How Much Does Pond Maintenance Cost in 2024?

Pond maintenance typically costs from $810 to $2,625 per year, or $170 to $450 per month for monthly plans.

Good quality pond design simplifies pond maintenance a lot. But crystal-clear water, beautiful aquatic plants, and healthy fish still require cleaning from time to time. Professional pond maintenance costs from $810 to $2,625 annually, with an average of $1,750. Pricing varies with pond size, condition, type, and location. So, you can end up paying as low as $450 to keep a small pond clean, while the cost to maintain a large pond can reach $5,000 a year.

Regular pond maintenance plans cost $170 to $450 per month and can go up to $600 for larger ponds. With these packages, pond cleaners come one to four times a month and:

  • Empty the skimmer basket
  • Prune dying plants
  • Trim overgrown pond plants
  • Check water quality and level
  • Put in additives to keep the water clear and clean

Spring cleanout, fall closing, and winterizing start at $850 to $900. If you haven’t cleaned the pond for a couple of years, expect prices to start at $1,000.

You can deep clean your pond DIY if you want to save money, but it’s more complex than you think. We talk about the costs of DIY and professional cleaning in detail in this guide.

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Average Annual Pond Maintenance Costs in 2024

National Average Cost$1,750
Typical Price Range$810 – $2,625
Extreme Low-End Cost$450
Extreme High-End Cost$5,000

We estimated the typical prices for annual pond upkeep with 2 to 4 visits per year, considering midsized backyard ponds. Keep in mind that pond maintenance fees vary widely with the pond’s condition and features.

Low-cost options are usually available for:

  • Small, simple ponds with just a few plants and no waterfalls
  • Well-maintained, easy-to-clean ponds
  • A mix of DIY maintenance and one or two professional cleanups

Pond maintenance gets expensive when:

  • The pond is large and rich in aquatic plants and fish
  • Sediments and debris have not been removed for a few years 
  • Pond equipment requires extensive repairs
  • There are a lot of rocks and gravel to rearrange

Pond Maintenance Cost Estimator by Size

It costs $450 to $5,000 per year to keep a pond clean, and the size of your pond is the first factor to consider when estimating maintenance costs. See below how prices vary with size.

Project Size Average overall cost 
Small Pond$450 to $950
Medium Pond$950 to $1,500
Large Pond$1,550 to $2,750
Very Large Pond$2,750 to $5,000+

Small Pond Maintenance

Small ponds under 100 square feet or 700 gallons of water are charming and easy to clean. The average annual cost to maintain such a pond is $450 to $950.

Medium Pond Maintenance

Homeowners with a 100 to 200-square-foot pond in their yard can expect to pay $950 to $1,500 per year for maintenance. You can save money by doing some tasks yourself, such as:

  • Removing debris and leaves periodically
  • Cleaning the skimmer at least once a week

Large Pond Maintenance

Maintenance services for large ponds of 200 to 350 square feet and over 2,500 gallons of water cost $1,550 to $2,750. If you had enough space for a pond over 350 square feet, the price could go up to $5,000 per year.

Pond Cleaning Services Cost by Hour

Some pond contractors have fixed rates for different pond sizes, while others use an hourly fee. The price of a man-hour ranges from $140 to $225 and does not include products such as:

  • Pond nets 
  • Net installation accessories 
  • Pond aerators 
  • Pond heaters

Most pond maintenance companies cover the cost of chemical cleaners and pond additives. Here are some estimated durations for three popular types of pond cleaning:

Filter change1 – 3 man-hours
Drain & Clean6 – 8 man-hours
Exploratory Drain & Clean10+ man-hours

Note: Cleaning time varies with the size of the pond and its condition.

Pond Maintenance Price per Month

You can also choose a monthly plan with one to four visits per month. Most pond contractors charge an average price of $170 to $450 per month, depending on pond size and the number of visits. The price typically covers:

  • Trimming and pruning of pond plants
  • Removing dead flowers and lily pads
  • Checking water quality and adding cleaners and bacteria
  • Cleaning skimmer filter and checking pond pump

Maintenance Costs by Pond Type

Every type of water feature has specific maintenance requirements and costs. Here’s what to expect for:

Koi Pond Maintenance Cost

Maintaining a complex ecosystem pond with koi fish costs $1,000 to $2,000 annually. Koi fish are sensitive to water quality and temperature, so working with a pond contractor for professional cleaning is essential.

Professional koi pond maintenance visits can be a lot shorter, easier, and cheaper if you keep up with basic koi pond maintenance throughout the year.

Garden Pond Maintenance Cost

Pond maintenance visits cost $140 to $225 per man-hour. Garden ponds are smaller, have simpler landscaping, and are easier to clean. You can easily end up with the lowest fee available for a one-hour visit.

Swimming Pool Maintenance Cost

Keeping a classic swimming pool clean costs $80 – $185 a month or about $1,430 per year. A natural pool is less expensive to maintain. Plants, gravel, and sand take care of filtration, and you don’t need to chlorinate the water. 

