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How Much Does Pond Maintenance Cost?

Scooping muck out of a pond as part of pond maintenance

Are you a pond owner wondering how much it costs to maintain your pond? Are you worried that the cost of pond maintenance will be too high?

“How much does pond maintenance cost?” is a commonly asked question by both owners and people considering installing a pond.

In this article, we’ll break down the average annual cost of maintaining a pond, including factors like size and type and the cost of hiring a professional versus doing it yourself. By the end of this article, you will have a good idea of the maintenance costs for various types of ponds so you can make an informed decision when it comes time for you to hire a professional pond cleaner.

How Much Does Pond Maintenance Cost?

The average price for a single pond maintenance session ranges from $450 to $1,000, according to Home Advisor. However, the cost of pond maintenance is highly dependent on your pond sysm’syour pond system’s size, type, and complexity.

Since pond maintenance is a recurring service, it makes more sense to look at the cost of pond maintenance as an annual service that includes multiple maintenance sessions.

*All cost data compiled from Home Advisor unless otherwise stated

Average Annual Pond Maintenance Cost

Grass Roots pond crew

The average annual cost of maintaining a pond is around $1,000 to $5,000, depending on size and type. This can include services such as water testing, algae removal, pump repairs, liner replacement, and water treatments. The exact price will vary depending on the size and complexity of your pond system and the pond maintenance company you hire.

Many pond owners get four professional maintenance sessions a year (one for each season) for an average cost of $3,000. The cost typically breaks down as follows:

  • Spring maintenance – $1,200
  • Summer maintenance – $500
  • Fall maintenance – $900
  • Winter maintenance – $400

We should note that these maintenance costs are based on national averages and can change based on several key factors. For example, here at Grass Roots Pond & Garden, we offer an annual pond maintenance program that costs an average of $2,500. But again, this price can change based on several key factors, including the size and complexity of your pond. You can see more details about our pond maintenance and cleaning services pricing tiers here.

Cost Factors For Pond Maintenance

Now let’s take a closer look at some of the factors that can change the cost of your pond maintenance.

Size

Not surprisingly, a small koi pond will be less expensive to maintain because they usually require fewer products and supplies for cleaning and maintenance. Most pond maintenance companies (including Grass Roots Pond & Garden) determine size based on the gallon capacity of the pond.

Liners

Liners come in different materials (vinyl, plastic, rubber, or concrete) and styles. If you opt for a vinyl, plastic, or rubber liner, it will typically require more frequent replacement than other materials due to wear and tear from UV exposure or tree roots. Some liners require special care when cleaning, whether it’s from how much cleaning it can take or whether a certain cleaning chemical can damage it. This is one of the reasons why most pond owners should hire a professional. Pros have work warranties and the knowledge, tools, and experience to maintain pond liners correctly.

Draining And Refilling Costs By Size

Draining and refilling your pond is often necessary for cleaning purposes. The cost of this service depends on the size of your pond and the volume of water required. The cost to drain and refill a pond typically ranges from around $1,400 on the low end to about $7,000 on the high end. See the table below for a cost breakdown for draining and refilling a pond based on square footage.

Square FootagePrice to DrainPrice to Refill
80$775-$1,000$600-$1,000
160$1,000-$1,500$1,200-$1,750
300$1,350-$1,750$2,200-$2,550
500$1,750-$2,225$3,750-$4,500

Outdoor Ponds vs Indoor Ponds

Outdoor ponds have higher exposure to environmental elements like sunlight, wind, rain, snowfall, etc., which can lead to more frequent cleaning treatments than indoor versions. Outdoor ponds also have winterization needs, such as de-icing pumps and covers during cold months to keep them functioning properly throughout the season. 

Indoor ponds do not face the same issues with debris as outdoor ponds. However, they may still require regular maintenance due to algae growth or other issues, such as faulty pumps or filters that need periodic repair or replacement. But generally speaking, indoor ponds typically cost less to maintain than outdoor ponds.

Waterfalls

Waterfalls require regular cleanings as well as operational checkups to ensure everything is working properly. As noted above, one of the factors that can increase pond cleaning costs is pond system complexity. So if you have a waterfall as part of your pond system, you should factor in some additional cost into your pond maintenance budget.

Fountains

Much like waterfalls, fountains also require regular cleanings and operational checkups. Since fountains are a water feature that adds complexity to the pond maintenance job, you can expect to pay extra for any fountains you may have. That being said, maintenance costs for fountains vary widely depending on their size and complexity. The type of fountain also affects maintenance cost; simple bubbler fountains tend to be cheaper than large-tiered ones with elaborate designs due largely in part to their simpler cleaning requirements.

