How To Determine Pond Volumes ... Any Pond Shape and Depth
The basic principle behind pond volume calculation
The fundamental formula is simple .... the volume of any pond is the
surface area multiplied by its average depth. However getting both these numbers
correct can be a major challenge for most of us. The more accurately you know both
average depth and surface area the more accurate your calculation of pond volume will be.
If you have a pond and the depth is not constant you can make a very good
estimate by taking a stick as was shown in the pond
depth article here. In summary this entailed taking 10 different
measurements to calculate an average.
Now that average depth is known, all that is required is to know the area of the
pond surface. Lets assume the pond's surface is rectangular (few are in
practice) the volume of the pond is:
width of rectangle x length of rectangle x average depth.
In another article we'll show you exactly how to get an excellent estimate of
any shaped pond's surface area since few
ponds follow regular shapes like squares, circles and so on. For the time being
it's important to understand the principle since this applies to any situation.
If your pond is of equal depth and the same cross section then you can
accurately measure the pond volume using your pond pump.
Do the following ....
Record the depth of the pond accurately before doing anything else
and make a note ... record this to as close as possible to 1/10th of an inch
or even 1 mm.
Attach a hose to the pond pump and lead the
hose to say a 5 gallons
or 20 litre container.
Fill the container to the known volume mark
... eg 5 gallons or 20 litres and take careful and accurate note of the time
Do not switch off the pump and immediately pump water out of the pond for say 5 minutes
Record the depth after pumping out water for 5
The pond's volume is then calculated as follows:
S = depth of pond in inches or any unit before pumping starts
D = inches or any unit of water pumped out of pond when pumping
for the 5 minutes ...
i.e. difference between start depth and final depth.
T1 = time to fill the container
T2 = time pump was run to pump out water (eg 5
V = volume of container
Volume of pond = (S x V x T2) DIVIDED BY (D x T1)
S = 30 inches
D = 3 inches
T1 = 1 minute
T2 = 10 minutes
V = 3 gallons
Pond volume = (30 x 3 x 10) divided by (3 x 1)
= (900) divided by (3)
= 300 gallons
If container was in gallons then final pond volume is in gallons. If container
was in litres then final pond volume is in litres
It does not matter whether you measure depth in inches or any other units.
Use the pump to pump out water in the same position used to fill the container
and keep pipe in same layout as when you filled the container. In other words
aim for constant conditions of pumping.