Opening of the Historic Chapman’s Millrace

mill & school kidsThe Historic Chapman’s Millrace was unveiled at the San Gabriel Mission this week on Tuesday Sept. 24, 2013.

The historic Millrace was originally designed by an ex-pirate and prisoner named Joseph Chapman in the early eighteen hundreds. Which in turn “supplied the mission with water for crops, making it a very successful california mission archeologist John Dietler said,” as per Pasadena Star-News.

On Tuesday, city leaders and residents gathered to witness the opening of the Millrace as a monument in the Plaza Park just outside of the San Gabriel Mission. Jon Rasmussen of the Pond Company flipped on the switch to make this historic water-way have water flowing through it once again.

Father Bruce Wellems spoke on behalf of the restoration of the historic water channel, and mentioned owner of the Pond Company, Jon C. Rasmussen, who was the man in charge of bringing the historic artifact to life. This fantastic piece of history is now a 20-foot, 15-ton section of a waterway, as well as a “cornerstone of the thriving agricultural community centered on the San Gabriel Mission,” said by the Pasadena Star News. The Pond Company’s restoration of the millrace included installing a pump, plumbing for the recirculation and biological filter system, as well as an automatic filling device for it to function and cycling of the water through this historic section of sluice as it had almost 200 years ago.Jon, arch & artist


Echo Park Lake Algae Clean-up


Echo Park Lake was originally created in the 1860’s as a reservoir for drinking water, But you sure wouldn’t want to be drinking the water anytime soon!

Today, Echo Park Lake Functions mainly as a basin for the City’s storm drain system, as well as it provides for recreational activities and wildlife habitats. Not to mention, there is an incredible amount of algae that grows abundant in the water of Echo Park.

The City of Los Angeles funded a Clean-up for Echo Park, a a two-year renovation costing 45 million dollars. Some of the major changes included new plantings of water Lilies, and lotus plants, as well as removal of the algae from the water. The Pond Company was assigned as part of the clean-up crew for an over-seeing of the constructing of plant protection as well as the algae clean-up. The once murky and dirty water has been transformed into a gorgeous display of lilies, wetlands and the fantastic blooming lotus. On June 15, 2013 a grand opening was held for Echo Park Lake, when it became officially open to the public. Crowds of people flooded into the park to to witness the long-awaited opening of Echo Park Lake.


Methods of the clean-up included hand removing the algae and rolling it into ball shapes to be taken out. Wheelbarrow loads of algae have since been removed from the Echo Park Lake. On the left Jon Rasmussen of the Pond Company is carrying a heavy load of algae removed from the water hawthorne and water lily beds.

Is my pond losing water- part 2 – Splash

Is my pond losing water? part 2If you have waterfalls or a fountain in your pond you can lose water from your pond when the water is splashed out.

An unchecked splash can be like a slow dripping faucet. A slow dripping faucet can lose 5 to 10 gallons of water per day, 20 to 30 gallons for a fast dripping faucet. Imagine what a waterfall or fountain that splashes is wasting. If you can see any kind of water escaping (sometimes its hidden from sight), it will add up very quickly into a sizable amount of water.  There are repairs, adjustments, and many other things that we have found over the years to avoid all of this water loss and help lower your excessive water bill.

Remember whether its from evaporation, or splashed water, some water lose is normal, but make sure your pond or fountain is not losing too much.

Is my pond losing water? part one-Evaporation

This picture shows a loss of 1/6" per day

This picture shows a loss of 1/6″ per day

If the water level in your pond keeps dropping, you need to figure out if it’s just evaporation, or if your pond is leaking.

On a hot summer day your pond can evaporate up to 1/4 ” per day (approximately 2″ per week). This is normal.

Evaporation happens when water heats to the point that it turns to gas.

If you add water you need to be careful, regular tap water has chlorine that can harm your fish. You need to use Dechlor or other water treatment to remove the chlorine.

If you think your pond is losing too much water, you should definitely have it checked for leaks. A very small leak can become a nightmare very quickly.

There are a lot of considerations as to what can cause your pond to lose water. Is your pond in direct sunlight all day? Is there a fountain or waterfall where water is being splashed out of your pond? Do you live in an arid location and hot air blows across your pond? Is your pond exposed to any kinds of extreme elements? Do you have plants in the pond that are drawing in a lot of water?

The photograph below shows evaporation in one of our ponds in an area where there isn’t a lot of morning sun, but full mid day sun and the evaporation has been 1/7 of an inch per day.

About Algae

AlgaeIn any pond, algae is always present. It is natural and good to have algae in any organic water body. Keep in mind that algae is a plant that Mother Nature uses in the following way:

Here’s what happens

Your fish eat food, which they then turn to waste.

That waste is ammonia, which is converted biologically to nitrites.

Via the nitrogen cycle the nitrites are turned into nitrates (a fertilizer).

The nitrates feed the pond plants. Remember that algae is a plant, thus if there are no other plants in the pond, or a limited number of aquatic plants in the pond, the algae will grow to “pick up the slack”. – This may be why you have an algae boom; a green pond.

See: green

Fish Dying from the Heat

Fish dying from the heatThere are reports all over the internet about fish dying from the heat in the Midwest. See…of-fish-die-in-the-midwest-due…/deadfish

What happened was that the heat caused the water levels to drop, then the water that was left heated up to a degree that the fish could not handle, and so they died.

So the question is, should you be concerned about your fish in the Heat. The answer is: You should always be aware of your fish and if you notice any different behavior from them, take action.

If you notice that the water in your pond water is getting lower, you need to add more. But DON’T ADD WATER FROM THE HOSE by itself. Water from the hose or tap contains chlorine, which can kill your fish. Water added to a pond should be treated with Dechlor or similar product to remove the chlorine. Our regular customers can order a bottle of Dechlor by phone or e-mail and we can deliver on your next maintenance schedule day.

The bigger fish in a pond are usually the most effected by changes in weather and pond water.