Technical Help / Orders (509)-586-1945  

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Kennewick Wa. 99336

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Need Help in Designing Your Next Pond? We Offer Design and Consultation Services to Help You Avoid Costly Problems. Call 509-586-1945 (or E Mail Your Request) and Talk to One of Our Design Consultants.

Energy Saving Pond Designs Energy Saving Pumps Filter Design
Air Pumps and Aeration Winter De-Icing UV Sterilizers
Energy Related Data Heating and Cooling Systems


  Energy Saving Pond Designs   

Proper pond design should always start with consideration of how water will flow from one portion of the pond system to another until eventually returned to the beginning point. Usually we would consider the highest elevation in your pond as the beginning point, ie a waterfall, tank which overflows, filter, etc. The water may flow out of a waterfall, down a stream, and into the pond. The pump will draw water from the pond, pump it through a filter, UV sterilizer, and up to the waterfall to repeat the process.

With this flow path, there are several places where your design can affect your energy consumption. Consider the following:

1.    Static Height: The height of the waterfall above the ponds surface is referred to as the static head of the pump if we assume that the pump is at ground level or below the pond level. A low head pump will pump it's maximum flow when there is the least amount of resistance to flow. Resistance to flow is caused by the static head or the height above the pump to where the water will be moved to. This resistance to flow naturally will reduce the flow from the pump to the waterfall. Reduce the height of the waterfall and your pumps flow will increase. Pump efficiency measured in GPM per amp (GPA) will increase accordingly. 

2.    Line Losses: Resistance to flow is also cause by line losses (friction losses) in the pipe, elbows, fittings, filters and UV sterilizers, etc. Reduce the line losses by eliminating unnecessary fittings or replace them with less restrictive ones, ie. 90 degree elbows cause greater line losses than 45 degree elbows, while flex pipe may cause even less losses. When pumping the water long distances, go with larger pipe (large pipe is way cheaper than the energy required to pump through smaller pipe). 3" or 4" pipe is less restrictive and thus more efficient than 1 1/2 or 2" when traveling long distances (30 ft or more).

3.    Filters: When cost allows, select an energy efficient low head bio-filter such as the Aquadyne with blower. Never use cartridge filters as flow is restricted so much that you may have to use a high head pump. When cost allows, choose a larger filter to reduce filter pressure losses (large filters allow higher flow rates, or lower flow rates at less pressure which saves energy). Note that when pumping through a filter or restricted system, doubling the flow rate may increase the system pressure by almost 4 times, or conversely, reducing the flow rate by half or doubling the size of the filter may reduce the back pressure by 3 to 4 times (bigger is better when talking about filters and energy usage).

4.    UV FILTER PHOTO                            

 UV Sterilizers: Choose a UV which has the least possible flow restriction to minimize pressure and line losses. This might mean that instead of choosing a single 160 watt unit with a single 2" inlet and outlet, you might install either two 80 watt units with two 2" inlets and two 2" outlets and flow paths. You might even choose four 40 watt units to ensure even less flow resistance. Never choose a unit with less than 2" inlets or outlets when operating an energy efficient pump with flows greater than 1000 gph. UV sterilizers use very little energy to operate as shown by the wattage of the unit. They may pay for themselves in the long run by allowing your filter to run more efficiently by operating longer between backwashes. They are definitely money well spent! 

5.    Water Makeup Sources: If you are designing a new pond as part of a new home project, it may be wise to consider an additional option for your pond system as I did. A water source heat pump has the advantage of offering about the lowest cost of heating and cooling, along with the additional benefit of water that becomes available for a pond or water feature. Normally this is a problem which a home builder might sweat about, but for a pond person all of that free water can offer a way of constantly replacing dirty pond water with fresh, clean, non-chlorinated water from a well. This reduces temperature swings in the pond, improves water quality, and saves energy (heating and cooling from a water source heat pump may cost 1/3 or less than from other heating and cooling sources! (ie from an air source system or radiant heating). Improved fish health and decreased pond maintenance would make this worth while even if you didn't save all of that money!


Energy Efficient Pumps: Low head pumps, when properly matched with low head bio-filters and waterfalls of modest height, can save 75% or more of the energy which would be used to operate an improperly designed system. 


7.    Winterizing your pond: When trying to decide how to winterize your pond in the northern climates, you may be able to protect piping with insulation as long as you maintain constant flow through the pipes. Smaller floating de-icers may be able to keep a hole open in the ice and make it unnecessary to heat the whole pond (I personally have had great success in using these floating deicers).


  Energy Saving Pumps   
10-KJ27000LH.JPG (48322 bytes)

Of all energy consuming devices used in your pond or aquaculture system, your pump is probably the one piece of hardware which you can change and thereby save the most energy. High horsepower pumps are commonly being used with in-efficient filters, high waterfalls, etc. and consequently may draw 15 to 20 amps, while as little as 3-4 amps will do the job required. As seen by the energy charts below, this can easily save thousands of dollars in very little time (a few months or more).  

Low head pumps, when properly matched with low head bio-filters and modest waterfalls, can save 75% or more of the energy which would be used to operate an improperly designed system. 


  Energy Saving Filters   

Aquadyne bio-filters are currently the lowest pressure filters available of their type. Their method of backwashing (air blower) allows use of the most energy efficient pumps available, the Superfalls pumps with efficiency of up to 50 GPA (50 gpm per amp). When used with it's blower, this filter operates with very little back pressure, but backwashes very well when required. 