Artificial Lake and Large Pond Maintenace Cost

The annual cost to maintain a lake or a large pond is $2,500 to $7,350 per acre or $0.60 to $1.80 per square foot. Pricing can rise or fall depending on the quality of the design and how often you decide to clean.

Detention and Retention Pond Maintenance Cost

A maintenance visit for a detention or retention pond starts at $150 but can go over $1,000 for large properties. Such ponds prevent flooding and runoff, so it’s essential for them to be well-maintained by:

  • Keeping vegetation under control
  • Clearing out trash, litter, and debris
  • Stabilizing slopes
  • Removing sediments from the inflow and outflow pipes and the bottom of the basin
  • Checking mechanical equipment

Pondless Waterfall Maintenance Cost

A pondless waterfall might be a better idea for a small backyard, as it is easy to install in any water garden. Upkeep is also more affordable, at $250 to $735 per year.

Other Factors That Affect Cost

Besides the pond size and type, other factors can influence pond maintenance prices, such as:

Pond Condition

Pond maintenance companies offer various services depending on the condition of your pond. The most popular are:

  • Pond Filter Cleaning: For mostly clean ponds 
  • Drain & Clean: For ponds with a visible layer of mud and/or debris
  • Exploratory Drain & Clean: For ponds that have not been cleaned for a few years

Note: Costs given here are for small and medium size ponds, and large ponds typically receive a custom price.

Pond Filter Cleaning 

This is the primary maintenance your pond needs if it is clean enough to see the bottom gravel through the water. It’s typically a 1- or 2-hour job costing $140 to $450 and includes:

  • Aquatic plant trimming and pruning
  • Cleaning the pond filtration system
  • Checking water quality and fish health
  • Removing leaves and other debris from the surface

Drain & Clean

If a compact, muddy, black surface meets your eyes from the bottom of your pond, you need in-depth cleaning. Prices start at $850 – $900 per job and cover pond draining, cleaning, and refilling on top of the filter cleaning service.

Exploratory Drain & Clean

This service is for ponds that were last cleaned at least 2 or 3 years ago. It costs $1,000 to $1,500 for midsized ponds and brings stale and neglected water features back to life. 


Ponds require different interventions during the year, so maintenance services are adapted to the season, including:

  • Spring Cleanout
  • Fall Closing 
  • Winterizing

Spring Cleanout

Spring cleanout prepares the pond for the new season, removing debris gathered during winter and adding fresh water. The average spring cleanout is $950 but varies with pond size and previous upkeep. Most pond owners make this extensive intervention the main pond cleanup of the year.

Fall Closing

Pond contractors offer fall closing services starting at $850 for midsized ponds. Fall closing includes: 

  • Cleaning debris and sediment build up
  • Checking and cleaning filters and equipment
  • Installing a net over the pond to keep falling leaves at bay (the net is paid separately) 


Preparing a pond for winter typically costs about $350. Depending on pond size and condition, you can pay as little as $30 or over $500. Besides a thorough cleanup, winterizing also includes:

  • Emptying the water from the pumps and filtration system
  • Removing pump, skimmer, and filter and putting them into storage
  • Treating water with cold-weather cleaner
  • Installing pond net 

If you have a koi pond or any other type of fish, you’ll also need to install an aerator and a pond heater. They make sure enough oxygen gets in, and toxic gases go out, during winter.

Water Temperature

Opt for partial or total pond draining and refill in the spring or fall. Pond water degrees are closer to tap water temperature, and fish reacclimate faster after refill. With a shorter maintenance visit, you’ll pay less.

Access to Pond Equipment

Pond cleaning teams check the water pump, filters, and pond lights. If these are difficult to access, the service will cost more.

Pond Liner

Cheaper and less resistant liners need more repairs and add extra costs to pond maintenance, especially if installed without underlayment. Keep this in mind during pond construction if you’re still in the planning stage.

Pond Features

A complex, rich pond takes more time to clean, so expect to pay more for maintenance if your pond has the following features:

  • Waterfall
  • Fountain
  • Stream
  • Dense aquatic vegetation
  • Lots of stones and gravel covering the walls
  • Decorative elements (statues, steps, etc.)
  • Trees surrounding the edge

On the other hand, a wetland or a bog filter keeps the water cleaner and simplifies maintenance.

Pond cleaning services are more effective if you clean the entire yard and trim garden vegetation. You also might need to pay for yard debris disposal. Let’s see how much each of these costs.

Debris Disposal

Disposing of yard debris costs $90 to $335. Pond cleaning can result in impressive debris (dead plants, twigs, algae, etc). If you don’t have a place on your property to dispose of it, you’ll need to pay extra to take it to a proper disposal site. 

Yard Clean-up

Wind can take leaves, dirt, and other debris from your lawn and garden into the pond. Consider cleaning your yard before or with the water feature to avoid this. Yard clean-up costs $170 to $375, but you might pair it with pond maintenance and get a discount.

