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How to use a pond vac

Updated February 21, 2019

Outdoor ponds offer a relaxing and beautiful element to many backyard gardens. Although beautiful when well maintained, these ponds can accumulate muck and sludge, turning them into an eyesore. A pond vacuum is a specialised piece of equipment designed to remove sludge from outdoor ponds easily. The machine is similar to a shop vacuum that is designed for use in water.

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  1. Set up the pond vacuum at least 6 1/2 feet from the pond. Stand the vacuum firmly upright and place it as close to the water level as possible.

  2. Place the discharge hose in an area where the sludge can be disposed of without causing an extra mess, such as into a woods or shrubbery. Position the discharge hose on a slightly downward incline, if possible.

  3. Connect the machine to a main power source. Use an extension cord, if necessary.

  4. Insert one of the nozzles into the pond. Consult the owner's manual to determine the size of the nozzle required for the job.

  5. Turn the machine on using the switch located on the main unit. Vacuum the pond in slow, even movements --- much like you would vacuum the bottom of a swimming pool --- keeping the hose below your waist level.

  6. Turn off the main power switch when you are finished.

  7. Tip

    Pond vacuums come with various nozzle sizes appropriate for the specific types and sizes of particles you need to clean. When the container is full the machine will shut off for 25 seconds, allowing the sludge to run from the discharge hose. After this process occurs, the machine will turn back on and you can resume vacuuming.


    Placing the machine closer than recommended to your pond could result in electrocution or other injury.

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Things You'll Need

  • Pond
  • Pond vacuum
  • Electrical socket
  • Extension cord

About the Author

Amanda Davis began writing in 2010 with work published on various websites. Davis is a dietetic technician, registered, personal trainer and fitness instructor. She has experience working with a variety of ages, fitness levels and medical conditions. She holds a dual Bachelor of Science in exercise science and nutrition from Appalachian State University and is working toward her master's degree in public health. Davis will be a registry eligible dietitian in May 2015.

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