It is normal for a pond’s water level to slowly lower due to evaporation and splashing. But if you notice that the water level is falling faster than it should be, there must be some leakage issues. You need to take some immediate steps in that case:

Fill in the pond to its maximum level, switch off the pump and let it sit for 24 hours. Check the water level for changes and if it lowers, then you know there is definitely a leak in the pond liner.  

This write-up will demonstrate how to find a leak in a pond liner and how to fix the leak. Not only that, you’ll find more about pond liners if you just scroll down.

Simple Technique Of Finding The Leak In A Pond Liner

The first step of fixing the leak is to find the leak. Looking for a small hole in the pond liner is actually a tough job. Leak in a pond liner can occur for many reasons- people walking in the pond, any sharp objects breaking through the liner, or simply decaying.

How To Find A Leak In A Pond Liner

The leak or leaks can silently cause wastage of water and put your pond habitats at risk. The following steps will make the procedure a little bit effective and systematic.

  1. As the pond is leaking, the water level should be lower than usual. The first thing you need to do is fill the pond with water to the limit. When the pond is full, switch off the pump.
  2. After unplugging the pump, let the leak do its work. Wait for 24-48 hours to see if there is any change in the water level. If the leak is outside the main basin, there will be wet parts outside the pond. If the water level drops, then the leak is in the main body of the pond.
  3. The water-dropping should stop at one point, so the stopping will determine the place where the leak is. When the water level stops dropping, it’s time to actually look for the culprit.
  4. Mark the level where the water stopped dropping with chalk. After marking the level, look around the pond liner to check for any leaks, damages, or torn areas. It should be easier now to find the place from where the water is leaking.

Another Alternative: The Milk Method

You can also try the milk method to determine the leak. It may sound a bit weird, but it works! This way, you’ll be able to find leaks fast.

Let the leak do its thing- dropping the water level. Check the water level and mark it when the loss stops. It indicates that the leak is at this level. Add ¼” of water to get the level just over the leak.

Put some milk in a spray bottle and spray the milk where you think the leak is. Milk will just cloud the water if there is no hole. But, if there is hole, it will be drawn towards the hole and all you need to do is follow the trail to find the leaking.


It is a very effective and pocket-friendly leak detection system you can try.

Fixing the Leak in the Pond liner

After locating the leak, the next thing you need to do is fix the leak before it gets bigger. I’m going to demonstrate a simple and easy way to do so in steps.

  1. Remove all the living things (plants, fish, snails, etc.). Then remove all the decorative and rocks from it. This way, there won’t be any interference while fixing the leak.
  2. Drain the water from the pond and clean the body and surroundings thoroughly. Let the main basin dry.
  3. Take a scrap of the liner and caulking. Apply the caulking to one side of the scrap and place it over the leakage. Put pressure on it so that the scrap liner attaches to the pond liner well.
  4. Let the newly attached scrap dry for 48 hours. When the joint dries completely, put the decorative back in the pond and fill the pond with water. After that, put the plants in the water and release the fish.

Another way of fixing the leak is to consult the professionals or purchase a pond liner fixing kit. The kit comes with a patch that you need to attach to the hole according to the given instructions.

What causes pond liner leaks?

From a good quality to an average one, pond liners come with a guarantee. They actually decay before their expiry date when the damage occurs from outside sources. If there is no protective layer beneath the liner, any sharp object from below can easily tear the liner.

Another reason that can cause pond liner leaks is animals piercing the liner or fallen leaves and algae clogging up an area. Plus, exposure to UV rays is one of the common reasons for pond liner leaks. You should put some effort to hide the liner to protect it from damages.

Why change an old pond liner?

If the liner is punctured badly and it’s been quite a while since the liner was installed, my suggestion to you is to change the whole liner. Repairing the holes won’t do much to the old and worn-out liner. Plus, fixing leaks of an underlayment-less pond liner is not worth it.

Removing the old liner and installing a new pond liner needs planning. You need to house everything in the pond temporarily in a different place. Remove all the equipment from the pond.

Install a layer of underlayment fabric and then place the new pond liner over it. Spread it and adjust the liner all over the pond area. Anchor the sides, refill the water, and put back everything in the pond. There, your new pond liner is installed.

What type of pond liner is better?

You will find four types of pond liner in general- EPDM, PVC, RPE, and polypropylene. You can choose any of these according to your budget and requirements.

EPDM liners are basically rubber sheets.  The material has the texture of a bicycle inner tube. Besides, it is good for durability and flexibility. This material is moderately inexpensive, easy to work with, and will last for decades. But they can be pretty heavy, which makes it a bit complicated to move and pull them around.

PVC liners are also flexible but not as durable as the EPDM ones. They are thinner and lighter and perform well when they are covered in soil. These are the most common and suitable pond liners for smaller water features such as ornamental garden ponds or water gardens.

Among all the options, RPE liners would be the strongest one to choose. This type of pond liner is light and more durable than anything else. The only drawbacks of this type are it is not flexible enough and costs a lot more than the other.

Last but not the least is the polypropylene ones. They are welded in different shapes and sizes, making them super easy to install. If you want something super convenient, this may be the best option. It is not expensive, durable, and can be customized to fit the pond.

Say bye to the pond liner leak!

If you have followed the given instructions, then, there you have it- a leakage-free pond and happy pond keeper. I hope this writing on how to find a leak in a pond liner comes in handy for everyone. So, let not the water go wasted and find the leak right now!

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