Other energy efficient filters available are those large filters which operate by gravity flow. There are several designs available, most of which are large, and most often designed by the owner, and built of concrete, steel, or fiberglass. Typically, these filters consist of a box or tank, which may contain gravel supported by a grate, or filter mat, into which the water is pumped. Water normally flows through the filter media by gravity flow before being discharged back to the pond. Unfortunately, these are often designed such that they are not easily cleaned or maintained. Filters of this type can me made to use our Megalyte bio-media or our roll filter media. 




  Energy Saving with Air Pumps   



 Linear air compressors   offer high flow along with quiet, long lasting operation in an energy efficient mode. This air pump is a good choice for saving energy when intended for continuous operation. They also offer the very lowest cost for pumping air to a pond, and winterizing your pond to keep a hole open in the ice. A reasonably sized hole can be maintained in the ice using a DB40L Superpond Linear air pump which draws as little as 44 watts of power per hour, or half of that used by a light bulb. Compare that with a pond de-icer at 1500 watts!



  Energy Related Data   

Utility Electrical cost per kwhr

This table shows annual energy consumption and operating costs for a pump, or savings in kwhr and dollars when one pump is replaced with another more efficient pump. Compare old pump vs. new pump to determine the difference in amps. Locate your utility rate at left, then move over to the column that reflects your amp difference, to determine your approximate annual savings (actual consumption and savings depends on line voltage, power factor, etc.).

To determine annual operating cost, use the column with the amps of the pump in use, go down to the row which corresponds to your utility rate to find annual operating cost of your pump at 115 volts (double this amount if pump is operating at 230volts).

 Note: To use this table for pumps running on 230 volts, you must double the amps to convert to amps at 115 volts. example: You are replacing a pump which draws 12 amps at 230 volts (12 x 2 = 24 amps at 115 volts), with one which draws 6 amps at 230 volts (6 x 2 = 12 amps at 115 volts). You will use the 12 amp column (24 amps - 12 amps = 12 amps) to determine your savings. If your utility rate is $0.25 per kwhr, you would save approximately $3,030 per year. Just remember to double the amps on any motor that runs on 230 volts to accurately determine the kwhr and dollar savings from this table.

Table below assumes that the compared pumps are operated at 115 volts.

2 amps saved or  used

4 amps saved or  used

6 amps saved or  used

8 amps saved or  used

10 amps saved or  used

12 amps saved or  used


2,015 kwhr ($101)

4,030 kwhr ($202)

6,045 kwhr ($303)

8,059 kwhr ($404)

10,075 kwhr ($505)

12,090 kwhr ($606)


2,015 kwhr ($202)

4,030 kwhr ($404)

6,045 kwhr ($606)

8,059 kwhr ($808)

10,075 kwhr ($1,010)

12,090 kwhr ($1212)


2,015 kwhr ($303)

4,030 kwhr ($606)

6,045 kwhr ($909)

8,059 kwhr (1212)

10,075 kwhr ($1515)

12,090 kwhr ($1818)


2,015 kwhr ($404)

4,030 kwhr ($808)

6,045 kwhr ($1212)

8,059 kwhr ($1616)

10,075 kwhr ($2020)

12,090 kwhr ($2424)


2,015 kwhr ($505)

4,030 kwhr ($1,010)

6,045 kwhr ($1515)

8,059 kwhr ($2020)

10,075 kwhr ($2525)

12,090 kwhr ($3030)


2,015 kwhr ($606)   4,030 kwhr ($1,212)   6,045 kwhr ($1818)   8,059 kwhr ($2424)   10,075 kwhr (3030) 12,090 kwhr ($3636)
$0.35* 2,015 kwhr ($707) 4,030 kwhr ($1,414)   6,045 kwhr ($2121)   8,059 kwhr ($2828)   10,075 kwhr ($3535)   12,090 kwh ($4242)

Current utility rate being charged by some California utilities and other areas within the US.

amps - electrical current required to operate motor and carry load, normally stamped on motor. Can be used to compare efficiency of one motor vs. another as long as both operate at same voltage, ie. 115 volts or 230 volts. To use table above, double the amps on any motor running at 230 volts.

watts, kilowatts - Actual power used by motor or equipment to perform work, such as moving large amounts of water from one place to another. Watts can be calculated by:  amps x volts = watts or 1 amp x 115 volts = 115 watts. Note that kilo means thousand and therefore, one kilowatt-hour (amount of electricity we are actually charged for by our utility company) is one thousand watts for one hour. In the above example, changing pumps to one which saves one amp, would save you 1,150 watts or 1.15  kwhr over a 10 hour period. Amount of dollar savings depends on what you pay to your utility as shown on left of table above.

horsepower - a power rating for the motor which describes the power capability of the motor, not necessarily the power being produced. A 1/4 hp motor can be coupled to a small pump and may only be performing the work of a 1/10 hp (or even smaller) motor. The important thing is that the motor is large enough to handle the work required, but not too large as to consume too much energy such as is the case with most pond or pool pumps. A two speed pump actually has two horsepower ratings. A 2 hp 2 speed pump will operate at up to 2 hp when in high speed, but would be operating at 1/4 hp when in low speed. 

Your energy savings will pay for your new Superfalls TM pumps!


 Technical Help / Orders (509)-586-1945  

Orders only 1-800-497-3627 24 hours a day


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