How to Care for Your Water Feature

June 19, 2018

If you have a water feature, you’ll know that it’s not the lowest maintenance part of your landscape. To keep your water feature functioning properly throughout the year, follow these maintenance guidelines.

  • A submersible pump should always be completely under water. You will periodically need to add more water to the basin to keep it filled and your pump fully submerged at all times. Do not let the pump run dry. If you do not have an auto-fill you may want to turn the feature off if you will be on vacation for more than a couple days. It is normal to have water loss year-round (even when it is raining) due to evaporation, over splash, and pets.
  • Keep your pump running. The pump is designed for continual use. This will keep your water from becoming stagnant.
  • Check on the pump monthly and remove any leaves, twigs, and other debris that might have fallen in. A small aquarium net works well for smaller ponding water features. A blower can be used on pond less features to remove debris from cobble.
  • Clean the basin and remove all the debris that has built up in the basin annually or more often if needed. Be sure to clean offthe auto-fill float if you have one.
  • If you notice algae building up, the best way to clean it is to unplug the feature and scrub it out. If the problem persists you can use algaecide or chlorine to keep the water clear. A pet safe algaecide is best especially if you have pets or kids (this can be found in the aquarium section of your local pet store). Be careful to follow directions closely and be aware of over splash onto nearby plants. Some products can be harmful to plants and wildlife that might be using your feature.
  • Most water features can continue to run year-round even through snow and freezing. Just be sure to keep an eye on the water level and gently remove excess ice build-up.
  • If you turn the feature off in the winter or are in an area prone to long periods of harsh freezing temperatures you will want to winterize your water feature. You will need to remove the pump and place it inside protected from freezing. Drain all water from the feature and cover with a tarp or other covering to protect it.
  • If you need to perform any maintenance on your water feature, disconnect it from its power source beforehand.

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