Yesterday I saw that the little duck pool my husband and I created for the ducks was frozen over, even with the heater running. So I stomped on it a few times and broke the inch thick sheet of ice. The stench that flew up and assaulted my nose was worthy of a sewer. It was horrid. I decided that the pool must be cleaned.
With a pry bar I removed the 2 logs frozen to the ground that stood at the drain plug end. I'm glad I had put those logs there as they not only made a nice platform for the ducks, but kept me from having to dig out 2 feet of snow to get to the plug. Then I scraped out a path to the very edge of the hill for the water to flow through (an entire foot of snow, smart me, put the pool as close to the edge as I could). Next I found a large crescent wrench and when that didn't work well, a large pair of wire cutters that had handles spaced just the right distance apart to place into the plug end for a good grip and twisted that plug out. The dirty water gushed out, I caught the plug before it went down the hill with the water. When empty I used a coffee can to scoop out as much muck at the bottom as I could, rinsed it out and filled the pool back up. It only took about an hour, by the end my fingers were frozen, well water in winter is cold.
In the meantime, the ducks had been watching me from afar but of course, wouldn't head over till I spent 15 minutes chasing them in circles (the dogs did NOT help, thinking it was a great game they seemed to stand in front of the ducks and send them elsewhere every time I'd gotten the ducks headed in the right direction). Finally I managed to get them to the pool edge and they immediately had a drink. Satisfied, I left to walk my dogs and when I got back there were 5 very damp ducks preening their feathers back by the garage door. I'd say they were quite happy. I, myself, can't imagine bathing outside in 20f degree weather.