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How Much Does Pond Cleaning & Maintenance Cost?

Typical Range: $450 - $5,000

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Average Cost of Koi Pond Cleaning & Maintenance

Yearly maintenance of ponds costs an average of $2,000 for four regular servicing visits during each of the seasons. People pay $450 on the low end and over $5,000 on the high, but the price is heavily subjective and based on the size and complexity of the pond’s environment. A single visit might be as little as $250 to $450.
Ponds dirty quickly because of their exposure to the elements. Unclean, standing water damages the health of anything growing within, like fish and aquatic plants. It also serves as a breeding ground for bacteria and algae that can make koi fish and other animals sick. Regular cleaning and maintenance should be part of its maintenance schedule and can be a DIY or professional project. Professionals usually possess better equipment, experience, tools, and chemical knowledge to avoid costly mistakes.

Pond Maintenance Prices & Considerations

The cost of pool maintenance heavily depends on the time of year, where it’s located, size, if the water needs to be replaced, and whether the structure has a liner. A single cleaning costs between $450 to $1,000, and this can be higher in large bodies of water.

One-Time Spring vs. Regular Cleaning

A spring cleaning is, on average, between $900 and $1,000 for a single service. Spring is the time of year where most of the gunk appears in a pool because it hasn’t been in use and the plants and bacteria are reproducing from the warm weather. A spring session is a one-time deep clean after problems have already started. Regular maintenance is important because the person doing the cleaning can help prevent issues before they begin, such as excessive algae and bacteria growth. A monthly visit costs $75 to $100 for each session and may be a wise investment for property owners.

Outdoor vs Indoor

Indoor ponds are less expensive to clean because they are not as exposed to elements and debris like their outdoor counterparts. For example, an outdoor body of water might end up with bugs and leaves in it since it’s near trees and bugs might try to breed in the water. Since indoor ponds don’t tend to have these problems, the monthly cleaning cost is usually as low as $30 to $40 a session.

Cleaning Ponds with Liners

Liners are a necessity when working with manmade bodies of water. The cost of a pond liner varies based on the material used, but they can prevent issues like land and chemical seepage from nearby terrain. However, liners complicate the cleaning process. Vinyl, plastic, and rubber liners tear under duress.
Cleaners need to make sure they are gentle when scooping out debris or trying to sanitize the water. Some types of materials also disintegrate when exposed to cleaning chemicals, which can leak other unhealthy byproducts into the water. Remember the type of pond liner installed and make sure there are no interactions between the cleaners and the material. Contact a professional for help if you’re unsure about putting anything in the water.

Size

Many companies charge different amounts to clean a pond based on its size. In most cases, the company won’t give an estimate and will charge by day since it’s hard to tell to what degree the water needs to be sanitized and how much sediment should be removed. Other businesses charge based on how many gallons of water are present.
Average Prices to Clean by Pond Size
GallonsPrice Range
500-1,000$250-$450
1,000-1,500$350-$550
1,500-2,500$450-$650
2,500-3,500$450-$700
3,500-5,000$550-$800
5,000-7,500$650-$1,000
7,500-10,000$850-$1,200

Draining & Refilling

Sometimes the water and buildup will be too much to eliminate without draining. The process depends on the square footage of the pond and how much water needs to be removed. People will also want to refill the pond afterwards. It’s expensive to fill a pond without using natural sources like a well or nearby lake. Refilling an entire area becomes expensive and most owners decide to use a combination of rain, well water, and a professional company.
Average Cost to Drain and Refill a Pool by Square Foot Size
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
*The price to refill a pond varies by state based on water shortages. These above numbers account for states with lower costs like Wisconsin and those with higher costs like California.

Waterfalls & Features

Many people want to install expensive waterfalls or fountains in their ponds because they are aesthetically pleasing and keep the water moving. However, the upkeep of these features can be costly. They often require periodic maintenance and cleaning to stop clogs or contamination. Regular upkeep usually costs several hundred dollars and is in the range of $300 to $600 for a single cleaning. Clean waterfalls, fountains, and other features once or twice a year for best functioning.

Winterization to Prevent Seasonal Damage

Winterization is the process by which property owners can prepare their fish, plants, pumps, and other essential parts of the pond for colder months. Homeowners may DIY this job, but it is also possible to hire a professional for help. Some of the steps involved include:
  1. Switching fish to a cold weather food
  2. Trimming plants
  3. Changing the water and adding a dechlorinator or bacterial additive
  4. Pump removal
The whole winterizing process can be as little as $100 to $200.

