How to Siphon a Pond

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Pond siphoning should be performed if the enclosed water source is to be prepared for fish. Over time a layer of muck, mud and debris can accumulate on the bottom. These materials can cause the water to stagnate and create a zone that may not be habitable for the fish. Some ponds may have been constructed with an automatic siphon. Many others, though, will not have these permanent piping arrangements in place. By following a basic process, you can siphon a pond for drainage or as a water source for the garden.

Things You'll Need

  • 1-inch diameter black plastic pipe 100 feet long
  • Garden hose with water (optional)
  • 1-inch diameter plug
  • 1-inch diameter hose clamp
  • Screwdriver
  • 50 feet of ¼ inch diameter poly rope
  • Concrete block or rock (10 pounds in weight)
  • Black plastic tape
  • Remove the packing tape from around the black plastic pipe coil. This type of pipe generally comes in a 100-foot-long coil. Do not uncoil the pipe.

  • Lay the coil of pipe into the pond water. Allow the coil to fill with water. You may have to maneuver the pipe so it can fill. If there is access, you can fill the pipe with a garden hose. Most ponds may not have a close proximity to a source of this water.

  • Plug one end of the pipe with the plug insert once the pipe is full of water. The weight of the pipe will be a good indication as to the contents of water. The pipe does not have to be completely full. Secure the plug in place with the hose clamp using the screwdriver.

  • Tie the cinder block or 10-lb. rock securely with the poly rope. The rope must be tight around the weight so it will not come loose. Leave a distance of 2 to 3 feet from the weight to the pipe with the rope. Tie the rope to the pipe approximately 12 inches from the unplugged end. Make a number of rounds with the black plastic tape around this connection to hold the rope in place to the pipe.

  • Pull the rope so the weight attached to the end of the pipe drags the pipe into the pond. The plugged end of the pipe will now have to stay near the shoreline but still in the water. Secure the rope on shore so it will not fall into the water.

  • Move the plugged end of the pipe to the dam area. Slowly maneuver the pipe up and over the dam. Keep the plugged end as low to the ground as possible. This will keep the water level low and minimize drainage back into the pond.

  • Drag the plugged end of the pipe so it is at least 4 to 6 feet below the bottom depth of the pipe's suction in the pond. Typically the pond's depth will be equal to the bottom of the dam.

  • Check the pipe for any kinks. Remove the plug from the end of the pipe once in position. Water will begin to flow from the pipe. It may gurgle, but the force of the siphon will be strong once established.

  • Remove the suction end of the pipe once the desired level is reached. Pull the rope to remove the weight and suction pipe.

Tips & Warnings

  • Add multiple pipes for faster drainage. The position of the rope distance to the pipe should keep the end of the pipe out of the muck. If not, increase the length of the rope from the weight to the pipe. You can add a screen to the suction end of the pipe by folding aluminum screen over the end and holding it in place with the hose clamp.

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