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    Thread: My pond liner is bulging out and water level dropping. Requesting advice.

    1. #1
      friedcheese is offline Junior Member
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      My pond liner is bulging out and water level dropping. Requesting advice.

      Hi All,
      My pond liner is bulging out a lot and the water level is dropping. It has been raining heavily in the area, so the water level doesn't seem like it should be dropping. It seems as though there's more water outside the the liner than in it. This leads me to believe that there may not be a liner leak, but possibly a pump/waterfall leak, but I'm not able to find anything obvious. Is there something I should do / check? I am about to call a pond service to take a look. Are there any recommendations on Pond maintenance in the Seattle area? Happy New Year and thank you.
      Attached Images Attached Images  

    2. #2
      koi4u2c is offline Senior Member
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      Where is the liner bulging?

      With all the rain a good place to check is all around the edges of the liner. The soil may have washed away at edges of liner and allowed the liner to drop down somewhere below your normal water level. It could be under your waterfall or elsewhere.

      Also the bulge may have pulled the liner down, or if bulge is at bottom of pond there may be water under liner raising liner and causing water level to drop.

      Sometimes lots of rain can cause mud/washing away of soil under rocks at waterfall lowering the rocks and causing leaks.
      Nancy



    3. #3
      Russell Peters's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by koi4u2c View Post
      Where is the liner bulging?

      With all the rain a good place to check is all around the edges of the liner. The soil may have washed away at edges of liner and allowed the liner to drop down somewhere below your normal water level. It could be under your waterfall or elsewhere.

      Also the bulge may have pulled the liner down, or if bulge is at bottom of pond there may be water under liner raising liner and causing water level to drop.

      Sometimes lots of rain can cause mud/washing away of soil under rocks at waterfall lowering the rocks and causing leaks.
      You can clearly see the bulge in the liner. Right side of pic.
      people like to vehemently defend their purchases and find it incredulous that anything could be better

    4. #4
      koi4u2c is offline Senior Member
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      I also see hoses in your pond.

      I once left a water hose in my pond turned it off and later disconnected it. The end of the hose was down hill and it siphoned the water out of my pond and drained it.

      Depending on your setup check your hoses if this could apply to you.
      Nancy



    5. #5
      koi4u2c is offline Senior Member
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      I saw that, but was not sure if it was the bulge or poor construction. Also has look of same on left side.

      I have liner ponds. To prevent water from running under my liners and washing away edges of my ponds they were built on the highest points of my yard so all water would run away from the ponds. I also left a good overlap of liner at edges and packed red clay under it to raise edges and then placed rocks on top. This also slopes away from my ponds.

      It looks like the ground on the right side of your pond is higher than your pond, so my form of construction may not work for you, but it appears after all the rain you will have to do some type of reconstruction.
      Nancy



    6. #6
      friedcheese is offline Junior Member
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      Quote Originally Posted by koi4u2c View Post
      Where is the liner bulging?

      With all the rain a good place to check is all around the edges of the liner. The soil may have washed away at edges of liner and allowed the liner to drop down somewhere below your normal water level. It could be under your waterfall or elsewhere.

      Also the bulge may have pulled the liner down, or if bulge is at bottom of pond there may be water under liner raising liner and causing water level to drop.

      Sometimes lots of rain can cause mud/washing away of soil under rocks at waterfall lowering the rocks and causing leaks.
      Thanks for the thoughts! The walls of the pond are actually almost vertical, so the liner being at that angle shows how much water is behind them. Your suggestion sounds quite plausible. I'll have to look some more, but its hard to get under the waterfall and bushes to see it.

    7. #7
      friedcheese is offline Junior Member
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      Quote Originally Posted by koi4u2c View Post
      Where is the liner bulging?

      With all the rain a good place to check is all around the edges of the liner. The soil may have washed away at edges of liner and allowed the liner to drop down somewhere below your normal water level. It could be under your waterfall or elsewhere.

      Also the bulge may have pulled the liner down, or if bulge is at bottom of pond there may be water under liner raising liner and causing water level to drop.

