How much does pond cleaning and maintenance cost?
How much does pond cleaning and maintenance cost?
$600 – $3,000 Koi pond maintenance cost per year
$300 – $1,200 One-time pond cleaning cost
$400 – $2,900 Average yearly pond maintenance cost
Cost to maintain a pond
Pond maintenance costs $400 to $2,900 per year on average, depending on the size. Maintaining a koi pond costs $600 to $3,000 per year. The cost to clean out a pond is $300 to $1,200 and involves draining, power washing, servicing the pump and filter, and treating the pond.
|Pond size||Average one-time service cost||Average yearly maintenance cost|
(40 – 60 square feet)
|$100 – $600||$300 – $700|
(90 – 100 square feet)
|$500 – $900||$700 – $1,200|
(150 – 200 square feet)
|$600 – $1,200||$800 – $2,000|
(300 – 400 square feet)
|$900 – $1,600||$1,000 – $3,000|
|1-acre pond or lake||$250 – $600||$500 – $3,000+|
Service for large farm ponds, fishing ponds, or lakes may cost less than service for small backyard ponds with features due to their simpler design and minimal landscaping.
Pond clean-out cost
The following table shows the average cost to clean out a pond.
|National Average Cost||$800|
|Average Range||$300 to $1,200|
Cost data is from research and project costs reported by HomeGuide members.
Pond maintenance cost by type
|Pond type||Average annual cost|
|Koi pond / garden pond||$600 – $3,000|
|Lake / fishing pond / farm pond||$500 – $3,000|
|Retention pond||$300 – $4,000|
|Swimming pond||$500 – $1,500|
Koi pond maintenance costs
Koi pond maintenance costs $600 to $3,000 per year, depending on the pond size, condition, fish and plant quantity, and filtration system.
|Size||Average annual cost|
|6' x 8'||$600 – $800|
|8' x 11'||$850 – $1,200|
|11' x 16'||$1,200 – $2,000|
|21' x 26'||$1,800 – $3,000|
Additional koi pond maintenance costs include:
Feed – The yearly cost to feed koi is $50 to $200+ per fish on average. Total food cost depends on the quantity and whether they hibernate or feed year-round.
Repairs – Pond repair technicians charge $100 to $300 per hour, plus the repair material cost. The total repair cost depends on the issue and whether parts need replacing.
Water – Experts recommend a weekly 10% to 20% pond water change.
Vet bills – Fish veterinarians charge $50 to $100 per in-office visit or $200 to $300 for a house call.
Building a koi pond costs $3,500 to $17,000, depending on the size, materials, features, and complexity.
Lake maintenance costs
Lake maintenance costs $500 to $3,000+ per acre for an annual plan. Maintaining a lake is like maintaining a pond—removing weeds and debris, monitoring the water level and clarity, and controlling algae growth.
Swimming pond maintenance costs
Swimming pond maintenance costs $500 to $1,500 per year. Maintenance needs are minimal because the aquatic plants and beneficial bacteria provide natural water filtration without chemicals.
In comparison, swimming pool maintenance costs $960 to $1,800 per year and requires chemicals to keep the water clear.
Fishing pond maintenance costs
Fishing pond maintenance costs $500 to $3,000+per acre annually, the same as lake or farm pond maintenance. The primary concern when maintaining a fishing pond is keeping the oxygen levels and fish population balanced.
The cost to stock a pond with fish is $800 to $1,500 per acre.
Retention pond maintenance costs
Retention pond maintenance costs $300 to $4,000+per year, depending on the size. A retention pond receives and stores stormwater runoff and is a property focal point.
