How to Drain a Small Pond

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Things You'll Need

  • 1 or 2 garden hoses (depending on method of emptying)

  • Small plastic bucket (optional)

  • Pump (optional)


The further downhill the end of the hose emptying water is located from the water being emptied, the quicker the water will empty. If your pump does not have enough power, select another location or rent a stronger pump.

If the hose is not emptying the water, and you have followed the directions, make sure that your hose does not have a hole.


Water and electrical equipment can be dangerous together if not used properly.

Choose one of two methods to empty your pond.

There are two methods that you can use to empty a small pond. The one you choose depends on where you want the water to empty and what equipment you have on hand. If you want the water to empty uphill from the pond, it will require a pump. The further the distance and the more uphill the location, the stronger the pump required. As long as the location you are emptying to is downhill (or level with) the pond and not too great a distance (more than 35 feet), you will be able to use garden hoses to siphon the water out.


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Step 1

Unplug all electrical equipment in your pond, such as pumps, filters and lighting. Remove the equipment, as necessary, to complete the task. Remove all live fish, frogs or turtles and potted plants, being careful to store appropriately.

Step 2

Use the pump (if your pond has one) to empty the water out by connecting the discharge outlet of the pump to one end of the hose and placing the other end of the hose where you want the water to empty out. Place the end of the hose that you want the water to empty from in a position that is preferably downhill or level with the water you are emptying, because if the water has to travel too far uphill, the pump might not be strong enough. Turn on the pump and leave it on until the water has emptied out to the inlet level of the pump.


Step 3

Siphon the water out by connecting two garden hoses together, if you choose this method. Place the ends that are connected into the pond. Attach the end of the first hose to the water tap. Attach the other end of the second hose downhill from your pond and where you want the water to empty. Turn on the tap. Keeping the two ends of the hoses that are connected underneath the water, disconnect the hoses. Turn off the water tap and remove the hose that is connected to the tap from the pond (the other hose should now be siphoning water out of the pond).

Step 4

If there is debris and/or water in the bottom of the pond after the water empties out, use the small plastic bucket as a scoop to remove it.