      Sometimes lots of rain can cause mud/washing away of soil under rocks at waterfall lowering the rocks and causing leaks.
      Hi, thanks for replying. It's bulging everywhere actually. The walls of the pond are normally near vertical. Your suggestion sound quite plausible. I'll have to try harder to look under the waterfall as the liner goes under the slab stones. Thanks!

    8. #8
      zek is offline Senior Member
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      [QUOTE=friedcheese;2770153]Hi All,
      My pond liner is bulging out a lot and the water level is dropping. It has been raining heavily in the area, so the water level doesn't seem like it should be dropping. It seems as though there's more water outside the the liner than in it. This leads me to believe that there may not be a liner leak, but possibly a pump/waterfall leak, but I'm not able to find anything obvious. Is there something I should do / check? I am about to call a pond service to take a look. Are there any recommendations on Pond maintenance in the Seattle area? Happy New Year and thank you.[/QUOTE

      From here it looks like pond at the side of a hillside pushed water under liner/collected under the hole. It might drain if it stops raining long enough, but Seattle isnít known for dry winters. Hydronic pressure always wins unless it is planned for.

      How many gallons per inch do you think you have? How about after fish grow 25%. Disaster lurks.

    9. #9
      SJK is offline Supporting Member
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      Sorry to hear about your situation. It's been raining steadily for weeks now here in the Seattle area. Please keep us posted the cause and resolution.

    10. #10
      friedcheese is offline Junior Member
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      [QUOTE=zek;2770174]
      Quote Originally Posted by friedcheese View Post
      Hi All,
      My pond liner is bulging out a lot and the water level is dropping. It has been raining heavily in the area, so the water level doesn't seem like it should be dropping. It seems as though there's more water outside the the liner than in it. This leads me to believe that there may not be a liner leak, but possibly a pump/waterfall leak, but I'm not able to find anything obvious. Is there something I should do / check? I am about to call a pond service to take a look. Are there any recommendations on Pond maintenance in the Seattle area? Happy New Year and thank you.[/QUOTE

      From here it looks like pond at the side of a hillside pushed water under liner/collected under the hole. It might drain if it stops raining long enough, but Seattle isn’t known for dry winters. Hydronic pressure always wins unless it is planned for.

      How many gallons per inch do you think you have? How about after fish grow 25%. Disaster lurks.
      Thanks for the input. We bought the home with the pond (previous owners rehomed the koi) and don't know exactly how the pond was setup. The listing agent added a bunch of tiny goldfish, which we never noticed since they were hiding. When we added the 9 koi, the goldfish suddenly all came out. So there's prob about 30in. in goldfish and about 50in. of koi The pond is actually about 12-14ft across and about 5-6ft deep. I'd estimate it's about 1600 gallons. We haven't had any issues with the fish or pond until now, hence asking for help. I will probably have to get a transfer pump or something and get under the liner and pump the water out.

    11. #11
      CharlieQ is online now Member
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      If ur accurate about the size of ur pond ur more like 4-5k gal.

    12. #12
      two_wheeled is offline Senior Member
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      Wow that's a lot of water behind your liner! Some thoughts:
      How quickly is the water level dropping? With all that rain, I would expecting the pond to overflow.
      You need to be checking the ph of your water frequently. Rain frequently lowers the ph of the water and that can kill your fish. So find out what the ph is now, and watch for changes.
      Maybe I missed it but if you are refilling the pond with a garden hose, be sure to de-chlorinate it. I would recommend not adding water until you find the source of the leak. The water will drop only to the level of the leak source (or the pump, if it's being pumped out)

      Since you don't know where the water is leaking out yet, can you do some things to try to isolate the leak?
      What does the larger yard area look like? Do you have any other pipes or connections or filters outside of what we see here?
      Can you turn off the waterfall without disabling the filter? This will show if water is coming from the fall and going underneath the liner. It's also possible the rain has caused something to shift so that the water being pumped uphill is not all returning into the pond.
      As was said before in this thread, there are water lines exiting the pond. Check those. Actually, that would probably be the first thing I would check.