Tree and Bush Trimming

The more untrimmed foliage around your pond, the higher the pond cleaning cost. Trimming trees and bushes costs $315 to $700 per tree or bush. With trees near the house, regular trimming can also save you money on other services, such as:

  • Gutter cleaning
  • Lawn care
  • Roof maintenance and repairs

Pro Cost vs. DIY Cost

As a new or future pond owner, it is natural to ask yourself: Should I clean my pond DIY? And just how much can I save? 

Long story short, you can save about 50%, and the decision is debatable. Let’s start with a rough cost estimate of the equipment and materials you need and continue from there.

DIY Equipment Average Cost
Rubber/Aqua Gloves$15
Safety Goggles$15
Submersible Pump$65
Drain Hose$38
Power Washer$150
Fish Net$25
Pond Net$20
Aeration Kit$55
Pond Vacuum$250
Total DIY Cost for a pond with fish$730

Depending on what equipment you already own, it can cost about $730 to prepare for DIY maintenance. After that, you’ll only buy the pond cleaners and additives, costing roughly $45 – $125 per cleaning. 

DIY MaterialsAverage Costs
Pond Cleaner (to remove persistent sludge)$15 to $40
Pond Bacteria$15 to $60
Dechlorinator$15 to $25
Total Cost of DIY Materials$45 to $125

You can expect to pay $180 to $500 annually for DIY cleaning with four interventions per year. Pros charge $450 to $950 per year for the same type of maintenance, so you can save roughly 50%. 

What’s in the 50% you save? Years of experience and hours of tedious labor. 

Pond cleaning can be difficult and unpleasant. Everything around you and under your feet is wet, slimy, stinky, and cold, especially in the spring and fall. It takes hours or days, and you wouldn’t believe how easy it is to slip on damp stone and gravel. 

It’s also worth remembering that pond contractors know precisely how to:

  • Spot hidden dirt, broken liners, burned light bulbs, and other damages
  • Choose the right chemicals for fish and no-fish ponds 
  • Check water quality and fish health 
  • Treat algae problems
  • Test the equipment and installation
  • Repair most types of damage

Just to be sure you’re on the winning side of this, find a local pond contractor and ask for an estimate before deciding on a DIY cleaning. 

Cost of Pond Maintenance by Location

In hot and humid states, such as Louisiana, Florida, or Texas, pond upkeep can get expensive because:

  • Pond plants and algae tend to grow faster.
  • Runoff and heavy rains throw off water pH.
  • You’ll need to change the water frequently to keep it cool enough for koi fish (between 59 and 77 oF).

Dry states, such as California and Colorado, also pose a challenge because:

  • Shallow, warm water also encourages plants to grow.
  • Liners exposed directly to the sun deteriorate faster and need repairs. 
  • If you have a koi pond or you raise goldfish, summer is all about maintaining water quality and level.

Your location also takes its toll on keeping a pond running. Using a 200 watts pump 24/7 costs about $175 per year in Alabama or Illinois. But it’s up to $300 in California, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. 


How much does it cost to build a pond?

Installing a pond costs $3,680 to $14,500, but pricing varies widely with pond size and type, location, equipment, and landscaping features. For example, the cost to build a koi pond ranges from $5,100 to $15,900. It is more expensive because koi fish ponds have a specific design and must include a good quality filtration system and a safe pond liner for the fish.

You can save some of that money by installing your own backyard pond with our step-by-step guide.

Is a pond a lot of maintenance?

Maintenance depends on pond size and type. Small garden ponds do well with just one professional in-depth cleaning per year. Large fish ponds need 3 or 4 extensive clean-ups yearly, with monthly visits for basic maintenance.

How often should a pond be cleaned?

Most pond owners go for 2 or 3 clean-ups a year: spring clean-out, fall closing, and winterizing. In hot states, a fourth visit in the summer keeps the water quality in a good range. Biological filters need cleaning three times a year, and the skimmer filter at least once a week.

What does it cost to maintain a pond?

The average cost to maintain a pond all year round is $900 to $4,425 per year. Clean-ups are $810 to $2,625, while electricity to run the water pump costs $90 to $1,620, depending on wattage and where you live.

How long does it take to clean a water feature?

Cleaning a water feature can take a few hours to a few days depending on the type, size, and condition. Typically a backyard pond is a one-day job.

How much does it cost to maintain a 1-acre pond?

Maintaining a 1-acre pond costs $2,500 to $7,350 per year, depending on the type of pond, location, and design.

Final Thoughts 

Pond maintenance costs $810 to $2,625 per year and varies with pond size, type, condition, and location. Professional services include draining the water, pressure washing, equipment maintenance, pond refill, and water treatments–all you need for a crystal-clear pond with beautiful plants and healthy fish. Find a pond contractor in your area and see what it would cost to clean your pond today.

Note: LawnStarter may get a referral fee for matching you with contractors in your area.

Main Photo Credit: Nowis / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

Sinziana Spiridon

Sinziana Spiridon

Sinziana Spiridon is an outdoorsy blog writer with a green thumb and a passion for organic gardening. When not writing about weeds, pests, soil, and growing plants, she's tending to her veggie garden and the lovely turf strip in her front yard.