Winter is coming, and you have yet to winterize the pond. To keep it habitable, the pond has to drain to a lower level to make gathering up and relocating its aquatic residents much easier. Doing this without a pump can be easy with the right mindset, a little patience, and a long garden PVC hose. Learn how to properly drain a pond to beat the winter, and to keep the lovely fish happily swimming, while achieving peace of mind that the spring does not bring a pond filled with mulch.
The Principal Principle
Draining a pond without the help of an expensive pump requires some understanding of fluid dynamics. Harken back to physics class and recall that Newton’s second law says that, if a small volume of water flows horizontally from a region of high pressure (the pond) to a region of low pressure (out the end of the hose), there is more pressure behind than in front. This is called the Bernoulli Principle, which you can harness to avoid spending on a costly pump to drain your pond for whatever purpose.
The Long Run
Now you need to think about how long the PVC garden hose needs to be. For the method to work, the hose has to run along a horizontal surface and then a downward slope, where it can drain the water.
Consider using a hose extender when the current hose cannot reach the driveway. To extend the hose, take one end of the hose extension, unscrew the cap with the screw threads, and insert it into the existing hose with the threads pointing to the end of the hose. Insert the extension into the hose, ensuring the small end goes all the way into the inside of the hose end. Screw the cap into the extender tightly to ensure the connector pinches the hose firmly to create an airlock. Do the same with the extension PVC hose and screw both hose extensions together to connect the two hoses. When finished draining the pond, store the extra hose length to use when needed, or when you need to drain it the next time.
Dip one end of the hose into the pond, ensuring that the hose lies horizontally along the pond bed. Consider wrapping aluminum lint filters on this end to prevent blockage from vegetation. Run the hose to the lip of the pond, and use duct tape to secure the line onto the side of a heavy brick.
Attach the other end to a spigot, which helps push the air from inside the hose, and helps initiate the siphoning effect. Turn on the faucet, and run back to the pond. Once bubbles begin to come out of the hose, the air has come out. Go back to the spigot and turn it off.
Remove the hose from the spigot, while ensuring the PVC hose points upward so that water does not drain out. Go to the area where you want to dump the water, while checking that there are no kinks in the hose line. Folding along the line can cut off the flow of water, which can require you to do the process again. Lay the PVC hose down, and watch the water drain out of the PVC hose. Draining the whole pond can take a couple of hours, since gravity and pressure do the work for you. Once the pond has drained to a low level, remove the pond inhabitants, transfer them to their bucket apartments, and scoop the remaining water out of the pond if you wish. Cover the pond with a pool or a pond cover to keep the pesky leaves from turning it into a springtime mulch pond.