The importance of a pond pump to the health of a garden pond

A pond pump is quite literally the heart of any pond.  It provides much needed circulation to keep the water oxygenated and healthy as well as setting the whole ecosystem of the pond in motion. As oxygen passes through the water, all life forms are then able to thrive and survive. Plants benefit too. A garden pond of any size will benefit from a pump and, in addition, they can also be used to create a more attractive water feature.  Whether it’s a gentle rippling effect, waterfall or fountain, bringing life and movement to your pond will add to its beauty as well as its health.  

Pumps come in various sizes and have a range of features. Some include filters to reduce biological containments and others include UV filters to further improve the water quality by straining out algae. Water pumps are essential for those keeping stocks of fish in a pond, especially in warmer weather when the pond pump will help to maintain high oxygenation levels.

A filtration system is required in ponds where clear water is required but there are no or few aquatic plants to help with the cleaning and water maintenance process

Types of Pumps, Location and Fitting

  • Moving water tends to be healthy water. Standard pond pumps are available in various sizes to power water features, fountains or ornaments. A good range of these available on the market are designed for waterfalls or fountains. The action of a fountain is enough to increase the oxygen content of the water significantly. Waterfall pumps, as the name suggests, are designed for waterfall features. They can operate constantly, which makes them ideal for larger ponds maintaining healthy levels of oxygen. The set-up of a waterfall requires a larger pump than a fountain.
  • Selecting a pump from the many available will depend on the type of pond you have. For simple water features low-voltage pumps are fine; however, for those required to keep the pond healthy for fish, it’s sensible to have a pump that can be operated 24 hours a day. Before buying a pump, decide how many litres of water you want to move per hour and how far vertically you want to move it.
  • Submersible pond pumps are designed to go in the pond, but does it matter where? Generally they should be fitted to create the best circulation of water – as deep as possible in summer to keep the water moving and cool. However, you may need to access the pond pump for maintenance, so position it where it can be reached easily. Many pond owners will remove the pump over winter, but fish keepers may want to keep the pump running. In this case re-position closer to the surface to help keep water moving on the surface to avoid freezing over. Always take care when removing or relocating the pump not to damage your pond liner.
  • While there are pond pumps available on the market that use solar power, the majority require fitting to electrical supply. If you are in any doubt about this consult an electrician. Pumps should be fitted with an RCD at the consumer unit – also known as a ‘trip switch’, which will cut off the pump if a fault develops. Cables should be buried and covered to protect and make the area safe.