Professional cleaning out a backyard pond

Do you own a pond or other type of backyard water feature? Are you wondering what the cost to clean out a pond is?

If so, you’ve come to the right place! This guide explores the cost of cleaning out a pond, including an overview of the average yearly cost by type, cost factors, and common FAQs.

We will consider different types of ponds, such as koi, garden ponds, natural swimming pools, and more. By the end of this guide, you will have all the information you need to clean out your pond cost-effectively or make an informed decision about hiring a professional pond company to do it for you.

The Cost To Clean Out A Pond

So what does it cost to clean out a pond? Per Home Advisor, a single cleaning typically costs between $450 and $1,000 on average, though it can go as high as $5,000. However, we should note that the cost to clean out a pond varies based on multiple factors, including location, size, time of year, and overall condition of the pond.

The quality of the pond cleaning job can also affect the total cost. Some lower-tier pond cleaning companies will charge less but may not clean your pond as thoroughly as a higher-tier pond company. Here at Amen Corner Ponds, we pride ourselves on providing a high-quality pond cleaning job that includes a report on the status and health of your pond. You can see more details about everything we do during a pond cleaning and our pricing tiers here.

Average Yearly Cost To Clean Out A Pond

The average yearly cost to clean out a pond is approximately $2,000, which includes 4 pond-cleaning sessions. (All cost data compiled from Home Advisor unless otherwise stated.)

However, as noted above, every pond is unique, and the size and complexity of your pond can significantly change the total cost of your cleaning. Some people may pay as little as $250 per cleaning session (or $1,000 per year), while others may pay in excess of $5,000 for a yearly cleaning package.

Pond Cleaning Cost By Type

Koi pond with a waterfall

Keep in mind that the average costs for each of these pond types can change based on location, size, fish, type of cleaning, and the kinds of chemicals used.

Koi Pond

Koi ponds typically require more maintenance than other types of ponds. A koi pond cleaning costs around $500 to $1,500 on average. But the various factors cited above can increase or decrease the total cost of keeping a koi pond clean.

Small Fish Pond

The cost to clean out a small fish pond typically doesn’t go above $1,200. However, if you use fish-safe chemicals, that will typically add $100 to $200 to the total pond cleaning cost.

Garden Pond

Garden ponds, or water gardens, feature a variety of aquatic plants and may also be home to small fish or other aquatic life. Like most pond types, the average cost to clean out a garden pond ranges from $450 to $5,000. But you can expect to add anywhere from $50 to $100 to your total cost due to the use of plant-safe chemicals.

Natural Swimming Pool

A natural swimming pool is a type of pond that is designed to be used for swimming and is typically made with natural materials and aquatic plants to filter the water. Like fish and garden ponds, you can expect to pay an additional $100 to $200 for the use of cleaning products that are safe for humans, plants, and fish.

Large Ponds

Large ponds are used for various purposes, but their large size means they will cost more to clean out. Generally speaking, you can determine the cost to clean out a large pond by calculating the total square footage and multiplying that by $1.70 to $2.50. For example, cleaning a 2,000-square-foot pond will cost between $3,400 and $5,000.

Detention/Retention Ponds

These types of ponds are designed to store and filter stormwater runoff and may be found in public parks or residential neighborhoods. The cost to clean a detention or retention pond also ranges from $450 to $5,000, based on size and condition.

DIY Cleaning Cost versus Professional Pond Cleaning Cost

DIY cleaning a pond

You may be able to save money by cleaning your pond yourself, but be warned: it can be a time-consuming and labor-intensive task!

DIY cleaning: If you decide to tackle the job yourself, you may need to purchase additional equipment, such as a pond vacuum, pond skimmer, dredge pump, and chemicals to treat the water. DIY pond owners can usually find algaecides and muck removers for around $40 to $80. If you have koi or other types of fish, you may also need specialized equipment to remove and safely store them during the cleaning process.

On the other hand, hiring a professional pond cleaning service can save you time and ensure that the job is done properly.

Professional pond cleaning: Professional pond cleaners have all the necessary equipment and expertise to properly clean and maintain your pond. They also have experience with using the correct type and amount of cleaners to ensure your koi fish and backyard pond ecosystem are not harmed. They can also identify potential issues with your pond and recommend preventative measures before they become more serious problems later down the line.

If more rigorous work is needed, such as dredging, they have the equipment and expertise to handle that as well. Professional pond cleaners usually charge between $1.70 and $2.50 per square foot for pond dredging.

Cost Factors For Pond Cleanings

Several factors need to be taken into account when trying to determine how much it will cost you to clean out your pond. It’s important to understand these factors so you can budget appropriately and make informed decisions about the care of your pond.

