Book SectionsTable of Contents
The Problem Puddle Power Frog-Friendly Backyard Why are we concerned about amphibians?
Wetlands - function/type Wetland issues
How to help amphibians
Community Green Plans
Downspout runoff from roofs can be directed into ponds. This also reduces sudden runoff into streams.
If you are filling your pond with tap water, you should let is stand a week before transferring plants and animals. If you have a water meter, take a reading before and after you fill your pond to give you an exact reading of the amount of water in your pond. Chlorine, commonly found in many suburban water supplies, can kill tadpoles and other amphibious larvae. There is no need to purchase de-chlorinating chemicals. Letting the tap water stand a few days allows the chlorine to dissipate from the water. Placing your hose at an angle to create a spray while filling your pond increases the evaporation rate of the chlorine out of the water. ** A risk is taken by not using a chlorine/chloramine neutralizer. If by chance your municipality changes from chlorine to chloramine and you are not aware of it, you may lose all the wild life in your pond. Chloramine does not dissipate out of water.**
Although you can use tap water if you are not adding any more than 10% of the total water volume, it is best to top up your pond with water that has been standing over a week, or with collected rainwater. Use water as close to the temperature of your pond as possible. You can attach a float valve to an underground water supply which automatically tops up your pond as it loses water to evaporation. Remember to drain the hose before winter.
If you are considering diverting water from natural streams or using waterways as sources of water you should consult your local Ministry of Natural Resources or Regional Conservation Authority because there may be regulations in place to protect local fish stocks and water supplies.
There has been concern expressed over the construction of ponds for "recreation" and large scale irrigation. In some areas of the Niagara Escarpment there is a moratorium on pond construction until the cumulative effect of increasing numbers of ponds on water quality is understood. Ponds are catchments for water runoff loaded with organic nutrients, pesticides, herbicides, and other toxins. Water flushed from these holding areas during heavy storms may contaminate ground water supplies if the wetland serves a water recharge function. In addition, water brought to the surface in ponds may increase the temperature and evaporation rate of underground water causing the water table to drop. Hawaiian Garden Centre in St. Catharines has commented that ponds lined with an artificial liner and constructed with a mud bottom are long lasting (20 years), and do not rob local groundwater supplies.
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