Many of you who have had swimming pools will know what I mean when skimmers are concerned.
Pools are typically designed with some sort of skimmer that is built along the side of the pool in a
strategic location, attached to the pump circulation system and used to remove floating debris (leaves,
trash, organics, etc.) from the surface before it becomes water logged and sinks to the bottom. There is
a door (weir) that floats at the entrance of the skimmer throat and creates a higher velocity over the
surface at that location. This, in turn, draws the debris that is further away than without this weir.
Inside is a basket that collects the debris to be easily removed and emptied.
Well, ponds are no different and I would make the argument skimmers are even more important when you are talking about biological needs and organic loads. The more debris that can be removed from the surface before it has a chance to fall to the bottom and decompose the less organic load is placed on the entire biological system. Another advantage with a pond skimmer is that, because the submersible pond pump is typically housed inside the skimmer, you cannot hear the pump running or have to find a place to hide it in the landscape. Also, in the case a leak in the waterfall materializes, the water in the pond can only drop to the bottom of the skimmer throat thus saving your loved koi or fish. Worst case scenario you have to replace your pump but your fish are still safe.
Many manufacturers provide skimmers to the marketplace.
Regardless of what is installed, a pond without one, in my opinion, is like a car without wheels…a failing proposition! However, many skimmers have small baskets or surface area to collect debris which can create the need to empty more often and not be able to accommodate larger flow rates. In my 26 years of business my company has rebuilt hundreds of features originally built by others using other manufacturer products. That experience has shown that the Aquascape Signature Series 1000 skimmer is the best product on the market today. It has an adjustable weir plate and can handle 10,000 + gph flow. The basket is huge and the built in handle makes it easy to remove and clean. It is also large enough for two pumps to be installed.
See how skimmer works, also easy is to maintain and service.
One last note
On skimmers when dealing with large systems or high debris locations. Sometimes adding many skimmers to a large system just doesn’t make sense so Intake Bays can be an even better solution
for keeping surface debris moving onto beach areas to be raked up and removed. Intake Bays can be constructed with large weir areas to handle large flow rates and extreme debris loads. Because these systems are fabricated and constructed onsite I would recommend they are installed by a competent contractor that has had experience building them.
Unfortunately, I still find many ponds being built today without skimmers and it boggles my mind! If you are a homeowner building your own pond spend the extra money and install a quality skimmer. You won’t be disappointed. If you are a pond contractor do the right thing. You should know better.