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How can I stop my pond smelling?

John Conlin / 08 September 2017

A garden pond is smelling strongly of rotten eggs, but chartered surveyor John Conlin has a natural solution.

Small garden pond with water lilies growing on it, surrounded by shrubs and lawns.
Discover how a barbeque essential could fix unpleasant smells from your pond.

Question

We have a natural pond in our garden that smells strongly of rotten eggs. 

The local aquatic centre suggested installing a pump and filter system for about £450. 

Is there a less costly solution? 

Pond care, cleaning and maintenance in the summer.

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Answer

The smell is almost certainly hydrogen sulphide gas, produced during the decomposition of dead plant matter. 

Charcoal is an efficient purifying material. Try adding lumpwood barbeque charcoal (don’t use briquettes). 

For a 9m (30ft) diameter pond about 1.2m (4ft) deep, 15kg (33lb) well distributed over the surface should be adequate. It will gradually sink as it absorbs impurities.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.