The quick answer: nope. Bottom drains aren’t necessary under most conditions, so they can be a waste of money. It’s important to know whether or not you need one because it can make a big difference in the health and look of your Oklahoma pond. Keep reading to find out why or why not.
What Is A Bottom Drain?
A bottom drain is simply a drain in the deep end of the pond. It removes debris from the bottom of the pond to the filters where it can then be removed. Your pond is therefore supposed to be cleaner and clearer from using one. Of course, for it to work properly, it needs to be cleaned regularly (sometimes daily, depending on the amount of debris falling into the pond.
A pipe will need to be run under the liner. This means a pathway must be dug out so a hump doesn’t show. A hole is then cut in the liner and the actual drain is installed.
It’s a technical process, and adds quite a bit of expense to the construction, so is it worth it? Not to mention, it’s almost always a potential leak issue because there’s been a hole cut in the liner.
The Pro's and Cons Of A Bottom Drain In An Oklahoma Pond
Arguments For a Bottom Drain
Circulates the water, thus aerating and cleaning it
Collects biological waste
The less waste there is, the cleaner the pond will be and the happier and healthier the fish are.
Arguments Against a Bottom Drain
A bottom drain isn’t needed if the following criteria are met:
The pond is less than 4 feet deep
Jets keep waste from collecting on the bottom (intake bay)
Aerators on the bottom of the pond keep waste from settling (intake bay)
What Do We Think Of Bottom Drains?
We don’t need them.
Continental Ponds builds sustainable ecosystem ponds that don’t need bottom drains. The ponds we build are typically less than 4′ deep, which means a bottom drain isn’t needed.
We do, however, often install intake bays in deeper Koi ponds to add to the circulation and ease of maintenance. They’re much easier to install, and don’t require us to cut a hole in the pond liner, which is always a potential leak issue.
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Tim Trammell has been building, designing, servicing and maintaining pond in the Oklahoma City Metro area for over 20 years. His company Continental Ponds, is Oklahoma's first Master Certified Aquascape Contractor and is an national award winning pond and water feature builder.