A winter pond cover provides protection from extreme winter temperatures. In the event that you live in a location that experiences winter like we do, a winter pond cover can be a life saver, literally. We’ve covered our main pond through the winter for quite some time, and also have great success. The wintertime pond acts like a greenhouse, starting to warm up significantly on sunny days, and trapping the heat inside during the night. In addition, it eliminates cold wind from sweeping across the pond, pulling heat from any open water.
Benefits of a Winter pond covers:
An easy task to build – takes just a few hours
Little or no ice forms on the pond
Reusable every year
Simple to disassemble and store
Supplies You Will Need:
1-1/4″ PVC electrical conduit for the arches – 10′ lengths
3/4″ PVC electrical conduit for the ‘spine’ at top of arches- 10′ lengths
3/4″ galvanized metal electrical conduit to aid arches – 10′ lengths
6 mil plastic (some customers have reported success with durable tarps)
2 bits of re-bar 3′ to 4′ long
Planning the Arches:
Range of Arches: You will need to calculate just how many arches you will need depending on length of your pond. Arches should be put 3′ to 3-1/2′ apart.
Arch Height: The height of the arch is determined by the width of the pond. A general guideline is that the arch height must be at least 60% of its width.
For instance: an arch that spans a 12′ wide pond should be at least 7.2′ tall
winter pond cover base
Cut 10′ galvanized conduit in two. Take each one of the resulting 5′ stakes and drive them in to the ground about 2′ -2-1/2′ deep – angled toward the pond. These will serve as supports for the 1-1/4″ diameter arches. The arches are simply just slid in the stakes. (see picture above)
The stakes should be spaced 3′ to 3-1/2 ‘ apart or closer (with regards to the snowfall locally)
Begin to put your arches. Start in the center of the pond and get this to arch the tallest. Several little bit of conduit will be necessary for medium and large ponds, the conduit simply slips together with male/female ends. Slice the conduit to length for proper size. Make each successive arch slightly shorter so you will achieve a gradual arc in the ‘spine’ and an overall dome shape to the structure
winter pond cover arches
Once all arches are set up, affix the 3/4″ spine to the most notable of every arch with duct tape and cable ties. It can be tricky on larger ponds but it is vital to attach the arches to the spine securely. Drive the re-bar into the ground at each end of the pond and slip the spine over each piece to anchor it
Now for the plastic. Await a calm day and pull the plastic within the frame. Once set up, do not trim too much excess plastic from the edges, rather roll-up the surplus and use this as the bottom to put your weights on.
Placing lots of weight to carry the plastic set up is crucial! Use whatever is available, rocks, concrete blocks, sand bags etc. Place additional weight on the side where the prevailing wind originates from.
winter pond cover joint
If you are in an area that receives large amounts of snow, it is critical to shovel the snow from around the bottom of the dome. When the snow is permitted to pile up too much around the base, the excessive weight can put too much pressure triggering the plastic to split or the frame to warp or bend.