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A Fresh Clean Pond

Hurth Waterscapes Spring Pond Clean Out

Pond Clean Out

We are quickly approaching the pond clean out time of the year.  Some people will tell you that your natural ecosystem pond needs to be drained and cleaned every spring.  You’ll meet other people who never clean their ponds and don’t intend to.  I feel that there is a happy medium.  As with most things natural there is no clear-cut answer.

After you have had your pond for a while, you will begin to notice changes in the pond in the same way that you might notice changes in the way your car runs.  Most days your car runs fine, as it should.  Some days it will seem a little different.  Maybe it isn’t running smoothly, maybe it’s making a funny sound.  These are the days when you take notice of your car and you decide that you had better have your mechanic check it out.  Your pond can be treated in a similar fashion.  It is right in your backyard, so I imagine that you will see it quite often.  You may not see it as often as your car, but still often enough to notice those subtle changes.  Some days you’ll look into the pond and notice that the water isn’t quite as clear as you remembered.  Maybe you need to add bacteria, maybe you need to clean the filters or maybe you have too many fish. Some days the pump will sound funny.  Maybe there are leaves blocking the intake, maybe a frog got stuck in the pump, maybe the pond is low on water.

You can think about spring clean-outs in the same way.  When the ice thaws, go out, look at your pond and try to use your instincts.  It won’t look as clean as it does mid summer, but none of the lakes and rivers are clear this time of year.  Does it seem reasonably clean or can you see a lot of sediment or debris on the bottom?  Think back, did you have it nice and clean most of last summer or was it sort of a mess?  If you were having water quality problems at the end of last summer, then maybe it should be cleaned.  If last summer was a breeze and nothing seems strange or wrong to you now, maybe you don’t need it cleaned.

At the very least, if you don’t think it needs the full drain and clean, you will need to re-install your pump, hook up the auto-fill, wash out the skimmer and biofalls boxes and filters and maybe top off the water level after you get it running.  Fish people will tell you that you should do a 20% or 30% water exchange.  The theory here is that the fish will benefit from the freshened water because it will be cleaner and have a higher oxygen content.  They say that by doing the water exchange you are mimicking the way the natural lakes and streams are flushed out with spring snow melt and rains.  Using that logic then, since our ponds are outside, isn’t Mother Nature flushing out our ponds also?  This is another time to use your logic and common sense.  If the water looks lousy, the fish look sick and you think you may have too many fish, go ahead, do a water exchange.  If everything looks good, don’t.

If you decide that you need a full drain and clean, you may want to hire us to do it.  It definitely qualifies as a dirty job.  If you don’t mind the dirty work, maybe you should do it yourself.  It’s really not that technical and we can teach you everything that you need to know.  We can teach you all of the ins and outs of a spring clean out and other routine maintenance to build your confidence for this task.  Just check out our Pond Clean Out Video and our Pond Clean Out Page. Please be sure to educate yourself one way or another before you start your clean out.  Your fish are slow, tired and stressed at this time of the year and you want to make the clean out as easy as possible on them.  It is very easy to kill fish, especially in spring.

If you would like us to clean your pond and have not contacted us this year to get on the schedule, please do so as soon as possible.  Please call us at 262-268-1121 or email us  The spring schedule fills up fast and we do our cleanouts on a first come first serve basis.  At Hurth Waterscapes our motto is “Ponds are our Passion” and we sincerely hope that this shows in our work.  We like to do the best quality job possible for our clients whether we are doing a new construction project or simple maintenance.  Pond clean-outs are rather time-consuming jobs, and as such can end up costing our clients quite a bit of money depending on the size and severity of the clean-out.  If you have a budget number that you would like us to stick to for your spring pond clean-out, just let us know what that number is when you call.  We will do the best job possible within your budget.  Pond cleaning is very subjective.  Some people want their ponds spotless while others just want a quick freshen up.  Whatever your preference, we will tailor our services to meet your needs.

As always, keep in mind that we started all of this as a full service landscape company and we still perform full-scale landscape construction and maintenance for many of our clients.  If you would like any work done in your yard, just let us know.  We are always happy to do whatever is necessary for our existing clients.  We typically start our pond and yard clean-ups in late March or early April, so please let us know if there is anything that we can help you with this spring.

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