond. It’s a little bit tiresome, but it will work very effectively on pumping out the water if you have a relatively small pond.

Our method will work on the Bernoulli Equation. Water filled hose will go through cohesion, and liquid will flow out of the nozzle.

First of all, you would need a hose, an open nozzle, and a rock. Start by plunging the hose to the faucet and extending it to the place of discharge. Also, put a nozzle to the end, now turn on the tap. Close the nozzle when the hose is filled up with water.

Try to keep it vertical and steady to keep the water inside. Now find a place with a lower elevation than the pond. Set the nozzle there on the ground and place the other side into the pond. Use the brick to hold the tube underwater.

Then you have to open the nozzle, and your water will start to pump out. Actually, It is quite tricky. You will be going through numerous trial and error to understand it.

Pond draining basics

There are many ways to drain a pond. With the right equipment and proper strategies, you won’t have to face any hassle. The proximal time to drain a pond depends on its size and how much water you want to drain from it.

Before draining a pond, you should have an idea about the following points of interests:

  • Why should you drain it?
  • Where to drain it?
  • What to do after draining?
  • How to preserve the water properly?

Why should you drain a pond?

Actually, there could be plenty of reasons why you should drain a pond. I’ll share a few important ones below:

When you are thinking about redesigning the pond completely; the pond liners and pond basins need repair or replacement. Then you have no other way but to drain the pond.

If there is a trace of rotten egg smell in the water, there is too much hydrogen sulfide, ammonia, and nitrate in the water. These chemicals are quite deadly for both the fish and plants; it will undoubtedly harm the pond’s ecosystem. You should drain the pond as quickly as possible.

You have fish in the pond and you want to check out their health, and any parasite infection or you are thinking about moving them elsewhere, draining the pond will surely give you an upper hand in catching them.

Additional Read: How to replace a old pond liner

Where should you drain it?

You might choose a wastewater drainage system or sewer to drain the pond water, but I would suggest that you discharge the water onto your garden or lawn, or trees.

Pond water is filled with nutrients and bacteria, nitrate, ammonia, and phosphate. All these things act as a great fertilizer. It will help your plants to grow and will increase the soil nutrient value.

What to do after draining the pond?

If your pond is fully drained, then you can check the filters and other previously installed equipment. As you had to drain the pond because of the poor water condition, maybe the water filter or circulation device might be broken, repairing, and replaced.

You should also check on the pond basin and pond liner’s physical condition for necessary repairs, remove the sludge and algae. Do a power wash and then fill the pond with water.

How to preserve the water properly?

Generally, tap water has high chlorine concentration and other mineral substances that interfere in the pond’s ecosystem’s growth. Fish and plants won’t be able to receive the benefits from the microorganisms.

So, You should Dechlorinate the pond. Then try to add some beneficial bacteria to preserve and enhance the biodiversity of the pond ecosystem.

You should do a quality check for nitrites, ammonia concentration of the water; also check the pH level of water shouldn’t be too acidic or alkaline; the pH value should be around 6.5 to 7. Also, check the KH value; it should be 95 to 150 ppm.

Drain your pond without any issue!

After reading the whole article, I’m hoping you have gotten a decent idea about how to drain a pond and all the necessary steps to preserve a pond.

Before draining the pond, make a checklist including the pond’s size, the elevation, depth, ecological data of fish and plants, water quality data, and how much time you want to invest in the draining process.

Remember, if you follow a proper strategy, you will have a tip-top shape pond.

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