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Thread: Making (deliberate) pond using backwash?

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    Making (deliberate) pond using backwash?

    My dd has an idea for using our backwash water, which currently drains into a rock garden with various plantings. She would like to put a decorative pond in the rock garden, which would be filled up and occasionally flooded by our backwashing. I know very little about those small decorative ponds, since I spend my time trying to prevent our pool from becoming one!

    Does anyone have any input? Does this seem feasible? I've heard of using backwash to water lawns and fill rainbarrels, but never create a pond. I'd appreciate any thoughts!
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    Re: Making (deliberate) pond using backwash?

    If you have fish in it they will quite likely die from exposure to free chlorine and chloramines.
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    Re: Making (deliberate) pond using backwash?

    No fish -- maybe just lily pads and frogs?
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    Re: Making (deliberate) pond using backwash?

    Frogs too if FC high enough I suppose. However, not as readily but I don't kniw how the other chemistry will affect the frogs.
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    Re: Making (deliberate) pond using backwash?

    I too wonder how the build-up of CYA in the pond would affect any life. I would think the FC/CC should be gone relatively quickly, but certainly could also impact any plants/animals.
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    Re: Making (deliberate) pond using backwash?

    I keep the CYA around 30ppm ... I wonder if that's a normal amount for water, or special for pools?
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Making (deliberate) pond using backwash?

    "Normal" water has 0ppm of CYA, and it will build up as pool water is continually added.
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    Re: Making (deliberate) pond using backwash?

    You can use Seachem Prime Water conditioner to treat the pond right before you backwash into it, which should protect the fish. Or if you really wanted to protect them you could use a couple of barrels to transfer the backwash water into prior to putting it in the pond. If there were just some inexpensive goldfish/frogs in there i'd try treating pond and then backwashing into it.

    What i would be more concerned with is proper pond construction. Do you want a pond that is going to be clear, with very little algae growing on the surfaces? Or do you want one you wont be able to see the bottom of?

    If i were building a small pond for this purpose it would be at least 3' deep and 5-6' across. It would have a bottom drain, a pump, and a filter. The pond would be made of pond liner only, with stones around the top. I would use old carpet to protect the pond liner from the dirt. A shallow pond gives no protection to the fish, especially during winter. Rocks and what not all in the bottom of the pond make it impossible to ever clean, and create all these tiny spots for leaves and debris to accumulate and create a mess.
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    Re: Making (deliberate) pond using backwash?

    Good ideas Harley!
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    Re: Making (deliberate) pond using backwash?

    Thanks, Harley! We were thinking of a smaller pond, which would be home to neighborhood frogs and maybe tadpoles, lily pads and plants -- but not necessarily fish. Our current backwash situation, into a rock garden, creates a small pond each time, which lasts about a day and then soaks into the ground under the rocks. We don't want to provide a home to mosquitos, though, so I believe we would need to circulate. Not sure if we'd need to filter if we didn't have fish?

    How does the old carpet work to keep dirt off? Do you throw it away occasionally, and replace with another piece?
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    Re: Making (deliberate) pond using backwash?

    Does anyone know if CYA is harmful to plants or frogs in amounts around 30ppm? I'm thinking that since many people water their lawns with their pool water, it probably doesn't harm plants, but I'm not sure. And the frogs that jump in our pool every spring and fall don't seem to have any ill effects, but of course I'm not following them around!

    (I am not worried about CYA accumulating in the pond, because I'm assuming that like our pool, it will start each spring with 0 CYA due to having no FC for 6-7 months in the winter, when our temperatures are between -10F and 50F. Please read this post before trying to tell me that CYA always accumulates: degradation-of-cyanuric-acid-cya-t8880.html .)
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    Re: Making (deliberate) pond using backwash?

    But the degradation of CYA often results in high levels of ammonia, which is not good for plants and fish.
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    Re: Making (deliberate) pond using backwash?

    Re: ammonia release. We're not planning on fish ... and frogs wouldn't stay in the pond in the winter (they hibernate in mud, which we won't have). Since it appears that ammonia is released slowly over the 6-7 months of winter, I don't think it's much of a concern for the plants. Probably not any more of a concern than everything freezing solid!

    But, whether the 30ppm CYA in the summer would negatively affect plants and frogs is another question.
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    Re: Making (deliberate) pond using backwash?

    I can certify that frogs swim quite happily in our pool with cya around 60. Well, perhaps not happily, as they are slowly drowning, until I come to the rescue. I don't know about fish, though.
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    Re: Making (deliberate) pond using backwash?

    http://apps.echa.europa.eu/registered/d ... 074363b472

    Can anybody with a science background make sense of this report on cyanuric acid? I think it may answer my question about CYA levels of <30ppm and plants/frogs/birds, but I just don't have the background to interpret it.
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    Re: Making (deliberate) pond using backwash?

    The carpet is for use under the pond liner, to help protect it from any rocks or tree roots that may become exposed upon excavation of the hole.

    So how often do you backwash, and do you have a gallon estimate?

    Do you really want a pond, or were you just thinking might as well since you are dumping the water and kinda have a pond for a day anyways? The pond can be trouble free, but you have to build it right. I would suggest some research about small goldfish/koi ponds.
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    Re: Making (deliberate) pond using backwash?

    Quote Originally Posted by singerteacher
    http://apps.echa.europa.eu/registered/data/dossiers/DISS-9c7f523d-20c7-373f-e044-00144f67d249/AGGR-11036190-b42c-4f0a-aa3a-b3074363b472_DISS-9c7f523d-20c7-373f-e044-00144f67d249.html#AGGR-11036190-b42c-4f0a-aa3a-b3074363b472

    Can anybody with a science background make sense of this report on cyanuric acid? I think it may answer my question about CYA levels of <30ppm and plants/frogs/birds, but I just don't have the background to interpret it.
    Yes, we have a guy around here who could probably write the paper. he goes by chem geek and he's around a lot. You might look for him and have him take a look.
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    Re: Making (deliberate) pond using backwash?

    Thanks again to everyone. I probably backwash once/week, sometimes less. I'm not very good at estimating volume, but enough to create a pond about 5'W x 10'L x 3"D in my rock garden.

    My thoughts with using the backwash water are: 1) ecological (conserves water), 2) aesthetic (turns a flooded spot into a nice pond), and 3) environmental (better place for frogs/birds/bats to get water than the pool). But the primary reason is that my dd is crazy about the idea.
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    Calling chem geek - need help interpreting report

    Topics merged. Please don't double post. Bama

    http://apps.echa.europa.eu/registered/d ... 074363b472

    Can anybody with a science background make sense of this report on cyanuric acid? I am considering creating a pond for frogs/plants (no fish) using backwash water, which will have CYA in it. I think it may answer my question about CYA levels of <30ppm and plants/frogs, but I just don't have the background to interpret it.
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    BBB since the first month! :-)

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    Re: Making (deliberate) pond using backwash?

    Got any pictures of the rock garden?
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