Retention pond maintenance is typically part of a larger landscape management package, including:
Removing trash and debris
Mowing the surrounding banks
Trimming surrounding plants to 18" or less
Checking mechanical equipment functionality
Weed control application
Dredging the pond 1 to 2 times per year
Pond cleaning cost by service type
|Service type||Average cost|
|One-time deep cleaning||$300 – $1,200|
|Monthly cleaning service||$80 – $550|
|Winterizing||$150 – $600|
|Dredging||$5,000 – $60,000+|
One-time deep cleaning service
A one-time deep cleaning service costs $300 to $1,200 and typically includes:
Draining and rinsing the pond
Power washing rocks and gravel
Cleaning the filters
Checking the lights
Cleaning and reconnecting the pump
Refilling with fish- and plant-safe water
Deep cleaning in early spring is ideal for mild and warm climates. A deep clean in late fall is better for koi ponds in areas with harsh winters to ensure the best water quality during their hibernation.
Monthly pond cleaning service
Monthly pond cleaning service costs $80 to $550 on average and includes:
Removing surface debris, dead blooms, and plant leaves
Cleaning skimmer baskets and filter pads
Checking the pump and filtration system
Checking water features and lighting
Some service plans include water treatments if needed.
Pond winterizing costs
Winterizing a pond costs $150 to $600, depending on the size and type. Winterizing prepares the pond for freezing temperatures by closing it—cleaning it and removing the pump and fish—or adding a deicer to keep the pond running.
Pond dredging costs
Pond dredging costs $10 to $40 per cubic yard or $5,000 to $60,000+, depending on the amount and type of material dredged and the disposal location.
Dredging removes sediment from the pond's floor to improve the water quality and ecosystem. Methods include mechanical, hydraulic, and suction dredging.
Signs a pond needs dredging include:
Excessive weed growth
Pond becomes very shallow
Murky brown or red water color
Install an aeration device like a fountain or bubbler to circulate and oxygenate the water, reducing sediment that causes the need for dredging.
Pond repair cost factors
Pond repair costs $100 to $300 per hour for a service call, plus materials. Typical pond issues include water loss, liner damage, a clogged pump, poor filtration, burnt-out light bulbs, and cracked or frozen pipes.
|Pump repair||$50 – $400|
|Feature repair||$100 – $1,200|
|Liner repair||$125 – $800|
The main factors affecting repair costs are whether the pond requires draining to find the problem and whether a part is repairable or needs replacing. Other cost factors include:
Labor – Technicians charge $100 to $300 per hour, with a $75 to $250 minimum service call fee. Many companies charge a higher fee for the first hour and a slightly lower rate for each additional hour.
Size & depth – Larger ponds require more powerful equipment, which costs more to replace.
Indoor or outdoor pond – Outdoor ponds are exposed to the elements and accumulate fallen and windblown debris, increasing maintenance needs.
Pond type – Repairing a fishing pond may require relocating the fish temporarily, increasing time and labor.
Liner type – Replacing a plastic or rubber pond liner costs $0.30 to $1.10+ per square foot for the material alone. A plastic or rubber pond liner costs less to replace than a concrete liner.
Accessibility – Problems with buried or difficult-to-access equipment and features require more time to diagnose and fix.
Condition – Diagnosing the issue is quicker and easier in a well-maintained pond than in a neglected pond with murky water and multiple potential problems.
Water quality – Professional water testing costs $100 to $200. Some pond centers offer free in-store water testing.
Drain and refill – Draining the pond increases labor time and costs. Testing the water after refilling to ensure it is fish and plant safe also adds to the repair cost.
Pressure washing – Pressure washing costs $0.35 to $0.77 per square foot. Most estimates for one-time pond cleaning include pressure washing rocks and gravel.
Electrical – Electricians charge $50 to $130 per hour, plus a $75 call-out fee. Pond pumps use electricity to circulate the water and move it through the filtration system.
Cost to drain and refill a pond
Draining, cleaning, and refilling a pond costs $200 to $3,000+, depending on the size and refill method. Most contractors partially refill the pond with the old pond water to help fish acclimate.
