Water features like fountains and manmade ponds make beautiful additions to landscapes, but such beautiful additions require an investment – a maintenance investment. Over time, water features can leak, clog, or grow algae if they are not properly maintained. Outdoor water feature maintenance is necessary for a well-maintained backyard space.
We interviewed Kyle Weemhoff, Western Regional Sales Manager at Timberline partner Atlantic Water Gardens, who has provided us with some of the best tips to properly maintain and repair the most common water features on Colorado landscapes.
Don’t Let the Pump Burn Out
One of the most common issues that arise when owning a water feature is the pump not working. The pump is the life of the water feature – it is what makes the water flow and the feature work overall.
“In terms of repairing water features, we normally see a pump burning out or not working anymore,” Weemhoff said.
“You don’t want to restrict the pump or put a lot of back pressure on it, or it will overheat or break. We want to up the tubing size so that there is more flow and less restriction and pressure, and the problem is fixed,” Weemhoff said.
Watch for Leaks
Especially with manmade ponds, preventing leaks is crucial to the maintenance of the pond and pump, as well as the conservation of water. This can be affected the most by rock and plant placement in and around the pond.
Another thing that we see often is someone who wants to fix a pond feature, but has poor rock placement over time. As rock moves over time it can cause a rip in the liner/leak, which is caused if the liner is not examined by the owner from time to time,” Weemhoff said. “That will cause constant refilling, and when the water gets too low it can hurt the pump, so a repair patch needs to be placed in.”
Manage Algae Growth
When owning a water feature, managing the growth of algae is integral to the functionality of your feature.
“We see a lot of algae or plant materials in the water features increasing, which is bad for the water feature,” Weemhoff said. “A pond is its own ecosystem, so you really need to be able to take on the responsibility of caring, treating, and cleaning it.”
Fortunately, there are many treatment products that can help in the treatment of algae growth.
“It is not maintenance-free, and not maintaining it will bring more damage,” Weemhoff said. “Identify the issue of algae and tackle it by treating it bi-monthly to monthly with beneficial bacterias (Bio-Max treatment) or algaecides to get rid of the plant material, or aeration (Clarity-Blast treatment).”
There are several additional tools that help clear algae from your water feature, which can be added when the feature is installed to help reduce maintenance needs in the future.
“Add a copper ionizer, called Triton Ionizer, into your plumbing above where your pump would be,” Weemhoff said. “What this would do is add a tiny amount of copper into the water to get rid of string algae so that your water feature looks crystal clear and doesn’t have algae building up.”
Timberline Landscaping proudly works with Atlantic Water Gardens in Colorado Springs, and we enjoy helping add water features to our customers’ landscapes. For more information on water features, read our Water Features Roundup.
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