      Hope this helps? Good luck!!
      p.s. could really use some of that rain down here in Phx
      -Steve in Phx.
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    13. #13
      batman's Avatar
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      Pond water level dropping and liner bottom rising (bulge). Either waterfall stream in picture is running some of the water under liner or hole somewhere in liner. Most often it's caused by waterfall.
      Last edited by batman; 01-11-2021 at 12:10 PM.
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    14. #14
      kimini is offline Senior Member
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      Yeah the combination the pond level dropping and the sides moving inward seems contradictory. It does appear as though water and/or mud are "moving in" on the liner, but as was said, why then isn't the pond level rising then - I don't know. It's odd that this is happening soon after buying the home... almost makes me wonder if the previous owner made some change to the pond... unless of course it always does this and he just didn't mention it, fixing it every year. May want to inquire.

      What's going on may be a consequence of your soil. If it absorbs water, most soil starts to move, and dirt being a higher density than water means that the sides of the pond may have slumped (pretty sure that's the term) inward toward the pond. Of course water, being the same density, could also be doing all the pushing. If soil is behind the liner, it means removing everything, including the liner, and digging it all out. The right (expensive) way is to add a cement wall all around the sides before dropping the liner back in. I've had some sketchy things happen if I allow any water to get down behind my liner, so do whatever you have to in order to keep runoff away from the edge of the pond. It may require running that perforated drain pipe all the way around the pond and away from the area.
      Last edited by kimini; 01-11-2021 at 10:25 PM.

    15. #15
      neyfn is offline Junior Member
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      i had this issue on a much smaller scale.

      also could be a leak. grab a pump, stick it under the liner and pump it all out to start with. that'll give you some time to sort out the issue.

      good luck

    16. #16
      kimini is offline Senior Member
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      True, if water is moving from inside to outside the liner, the pond level would appear to drop while at the same time the sides bulge inward.

    17. #17
      two_wheeled is offline Senior Member
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      Hey friedcheese, how are things? Any updates?
      -Steve in Phx.
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    18. #18
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      Quote Originally Posted by friedcheese View Post
      Hi All,
      My pond liner is bulging out a lot and the water level is dropping. It has been raining heavily in the area, so the water level doesn't seem like it should be dropping. It seems as though there's more water outside the the liner than in it. This leads me to believe that there may not be a liner leak, but possibly a pump/waterfall leak, but I'm not able to find anything obvious. Is there something I should do / check? I am about to call a pond service to take a look. Are there any recommendations on Pond maintenance in the Seattle area? Happy New Year and thank you.
      Had this happen to me one time. Got tons of rain over a week, lived on a pond and the water level rose to the highest I ever seen it. When the ground dried out the liner went back down, I think it was the rising of the water table that made it pop out. This sometimes Happens to liner pools as well. Just tossing my 2 cents in.

    19. #19
      friedcheese is offline Junior Member
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      Quote Originally Posted by two_wheeled View Post
      Hey friedcheese, how are things? Any updates?
      Just to update. I contacted 2 companies to take a look. One just looked at a photo I sent and wants me to have him rebuild the whole pond. The other actually came by and talked me through a lot of things, but ultimately couldn't help until I figured out what the real issue was. He had me turn off the waterfall/filter in case that was the issue. The water level seems to have stopped dropping (actually it went up as there was a lot of rain the past few days).

      Today, I lifted up some of the stones around the edges and it appears the liner is glued down to another flat piece of concrete/stone block. I bought a transfer pump from Harbor Freight to try to get at the water, but I don't want to break any of the sealed glue, so I have to work my way around the pond to find a way under. I may have to dig under the concrete block that the liner is glued to. I'll upload some photos later.

    20. #20
      friedcheese is offline Junior Member
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      Quote Originally Posted by Smittyskoi View Post
      Had this happen to me one time. Got tons of rain over a week, lived on a pond and the water level rose to the highest I ever seen it. When the ground dried out the liner went back down, I think it was the rising of the water table that made it pop out. This sometimes Happens to liner pools as well. Just tossing my 2 cents in.
      Out of curiosity, did the water level in the pond drop?

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