Ponds typically do not require complete draining unless redesigning or upgrading the pond, or if the liner needs replacing.
|Pond size (gallons)||Price to drain & clean||
Price to refill
(from garden hose)
Price to refill
|500 – 1,000||$200 – $500||$2 – $10||$20 – $100|
|1,000 – 1,500||$270 – $720||$4 – $15||$30 – $150|
|1,500 – 2,500||$300 – $750||$6 – $25||$50 – $250|
|2,500 – 3,500||$650 – $900||$10 – $35||$80 – $350|
|3,500 –5,000||$750 – $1,000||$15 – $50||$110 – $500|
|5,000 –7,500||$1,000 – $1,500||$20 – $75||$150 – $750|
|7,500 –10,000+||$1,300 – $2,000+||$30 – $100+||$230 – $1,000+|
*Most water delivery services have a one-truckload minimum (6,000 gallons).
In comparison, a new pond costs $2,900 to $15,600 with professional installation.
Pond removal costs
Pond removal costs depend on the size, type, and location. Ponds without a bottom drain require a pump to remove the water, costing $50 to $150+.
Pond removal costs may increase if:
Fish and wildlife require relocation.
The pond liner is concrete and requires a jackhammer.
The removal affects public property or a public water source and requires a permit.
Topsoil or fill dirt costs $5 to $50 per cubic yard plus $200 to $400+ for delivery and spreading to fill an empty pond.
Pond feature maintenance costs
Pond feature maintenance costs $250 to $2,700+ per year, depending on the size and type. Outdoor pond features are subject to the same elements as the pond and need similar maintenance—regular debris removal, filter cleaning, and water quality monitoring.
|Water feature size||Average yearly maintenance cost|
|Small||$250 – $800|
|Medium||$600 – $1,500|
|Large||$1,300 – $2,700+|
Water features include fountains, waterfalls, cascading waterfalls, and pond-less waterfalls.
A water fountain costs $1,500 to $8,800 installed.
A waterfall costs $4,500 to $13,600 installed.
Pond maintenance tips
Routine DIY maintenance keeps a pond healthy and attractive and may prevent more costly repairs. Weekly or monthly pond maintenance typically includes:
Cleaning filter baskets
Checking the pump and filter to ensure proper functioning
Trimming surrounding plants
Removing debris from the pond surface
Checking the water level and adding water if needed
Testing the pH level and adjusting if needed
Adding beneficial bacteria to break down and remove waste, keeping the water clear
How much maintenance does a pond need?
Most ponds need 10 to 30 minutes per week of basic DIY maintenance to reduce the pond's overall maintenance needs. Experts recommend a more extensive cleaning at least once a year.
What cleaning chemicals are safe for my pond?
Most cleaning chemicals are unsafe for fish, wildlife, and humans, and some are restricted in many states. Natural pond cleaning products like barley grass and beneficial bacteria-based solutions are safe and effective alternatives for controlling most algae forms.
Can a pond be cleaned without draining it?
Yes, a pond can be cleaned without draining it. Completely draining a pond removes beneficial bacteria and may disrupt the pond's natural ecosystem, making it more challenging to maintain. However, murky ponds may benefit from a partial water change.
How long does it take to clean a pond?
Cleaning a pond takes 3 to 6 hours on average, depending on the size, type, and condition. Cleaning an exceptionally large or neglected pond may take several days.
Can I maintain my pond without hiring a professional?
Yes, you can maintain your pond without hiring a professional. Routine maintenance takes less than 30 minutes, keeps the water clear, preserves fish and plant health, and reduces the need for a major pond cleanout.
Consider hiring a professional for more extensive seasonal cleaning or if experiencing serious issues like extremely murky water or dying fish.
Getting quotes from pond cleaning services
Before hiring a pond maintenance service, be sure to:
Get referrals from friends, neighbors, or co-workers who have ponds.
Ask for local references with contact information.
Check their reviews on HomeGuide and Google.
Confirm the business is licensed, bonded, and insured.
Get at least three itemized estimates to compare.
Avoid going with the lowest quote as quality may suffer.
Questions to ask
Are you licensed, bonded, and insured?
What experience do you have maintaining ponds?
Can you provide local references?
Do you need to drain the pond?
What is included with the estimate?
Does the estimate include water testing?
Do you include water features in your maintenance pricing?
What do you use to clean your tools and equipment between jobs?
How long will the maintenance or repair take?
Is there a warranty? If so, what does it include?