Our monsoon season here in Arizona can be madness for pond owners. Between the dust storms that can wreak short-term havoc on a pond’s water quality and the heavy rain (water with attitude) causing or adding to a leak situation, ponding can be a bit of a challenge.
The following are the types of issues you might experience during monsoon season, and what to do about them.
Rapid plant growth during this time of year can cause a water diversion leak, typically in waterfalls and streams. Aquatic plants are happiest during our hot and humid monsoon-ridden months. People will trim off excess growth or dead leaves and stems, but often forget about the roots, which are the real offenders when it comes to diverting water. You gotta reach in there and grab that plant by the roots, and remove enough mass to allow the water to flow freely again. Don’t be shy! You can use the excess plant material in other parts of your pond or stream if you’d like.
During a heavy rain, sometimes a pond’s or stream’s edge will settle a bit. This can exacerbate diversion leaks because a small leak causes erosion. If any settling occurs, that small leak will suddenly become a big leak, which could quickly drain your water feature. The good news that this is an easy fix in a liner pond! You just move some rocks out of the way at the leak location, pull the liner back up above the water level, shove some dirt under it to hold it in place, and replace the rocks around the edges, covering the liner. Ta dah!
Storm damage is also prevalent this time of year with the high winds we get, usually before the rain hits. High winds can blow excessive debris, and large debris, into a stream bed, creating a damn, which diverts water over the edge of the liner: a diversion leak, which can cause the water feature to drain.
With the arrival of the monsoon storms, the desert wildlife kicks into foraging and home expansion mode. Ground squirrels, pack rats, and various other critters start digging around rocky areas looking for new home opportunities and places to store away the plethora of seeds and fruit they are harvesting from the desert, which is most productive during this time of year. These critters love digging in between the rocks that surround your waterfall and stream. Do not allow them to dig in between these rocks! If you see signs of rodent activity around your waterfall or pond, pack river cobble into the hole to discourage them from continuing their efforts in these locations.
We hope this information helps you with controlling issues that crop up during this time of year, and you can avoid the Monsoon Madness!
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