Rain and Your Water Feature

rain and your water feature
Each little rain drop is aerating this pond!

When we have unusually rainy periods, our water features are certainly affected. But are those effects good or bad? Well both actually...

A Good Flushing

Natural lakes, streams, and rivers are flooded and flushed with heavy rains. This flushing removes any wastes that are building up in the water-- bringing relief to its inhabitants.  The same happens when our backyard water gardens get flooded.

Rainwater is so good for your pond and fish. It's clean, and the pH is usually neutral which is fantastic for fish and algae control. Our water in Indiana is heavily influenced by the limestone beds we have underground. So no matter if you're getting water from a well or a municipal source, the pH will be high. Rainwater gets it back returns the pH to a neutral level should be.

Raindrops Add Oxygen

Any time the surface of the water is being broken, it's being oxygenated. So each little raindrop that hits your pond is helping the beneficial bacteria and your fish!

Where Will All That Water Go?

Until we have an unusual event like a very rainy period, sometimes we don't know if our overflow on our water feature is working or if we even have one! If you don't have an overflow, it's time to get one!
overflow pipe on skimmer
You can see the overflow pipe at the back of our skimmer.

The overflow is a pipe (if you have a skimmer) or a lower edge (if you don't have a skimmer). If you have a pondfree waterfall, a lower edge on the pondfree basin  allows you to direct the water where you want it to go instead of everywhere!

If you do have an overflow pipe, make sure it isn't clogged at the end --  which can happen over time. Also make sure it runs downhill! A level overflow pipe can actually have water back up through it resulting in muddy water in your pond!

Nitrogen in the Rainwater ... Good for Your Aquatic Plants (and algae)

Rain water will flush out the bad stuff (excess nutrients that algae feeds off of) but it will also bring some nitrogen to the pond. Plants love nitrogen.

pond plants like rain water
These water irises love the spring rains.

Make sure you have enough aquatic plants to take in the nitrogen so it doesn't end up as algae food. Use extra doses of Bio Clear and Clean not only to replace what has been flushed out but to keep single-celled algae at bay.


First of all, make sure the area around your water feature is well mulched and make sure you are using a natural bark mulch. Dyed mulch can cause problems because the dye ends up in your water. Also mulch made from recycled products -- wood or rubber products -- can float and end up in your water and eventually clog the pump. We recommend Forest Fines mulch. It is a natural bark with no dye and it packs down nicely so there is no run off of mud or dirt from around the pond into the pond. You can purchase it from Greendell Mulch and Mix or we also carry their product here at Cool Ponds.

using natural mulch around ponds
This beautiful, natural mulch is the stuff we use at Cool Ponds. 

Bubbling Liners

Have you ever had a heavy rain only to have your pond's water level seem to be low right after? Or do you have areas in the bottom of your pond that you can't seem to keep covered with gravel? What about a bubble in your liner? These are all symptoms of ground water under your liner.

Water collects under the liner causing a large bubble which moves the gravel around and displaces the water from the pond. You may never even see the bubble because it happens when you're not out in the rain enjoying your pond.

ground water underneath pond liner

To fix it, you'll need to find where the water is coming from... maybe a downspout, underground spring? We have installed a number of pits next to ponds to redirect and drain water. They're similar to sump pump pits in a basement and work really well at alleviating water under a liner.

Final Thoughts

It's easy to complain about the rain, but I think about a few years ago and the drought we had. I'll take this! It's certainly challenging installing water feature with this amount of rain, but I think our guys might be growing webbed feet!

Do you have additional questions about rain and your water feature? Please stop in and see us!


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