How Maintenance Works

A variety of steps are involved in pond maintenance involves and not all of them will work for every body of water. Professionals typically follow a pattern of cleaning. Some of the most common steps include:
  • Using safe chemicals or bacteria to eat algae blooms and other bacteria that make fish sick
  • Removing and weeding out plants that shouldn’t be in the pond
  • Using nets to remove debris like leaves
  • Adding a filter to remove dirt and muck that is in the water
  • Cleaning out the buildup of algae and other materials in filters
  • Installing a pond pump to keep water moving
  • Adding algae-eating fish
  • Dechlorinating the water or adding a bacterial additive
  • Dredging gravel and debris from the bottom of the pond
    All these steps, except for pond dredging, are included in the regular maintenance prices above. Dredging is more expensive and costs around $1.70 to $2.50 per square foot.
    Consult with a Pond Maintenance Professional
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    Tips & Costs by Type

    Remember that the overall expense of cleaning and regular maintenance will vary based on the type of pond owned. The average price range runs between $450 and $5,000 for one basic session. The main factors affecting cost are size, the type of cleaning needed, if there are fish in the pond, what kind of chemicals you are comfortable with, and what plants are present.

    Koi Pond

    The price to clean a koi pond varies by the size of the structure but can be anywhere from $500 to $1,500. Cleaning regularly will keep the environment clean and fresh. This includes filter maintenance and changing the water.

    Other Fish

    Property owners use fish-friendly chemicals that add $100 to $200 to the total price of cleaning but which are safer for your friends with gills. Other fish still require clean water but don’t need their environment changed as often as koi.

    Fishing

    Friendly alternatives cost more than regular cleaning chemicals and be an extra $100 to $200. However, they will keep you and the fish healthy. Any fish you plan to catch and eat should not be exposed to hazardous sanitation chemicals.

    Small Garden Landscape Ponds

    Pools with plants use friendly chemicals that might add an extra $50 to $100 to regular maintenance expenses. Garden landscape ponds have few considerations that could increase the cost unless they have aquatic plants.

    Natural Swimming Pools

    Friendly chemicals add an extra $100 to $200 to the original price. Natural swimming pools should avoid using the same chemicals that pools with fish don’t use. Some materials also can’t be added like dechlorinators, which might make people ill.

    Larger Ponds or Lakes

    Large pools and lakes take more money for regular maintenance because of their size. The basic rule of thumb is to calculate the square footage and then multiply that number by $1.70 to $2.50 to find the average square foot cost for maintenance.

    Detention & Retention Pond Maintenance

    Detention and retention ponds need the same maintenance as other types. Their size affects cleaning costs. A detention pond holds excess water during periods of rain or snow. They are dry and don’t hold water for more than 24 hours. A retention pond is like the back of a dam. It holds extra liquid should something happen to the main pond.
    Hire a Pond Cleaning Professional
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    FAQs

    How Much Maintenance is a Pond?

    Well-made pools need regular maintenance, but it should be no more than a few minutes each week. However, it benefits from seasonal cleanings every 3 months as well. The amount of work that goes into the pond depends on its environment. Property owners who have ones with fish need to make sure the environment is habitable. Someone who wants to use theirs for swimming will want to ensure the water is clear and pleasant. It all depends on the style of pool and the homeowner’s needs.

    How Many Gallons of Water are Needed for Refilling?

    The number of gallons of water needed to refill any pond is going to depend on its size. There are 7.5 gallons in 1 cubic foot. Find cubic footage by measuring length, width, and depth and multiplying them together. This means a 12x12 pond with a depth of 3 ft. would be 432 cubic feet and need 3,240 gallons of water.

    What Chemicals are Safe for Fish and People?

    Most chemicals used for maintenance are not safe for fish and people. Only use them after transferring the fish into a separate holding container. Some safe chemicals include tints, water clarifiers, and barley cleaners.
    Consult with a Professional to Clean Your Backyard Pond
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    DIY vs. Hiring a Local Maintenance Company

    Regular pond maintenance and cleaning can be a DIY job but it tends to be easier, more convenient, and safer to hire a pond professional cleaner in your area. One of the main dangers of a DIY job is using the wrong amount or type of cleaners, which can kill fish or plants or wreck the environment of the water. Professionals also recommend products based on the body of water’s size and can do more in-depth work like dredging.
    DIY homeowners purchase algaecides and muck removers for between $40 and $80, though larger ponds might need more product. Professionals charge more but bring their own chemicals and can save homeowners a day or two of work.
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