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Pond Keeping with the Environment in Mind

Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff
Building a Pond: Step-by-Step Guide 
Planning and Budgeting Your Pond 
Beyond Koi: Adding Life to Your Pond 
Pond Keeping with the Environment in Mind
Are you looking for ways to keep your pond running and looking its best in an environmentally friendly manner? There is a growing effort to help preserve nature and its valuable resources. Did you know this effort could also be applied to your pond or water garden?

There are many simple ways you can maintain your pond and backyard living area in an environmentally friendly manner. Apply the 3 R principle of waste reduction (Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle) to your pond and backyard. You'll be pleasantly surprised that you can keep your pond looking beautiful AND help our environment. Here are some helpful, environmentally friendly tips to help you "Go Green":

Ponds use electricity to beautify and maintain a healthy living environment for their inhabitants. When you opt for solar-powered equipment, you can help reduce energy use. With an ever-increasing selection of solar-powered pond products, it is now easier than ever to go solar. Automating electrical equipment is another smart way to reduce energy use. For example, using timers for your pond and backyard lights is an easy way to conserve energy. Products such as the "Intelligent" Transformer feature a built-in timer and are a great choice for adding dramatic lighting effects to your pond. Your pond lights turn on and off at a designated time and best of all, no more forgetting to turn them off. Whenever possible, choose energy efficient equipment for your pond. Consider low-voltage lighting or newer, energy savvy pumps.


Ponds are a wonderful way to transform a backyard into a sanctuary. When you keep these ecologically friendly tips in mind, ponds are also good for the environment! Be sure to keep the 3 R's in mind: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. In addition, your personal sanctuary can be recognized as a neighborhood wildlife sanctuary.

For example, to be part of the National Wildlife Federation's Certified Wildlife HabitatTM program, your backyard should offer elements from each of the following areas:

FOOD SOURCES. For example: Native plants, seeds, fruits, nuts, berries, nectar

WATER SOURCES. For example: Birdbath, pond, water garden, stream

PLACES FOR COVER. For example: Thicket, rock pile, birdhouse

PLACES TO RAISE YOUNG. For example: Dense shrubs, vegetation, >nesting box, pond

SUSTAINABLE GARDENING. For example: Mulch, compost, rain garden, chemical-free fertilizer

Please contact the National Wildlife Federation for more details. Your efforts will help protect the Earth's valuable resources and add an exciting new dimension to your pond or water garden.
Here's how you can figure out the energy use for your electric pond equipment:
WATTAGE × HOURS USED PER DAY ÷ 1000 = DAILY KILOWATT-HOUR (KWH) CONSUMPTION (1 KILOWATT (KW) = 1,000 WATTS) OR use the Kill A Watt Power Strip to monitor and forecast daily, weekly, monthly, or even yearly electrical expenses. Determine and replace energy-abusing pond equipment with this innovative device.

Did you know you could help our environment every time you change pond water or prune pond plants? You can use dirty pond water for your lawn and garden. Reusing pond water helps cut down on water use and saves you money! When you groom your pond and garden plants, compost the clippings instead of throwing them away. Once the composted material has broken down, it is ideal for use in plant beds. This organic fertilizer improves soil quality and supplies a plethora of valuable nutrients to plants.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), composting:

Keeps organic waste out of landfills
Provides nutrients to the soil
Increases beneficial soil organisms
Suppresses certain plant diseases
Reduces the need for chemical fertilizers and pesticides
Protects soils from erosion
Assists pollution remediation

Recycling can prevent millions of tons of material from entering landfills. It is important to recycle as much as possible. Used plastic containers of pond medication, water conditioners, clarifiers, vitamins, and more, should be rinsed and recycled. You can also help increase recycling by purchasing items that contain recycled materials.

According to the EPA, recycling helps:

Create jobs
Save energy
Conserve resources for our future
Supply valuable raw materials to industry
Reduce the need for new landfills and incinerators
Stimulate the development of greener technologies
Prevent emissions of many greenhouse gases and water pollutants


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