This Article is About
moving parts
design phase
wear and tear
additives
nuisance
ladder
Maintaining Your Water Feature
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Water features are normally very low maintenance, but don’t make the mistake of thinking that you will never have to do anything to keep it looking good and operating correctly.

There are a couple of reasons a water feature is inherently low maintenance. There are normally very few, if any moving parts that are subject to wear and tear or malfunction. In fact the water pump is normally the only piece of equipment that has any moving parts. And the constant movement of water means that the water keeps aerated and this is critical to helping keep it clean with minimal intervention.

In the design phase of your installation think about these two aspects of maintenance. If you want a water feature that has moving parts be prepared for these parts to wear out over time, or clog up and malfunction. If you do incorporate moving parts make them easy to get to. If you need a ladder or have to climb over other parts of the feature to reach them then maintenance could be a nuisance.

Take particular care to ensure that the water pump is easy to get to.

Also consider having a part of the feature that causes the water to spray, tumble or otherwise become agitated and mixed with air. This aeration of the water is important for reducing algae growth and what can become a rotten smell if the water remains stagnant and not mixed with air for a period of time.

Some people like to have fish incorporated into the water feature in some way. Fish can be nice, but beware, they will add significantly to the maintenance aspect of your installation. They will need to be fed of course, but they also need unpolluted water which can stop you using additives to keep the water clean.

The same applies to plants. They will need feeding from time to time and will also need trimming or cleaning at least annually. Plant matter will also tend to accumulate at the bottom of the feature and turn to sludge. This will need to be removed at least annually to prevent the growth or anaerobic matter.

Consider placing the water feature in a part of the garden that gets good sun. Sun and aeration will reduce algae and mildew growth. A fountain can give good aeration as can water walls.

So, assuming your water feature is well designed, the main piece of maintenance you will need to do on a regular basis is clean the pond pump. That means removing it from the water, taking out the filter and cleaning it well. This can normally be done by simply rinsing it under clean water, but occasionally you may need to use detergent to remove the dirt build up. A pump that is operating well is critical to all other aspects of maintenance you will need to do.

You will also need to turn off the water pump occasionally and manually clean the surfaces of the water feature to keep it looking good. Slimy algae growth will occur in almost all circumstances and this will eventually make the feature look slightly grubby. A good scrub will make the water feature look like new again. You will notice a big difference!

If the water has a tendency to get dirty, even after aeration, consider adding a water cleansing tablet. This can remove mold growth and keep the water looking clear and clean, but don’t use it if you have fish.

Given the tranquility and serene sound that a water feature can bring to your home, the maintenance is certainly worth it.


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