Rain Water Collection for Small Pond and Water Garden Owners

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Written By Mark Washburn

Mark has 20 years of experience as a professional pond management consultant.

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Rain water recycling is an eco-friendly thing to do. Not only can rainwater be used in general garden care, as well as other household enterprises it can also be used in small ponds and for water gardens. Small pond owners with fish ponds or water gardens may use a lot of water each year just keeping the pond filled. The reason that collecting rainwater is growing in popularity is due to the cost of water sky rocketing in various parts of the country. In some metro areas the cost of water has quadrupled in price. Those that are pond owners have started rainwater harvesting to use as an alternative to costly water systems.

Water conservation is a growing movement for environmental reasons too. Water may not be as plentiful as it once was and acquiring it can place a greater demand on the environment too, so when a simple system can be put in place that at least helps with this important work, many people feel like they’re doing something positive for the world around them.

Rainwater can be collected in barrels or collection systems and can be used to fill or irrigate the water gardens or surrounding areas. Even if rainwater is not the sole way that you keep your ponds filled with water it is certainly something to consider as adjunct to keeping your pond filled, and your fish and plants happy.

It is relatively easy to collect rainwater for use in a home project. Your local hardware store should be able to help you with this. One simply uses a system to attach to the downspout of their gutter and collects the rainwater as it falls. It can be done with a few simple materials and a little bit of ingenuity and legwork by the homeowner. It is fairly inexpensive to set up a home rain collection system, and it is beneficial to the environment.

The cost of using a rainwater system can be very economical because one does not need to install a complex solution. All you really need to to collect rainwater and use it in your fish pond or water garden is to get a 44 gallon drum and use some kind of a soaker hose to use the water elsewhere. In some cases, the hose may be set up to drain directly into your pond or water garden. However, in most instances this is not a good idea since the rainwater can be contaminated by your asphalt, roofing material or shingles. You might also live in an area where acid rain is a problem.

Probably the best method to use rainwater in a pond containing Koi or other live fish is to purify it first. This can be done by installing a drain or trap to catch any organic materials or contaminants that might serve to pollute your fish pond or water garden. For those who have doubts about the purity of their water they could test it for contaminants before adding to the pond or garden itself. Since most pond owners test the PH of their water on a regular basis it should be easy to make sure the water is not going to be harmful for the fish or plants in question. Purifying tablets for the water could help as well.

To keep a rainwater collection barrel or basin clean, and this is related more to algae formations, but the routine use of a liquid beneficial bacteria can be helpful, and it’s also good to keep the water in the pond cleaner too. Adding this about every two to three weeks during the summer months can be helpful.

Although collection of rainwater is eco-friendly and useful, it is not right for all pond owners. Those who live in an area that is prone to acid rain or pollutants may not find it to be a viable solution. For the vast majority of home pond or water garden owners though they may find this solution to be the most cost effective way to fill their ponds. There are step by step instructions on how to set up a rainwater solution for your pond or garden online. The costs are few and the benefits are many.

In these years of escalating droughts and high water costs, harvesting rainwater is going to be a way of life. Harvesting your rainwater and using for your water garden or fishpond is going to make you part of the solution and not part of the problem of using too much water, too often. Water conservation is certainly a good thing to do.

For pond owners that are worried about the effects of rainwater on their fish or delicate plants they can talk to experts in the field that can probably put their fears to rest. Koi are relatively hardy fish and should not be terribly bothered by the use of rainwater. The use of this ecologically sound practice should work for most home pond owners.

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