Winterization

This maintenance service can include removing debris, trimming plants, cleaning filters, adding an aerator, installing a de-icer, and possibly removing the water pump. If you have a pond with koi or other types of fish, you will also need to take steps to maintain the water temperature to ensure they will survive the cold winter months. This can include adding cold water beneficial bacteria and implementing predator protection measures. These winterization services will increase the overall cost of your pond maintenance.

Cost Of Pond Maintenance By Type

Smaller swim pond

As noted above, the average price for a single pond maintenance session ranges from $450 to $1,000. However, the type of pond you have can significantly impact your maintenance costs. Let’s take a closer look at the various types of ponds and how they can affect your maintenance costs.

Small Garden Pond 

A small pond will typically be on the lower end of the cost spectrum for pond maintenance. However, you can expect to pay an additional $50 to $100 for plant-safe cleaning chemicals.

Large Pond

As previously noted, larger ponds tend to have higher maintenance costs. While most pond maintenance companies will charge based on the water volume of a pond, others use a per-square-foot calculation for larger ponds. You can estimate the cost for larger ponds by multiplying the square footage by $1.70 to $2.50.

Natural Swimming Pond

Unlike many other types of ponds, natural swimming ponds rely on principles of ecology to keep their water clean. Again, costs will depend upon the size and complexity of your natural swimming pool, but you can expect to add $100 to $200 to your standard pond maintenance costs due to the use of people-safe cleaning chemicals.

Koi Pond

Koi ponds require regular yearly maintenance to remain healthy and safe for fish life. If your koi fish pond requires a drain and refill, the fish will need to be safely kept in a holding tank during that process. So while the average koi pond maintenance cost will fall within the standard pond maintenance costs range, it can easily go higher if your koi fish pond has additional complex elements. Koi fish pond owners can also expect to pay an extra $100 to $200 for fish-safe chemicals.

Other Fish Ponds

Other types of fish ponds may require slightly less maintenance than a koi pond since they may not require as many drains and refills to keep their environment clean. However, you can still add about $100 to $200 due to fish-safe chemicals.

DIY Pond Maintenance Vs Hiring A Professional

Professional pond maintenance crew member

It is possible to save some money by going the DIY route when it comes to pond maintenance, but it can be a time-consuming and labor-intensive task. Pond maintenance includes:

  • Draining
  • Removing fish
  • Cleaning out gunk, muck, algae, etc
  • Filter cleaning
  • Checking all the mechanics
  • Replacing failing parts
  • Caring for any plants

All while taking care not to damage the pond liner. Some pond maintenance tasks require specialized equipment such as a pond vacuum, pond skimmer, dredge pump, and chemicals to treat the water. If you inadvertently damage your pond, you could have to pay a pond contractor more money to help anyway.

On the other hand, professional pond contractors have all the necessary equipment and expertise to maintain your pond properly. They also have experience using the correct type and amount of cleaners to ensure your fish, aquatic plants, and backyard pond ecosystem is not harmed.

FAQs

How Long Does It Take To Clean A Pond?

A pond cleaning can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days, depending on the size and complexity of the pond system and the pond contractor that you hire.

Here at Grass Roots Pond & Garden, we pride ourselves on completing maintenance and cleaning within one day.

Are The Chemicals Used For Pond Maintenance Safe For Fish And People?

Generally speaking, most of the chemicals used for pond maintenance are safe. However, a wide variety of chemicals are used in pond maintenance, so the answer to this question depends on the specific chemical and how it is used. You can ensure you are using chemicals safe for both people and fish by checking with the specific manufacturer or by consulting with a professional pond contractor. Here at Grass Roots, we use a special blend to keep a cleaner, healthier pond ecosystem.

What Is Included In The Typical Pond Cleaning Process?

The typical pond cleaning process varies depending on what pond company you hire. That being said, most professional pond cleaners follow the process outlined below:

  • Drain water and remove fish
  • Flush pond, pressure wash rocks
  • Clean filters
  • Check additions (lighting, etc.)
  • Check all plumbing
  • Look for leaks
  • Refill
  • Water testing and treatment (pH, add water detoxifier)
  • Reintroduce fish after acclimation
  • Return aquatic pants
  • Restart pump
  • Finishing touches and clean up

Grass Roots Pond & Garden Can Handle All Your Pond Maintenance Needs

Pond maintenance costs can vary depending on the size and complexity of your pond but typically range from $1,000 to $5,000 a year for maintenance. Key cost factors include the size of your pond, how often you will need to drain and refill your pond, and if you have any additional features, such as waterfalls or fountains.

For most people, it makes sense to hire out this type of work rather than attempt DIY pond maintenance. Are you looking for help with pond maintenance? We’d be happy to give you a hand. Just fill out our contact form today, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.