Last summer, the level of the water in our pond dropped. At the time we thought it might have been a result of the hot summer, and indeed over the winter the level returned to normal. But this spring, the level dropped alarmingly again and it became obvious that we had a leak. As we have also had problems when it has rained heavily, that water cascades over the edge of the pond into a neighbour’s garden, it was obviously time to get something done about it.
In fact, the pond is half ours and the other half is the responsibility of other neighbours, who have rented their house out and live some way south of Munich. So by the time we had got their written agreement to pay half the cost of the work, it was already the end of June. Since then, we have been waiting for the pond-people to come and replace the plastic liner for the pond. Mostly, it has been too wet, or they have been on holiday. But on Friday they suddenly turned up and started work. Unfortunately it wasn’t possible to get a good picture of the state of affairs before they started as the pond was overgrown with reeds and overshadowed by a massive pine tree in a neighbour’s garden. But by the end of Friday the neighbour’s tree had been cut back and a lot of the reeds removed, so you can see what it looked like on Friday evening:
The second picture is the state of play today. To the right of the brown vertical pipe that takes the overflow water out of the pond, you can see why the neighboours to the right were getting flooded when it rained – over the last ten years, the bank has subsided so that the pond liner is a good 2-3 cm lower than the pipe itself. So every time the pond filled right up, the water took the route of least resistance into their garden. The problem is compounded by the large diameter, short horizontal pipe (just above the wheelbarrows) you can see to the left of the overflow pipe – this contains an (occasional – when it rains) stream which was placed underground when the houses were built, so when it rains, the pond also gets filled by the increased water flow from the stream:
Conditions for work haven’t been too good today, the poor people working on the pond have been soaked a number of times by showers, but they have got the pond more or leass clear now. So on Monday, if it’s not raining, they will be building up the right bank and laying the new liner. The leak, by the way, is on the left of the pond – you can’t see it here – where the lining has sagged and ripped. They say a plastic pond-liner normally lasts about 10 to 15 years max., so since the house (and pond) are about 12 years old, we can’t complain about the damage to the liner (or our bank account).