Benefits to Having A Pond

Did you know that ponds have many benefits beyond being a decorative addition to your yard?  Well if you currently have a pond or are thinking of adding one then read up on these 6 benefits to having a pond. 

Visual Aesthetic

Adding beauty to your backyard is one of the most obvious benefits of owning a pond.  A pond can become the focal point for your garden especially when it includes colorful fish and plants. Additional features such as waterfalls, spitters, statues, or rock borders can be pleasing to the eye as well.  Lighting can also set the mood particularly at night.

Auditory Appeal

Close your eyes and listen to the sounds of the ocean, the rain, or running water.  In minutes you are instantly relaxed.  The sound as water filters into and out of your pond creates the same effect as those mentioned above.  The power of the sound of water on the brain is truly amazing.  Besides providing a Zen like mood, water creates a form of sound masking.  Adding a pond will help to create white noise, especially if you have a water feature like a fountain or waterfall, which will help to cancel out the noise of street traffic or loud neighbors.  Point the water feature towards whichever area needs it most, like a bedroom, deck, or kitchen.  Having a planted backdrop surrounding the water feature will reflect and focus the sounds of the water.  

Health/Mental Health Benefits

As we just pointed out, listening to running water is naturally calming.  But building a pond also provides a place of sanctuary- a safe relaxing place to escape from the rest of the world.  This is one of the many mental health benefits to having a pond.  There are other psychological benefits like promoting calmness, focus, creativity, better sleep quality, and something called the blue-mind, coined by Wallace J. Nichols.  Water has an effect on the brain to the likes of meditation.  It gives you a Zen-like calm feeling, ultimately reducing stress and anxiety.  In addition, water, in all forms, releases negatively charged ions into the air, which combats free radicals and purifies the air of dust mites, pollen, germs, allergens and pollutants, and in turn keeps your body healthy.  These negative ions are also believed to boost serotonin levels, which relieve stress and depression, and help to increase energy, alertness, and concentration. 

Financial Incentives

Ponds can actually be a way to save money.  An attractive effect of having a pond is that it can serve as outdoor air conditioning.  When water evaporates off the pond’s surface, the process reduces heat, which naturally cools the surrounding area.  This evaporative cooling is greatly appreciated, especially when temperatures are high and humidity is low, so you can enjoy being outdoors instead of being inside with the AC cranked up high.  Your wallet will thank you as well because it will help to keep those electricity bills down.  Another benefit to having a pond is to create a natural reservoir if you experience a lower-than-normal season of rainfall.  By positioning your drainpipes from your rooftop to empty directly into your pond, you create natural water conservation.  Another utilitarian use of ponds is that they provide water storage.  Having clean freshwater available in case of an emergency will help bring peace of mind. A well-designed pond can also be a way of dealing with soggy spots or rain runoff in a backyard.  The pond also can be used to water plants in your yard during a drought, dry season, or after a frozen winter.  Simply dip a watering can into the pond to care for other soil-based plants around your house and yard.  All of this water conservation ultimately offers an alternative benefit: lower utility costs, especially in the months with hotter-than-usual temperatures.

Environmental Benefits

The greatest benefit of all may be how ponds enhance the environment.  Not only is water conservation a financial benefit but it helps the environment as well.  Gallons of water are used each month in the care of lawns and plants but having a pond cuts down on that water usage.  Once a pond is initially filled, it virtually waters itself by re-filling with rainwater.  They occasionally need to be topped off or are in need of a partial water change, but ponds rely mostly on natural sources of water to maintain a healthy ecosystem.  The moisture provided by a pond can be helpful to nearby plants by offering a self-sustaining cycle of hydration that keeps plants alive without having to water.  This helps to maintain soil moisture during the hottest days of summer.  And when you build a pond it takes up a nice portion of your yard requiring less mowing, which emits fewer pollutants into the air.  This also means fewer pesticides and fertilizers are used for lawn care.  These products can be harmful creating toxic runoff that ends up in our water supply.  But adding a pond or water garden to your backyard not only can save you money on fertilizer, reduce air pollution, and water toxicity––the sludge collected by your pond filter is a natural fertilizer that can be used to feed your landscape.  A major benefit of a pond is that is indirectly supports wildlife that has grown scarce in the suburban parts of the country.  Ponds provide sanctuary by offering food, water, shelter, and a place for breeding of indigenous wildlife like dragonflies, frogs, and birds.  Include some plants that are native to your area, in and around your pond, as these often provide the best sources of food and cover for native wildlife. 

Education & Interaction

A garden pond can provide an area of relaxation while providing interaction and education. Watching as wildlife breed and survive can inspire children and older individuals to find out more about the natural world and their relationship with it.  This creates environmental awareness and getting kids involved in the process of planning, building, and maintaining a pond or water garden can help them understand how a complete, natural ecosystem works. It can also help teach children about the responsibility we all have for caring for our environment, which can arouse their interest or passion in creating a better future for our planet.