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What Do I Do With My Pond Pump During the Winter? – Water Garden Q & A

Picture of a Pump in a Skimmer.

Q: I plan to shut down my water garden in the Winter. What do I do with the pump? Do I just leave it in the water garden or do I remove it? – Don of New York

A: This is one of the top questions I get heading into the Late Fall and Winter months.

Remove the Pump: If you plan to shut down your water garden for the Winter months, I would suggest you remove the pump entirely. If you leave the pump in the water garden it has the potential to freeze, which can cause irreversible damage.

Keep the Pump Submerged When Storing: Remove the pump, submerge it into a 5-gallon bucket filled with water. Store the bucket in a place where the water will not freeze (i.e. basement, heated garage, etc.). If you don’t keep the pump submerged in water and it dries out, there is a possibility that the seals inside the pump could crack causing the pump not to work properly later on.

What Do I Do With My Bubbler Aeration System During the Winter? – Pond & Lake Q & A

Picture of Winter Aeration in a Pond.

Q: I have a bubbler aeration system in my pond. What do I do with it in the Winter? Do I take it out? – Jack of Maine

A: I recommend leaving the bubbler aeration system running throughout the entire Winter. Running the aeration system during the Winter is as important as running the system during the hot Summer months.

Preventing Winter Fish Kills with Aeration: The problem with not running your system during the Winter is the increased probability of have a Winter fish kill come Spring. A Winter fish kill is when toxic gases from dying or rotting vegetation accumulate underneath the ice. With no hole in the ice to allow for these gases to escape, the fish can suffocate.

The Proper Time to Remove the Bubbler Aeration System: If you plan to ice skate on the pond or if you have quite a bit of snowmobile traffic on the pond, then I would strongly recommend not running the bubbler aeration system at all during the Winter.

Removing the aeration system is simple. Disconnect the airline(s) attached  to the cabinet and compessor. Cap the airline(s) or use duct tape to ensure no dirt or water can get into them. Store the cabinet and compressor in a cool, dry place. The diffuser at the bottom of the pond is fine to leave in there throughout the Winter. There is no need to remove it.