Pump Wars: Differences between Pool, Pond, and Sump

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Many people wonder are aware of pools, ponds, and sumps, but continue to wonder what exactly they are, and how can you tell the difference. Here we will explore what differentiates these three common items.

A swimming pool is an artificial pool used for the express purpose of swimming. A pond, on the other hand, is simply a small body of water that can be formed naturally or manually. A sump is a pit used to collect and store generally undesirable liquids.

Here are some quick and easy ways to differentiate between a Pool, Pond, and Sump. First we will define them, and then observe their key differences


A pool, or swimming pool is used specifically for recreational purposes. They are most commonly found at people’s homes, with over ten million Americans having them in their backyard, but can also be found in hotels, resorts, and country clubs. They are generally quite large, twenty to thirty feet of length on average.


A pond is a body of standing water that can be broken up into two subsets: Naturally occurring and artificial. Natural Ponds are found in nature, and are very diverse in terms of their respective ecosystems. Artificial Ponds tend to be located in the front or back yard of people’s homes, is commonly used for decorative purposes, and tend to provide a place of residence for marine life.


A sump is a low space that collects often undesirable liquids such as contaminated water or chemicals. A sump can also be an infiltration basin used to manage surface runoff water and recharge underground aquifers. Sump can also refer to an area in a cave where an underground flow of water exits the cave into the earth. Sump pumps are used to move water from your basement out of your home.

A sump is a naturally constructed pit, usually a hole carved below the main surface of your basement floor. This pit, known as a basin, holds the sump pump. The pump is equipped with valves that sense escalating water levels or pressure.

When the water gets too high, sump pumps automatically pump excess water out of the basement and away from your property using a discharge line. This line, called an effluent, connects the sump pump to a designated drainage area.

Pro’s and Con’s

Now that we have defined each of these three, let us now observe the respective positives and negatives of each them.


Pros: An Enjoyable amenity, especially during the summer. Social Benefits. Good for your health and personal well being.

Cons: Expensive Maintenance. Safety Concerns. Additional Insurance costs.


Pros: Provides habitat for wildlife in your backyard. Creates a peaceful and wholesome environment for your house. Provides beneficial water supply and ecosystem for the marine and plant life surrounding your pond.

Cons: Can be very expensive. Can be a hassle to consistently check up on the water and plants throughout the year. Also increases the probability of brining in unwanted insects and bugs into the backyard.


Pros: Effective and removing water unwanted water from leaks., and is much more effective than alternative options. Can handle serious disasters, such as massive floods, unlike most other options.

Cons: Cannot work without the aid of electricity, meaning that it cannot help you during a power outage. Generally possess an unattractive and disorderly appearance, especially after being used.

Maintenance required

Another important aspect for us to observe is the maintenance necessary on these items, and the implications that may have on your wallet.

Pool Maintenance

Pools are fantastic to own but are only as enjoyable as the effort put into their maintenance. Here are some steps to keep your pool clean

  • Check the pH and cleanliness of the water

The first and foremost thing to do is check the cleanliness of the water. Inevitably, through rain and wind, foreign chemicals will enter your pool, compromising its cleanliness. Use a pH level testing kit, and check your water level. If the water is too acidic or too base, then you are going to need to intervene.

The appropriate range for a pool is fairly slim, between just 7.2 and 7.6. If your water happens to fall outside of this range, just use a pH increaser or decreaser, and pour the necessary among into your pool (this appropriate ratio should be provided on the label).

After you have fixed the pH levels, the next step is to check on the pool sanitation levels. This generally just requires checking your chlorine levels and adding some more if the levels fall below the recommended one to four parts per million.

Next, pour in some pool cleanser. This will make the water clearer in addition to getting rid of some of the glare from chlorine. Brands such as Pool Essnetialy and Clorox provide many excellent and reasonably priced products for this.

After this has been accomplished, you only have one thing left to add to your pool: Algaecide. This will slow down the buildup of algae in your pool. After this, you are now ready for the next step.

Now that the pool water is clean, it’s now time to remove the bigger, more apparent things in your pool, such as leaves and pieces of dirt. Before we can do this, we need to make sure that the floors and walls of the pool and clean. This is a simple and easy process. Simply take a pool skimmer, and begin scooping up whatever you see in your pool.

This is easiest done by starting on one corner of the pool and working your way across. After this, use a pool brush and make your way across the pool, brushing off any stains that you can see. Now you are ready to begin Vacuuming the pool.

If it is manual, you will need to slowly guide it across the pool. If it is automatic, however, you can simply let it go. These generally take one to six hours, depending on the size of your pool.

  • Check and clean the water filter

To make sure that all the debris is flushed out, you need to backwash it. This is done by turning off the filter and then twisting the valve to the backwash option. To ensure all of the debris is transported far from your pool, it would be wise to connect a hose to the waste port, and then run it to the nearest drain. After this is drained, all we have left is to clean the water filter.

Turn the filter on and run it for a couple of minutes. Next, turn the system off, and twist the valve over to Rinse. Allow this to run for about a minute. After this, turn it off and open up the pressure relief valve. Twist it to the Filter setting, and then let it run.

Once you can observe water exiting the valve, you can now close it. Make sure to record the PSI so you have an idea of what is normal for your pool, and when you’ll need to clean the backwash again.

Expect to spend between $1,200 and $1,800 per year in basic upkeep. Combined with swimming pool repairs and utilities, homeowners can spend as much as $3,000 to $5,000 per year to keep it in good, working condition.

Pond Maintenance

Fortunately, Pond maintenance is much easier than Pool maintenance. It can be broken up into three main steps, choosing the right pump, checking the filtration, and cleaning Debris.

  • Choosing the Right Pump

This is a simple and often overlooked step. All of the water in your pond should be circulated at a rate of one time per hour. So long as this occurs, the pond will stay relatively clean. It is important to know how many gallons of water can be found in your pool, and to find the appropriate corresponding pump.

  • Checking the Filtration

Make sure to consistently check up on your filtration, as it is the key to the cleanliness of your pond. If it is stuffed with debris, take the time to clean it out.

  • Cleaning the Debris

This is a quick and easy fix; simply use your pond net or skipper, and run it along the bottom and sides of your pond.

Yearly maintenance of ponds costs an average of $2,000 for four regular servicing visits during each of the seasons. People pay $450 on the low end and over $5,000 on the high, but the price is heavily subjective and based on the size and complexity of the pond’s environment

Sump Maintenance:

Sumps require the least amount of maintenance, as they simply act as a filter. Depending on how often it is used, every six to eighteen months, remove the pump from the sump and clean it out. Expect to replace the pump about once a year, if it is heavily used. Early maintenance costs $150 to $250.

It is important to schedule regular, professional maintenance to keep your system running smoothly in order to avoid water damage that could result in costly repairs.

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We always wanted a fountain of some kind at our house, but professional installation was just too pricey. So, we decided to make our own little fountain and after learning how, we thought we should share our experiences to help people in our same situation.

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