Pond Size

The size of your pond can have a significant impact on the cost of cleaning. Many companies won’t give you a cleaning price quote based solely on size without first assessing the condition of the pond. Generally speaking, though, larger ponds will require more time and resources to clean, resulting in higher costs.

How Much You Maintain It

How much you have kept up on regular pond maintenance can also affect the cost of cleaning. If you regularly skim your pond and clean the filters, the cost to clean out pond debris and grime will likely be lower because there will be less of it to remove.


The time of year can also affect the cost of pond cleaning. For example, during the warmer months, algae blooms tend to be more prevalent, so it may cost more to clean out the algae. Similarly, during the colder months, there are special winterization processes that may need to be done along with the cleaning.


The type of liner you have in your pond can also impact the cost of cleaning. Some liners are more prone to tearing and may require special equipment or techniques, resulting in higher costs. Others are susceptible to damage from certain cleaning chemicals. If you’re not sure what type of pond liner you have, make sure to first consult with a professional before attempting any cleaning process!

Condition Of The Pond

The overall condition of a pond will also affect the cost of cleaning. Excessive debris, damaged liners, sediment buildup, and other issues can push up the cost of a pond cleaning.

Waterfalls And Fountain Features

Complex water features like waterfalls and fountains can also affect the cost of a pond cleaning. The cost of cleaning additional water features will depend on the complexity of the features, their condition, and the materials they are made from.

Do You Have Fish?

If you have a koi pond or other type of fish in your pond, it’s essential to ensure that they are properly cared for during the pond cleaning. This may require additional time and resources, which can impact the cost to clean a koi pond.

Draining And Refilling

Depending on the condition of your pond, it may be necessary to drain and refill it as part of the cleaning process. The cost of draining and refilling a pond will depend largely on where you source the water from (e.g., rainwater vs municipal water). The following table uses data compiled by Home Advisor and is based on the average price of water from various states.

Pond SqFtCost to DrainCost to Refill
80$775-$1,000 $600-$1,000
160$1,000-$1,500 $1,200-$1,750
300$1,350-$1,750 $2,200-$2,550
500$1,750-$2,225 $3,750-$4,500

Indoor vs Outdoor Ponds

Whether your pond is indoors or outdoors can also affect the cost of cleaning. In general, indoor ponds are less costly to clean because they have less debris accumulation than outdoor ponds. Indoor pond cleaning prices can be as low as $30 to $40 per session.

How Long Does Pond Cleaning Take?

The amount of time it takes to clean out a pond depends on the size, complexity, and condition of the pond. Pond cleaning can take anywhere from a few hours for a basic cleaning job in a small pond to several days for an intensive cleaning job in a large pond.

The Process To Clean Out A Pond

Team cleaning a pond

The exact process to clean out a pond will vary from company to company, as well as the requirements for the specific pond being cleaned. That being said, the process of cleaning out a pond generally follows the steps below:

  1. Drain water and remove fish
  2. Flush pond
  3. Clean filters
  4. Check additions
  5. Check all plumbing
  6. Look for leaks
  7. Refill
  8. Water treatment
  9. Reintroduce fish
  10. Start pump
  11. Finishing touches

Common Koi Pond FAQs

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions regarding ponds and their answers:

Are Pond Chemicals People And Fish Safe?

In general, most of the chemicals used for cleaning out ponds are not safe for people or fish. This is why koi fish are typically moved out of the koi pond into a holding tank during the cleaning process. There are certain chemicals that are safe for a koi pond, although they tend to cost more. The best way to ensure you are using pond chemicals that are safe for people and the fish in your koi pond is to consult with a professional pond contractor.

Are Backyard Koi Ponds Low-Maintenance?

Backyard ponds can be low-maintenance if they are designed and maintained properly. In general, koi ponds and other types of water features with fish will require more pond maintenance. However, even the best-designed backyard ponds will require at least a few minutes dedicated to pond maintenance each day, including removing debris, keeping the water level consistent, and checking the filtration system.

What Is The Cost To Fill A Koi Pond?

On average, it costs between $600 and $1,000 to fill an 80-square-foot koi pond. If the koi pond needs to be drained first, it will likely cost you an extra $775-$1,000. See the pond drain and refill table above to calculate the koi pond cost of filling larger sizes.

Get Your Pond Cleaned By The Experts At Amen Corner Ponds

Do you have a pond that needs cleaning? Or are you thinking about getting a koi pond and want to learn more about the cost and process of annual cleanings? No matter where you fall on the spectrum, this guide provides helpful information for anyone with a pond.

Our team of pond experts has the knowledge and experience to get your pond cleaning done quickly, efficiently, and professionally. Give us a call or fill out our contact form today for more information on pricing specific to your pond.