Trickling fountains are a fantastic addition to an outdoor oasis that can include anything, from a pool and patio area to a garden with quaint benches. When you maintain your fountains regularly, they look beautiful. Neglect them, and they start to become an eyesore. Algae, lime, calcium and minerals can build up over time, giving your fountain a dirty appearance. If you don’t change the water and clean the mechanical unit once in awhile, you can inadvertently contribute to its failure. Give a little attention to your fountains, and your hard work will pay off.
Fountains in the Wild:
Your outdoor fountain should get plenty of water refreshes on a regular basis due to rain. However, in times of drought, you may have to change out the water to keep it fresh and avoid stagnation, which can attract mosquitoes and other bugs. You also don’t want that slimy green algae to invade your gorgeous fountain, so regular cleaning is a must. If birds like to enjoy your water fountain that doubles as a bird bath, extra care needs to be given to ensure droppings don’t pile up. Check the water level every week, making sure the pump is completely submerged; otherwise, it can work overtime and burn out. Use distilled water if possible, suggests SF Gate, so minerals don’t build up. You can even get your kids in on the fountain maintenance. Have them take a scoop and bucket and get out any twigs or leaves that may be in the water, as these can look unsightly and even clog the pump. When your fountain sports a layer of grime, take a half hour or so to give it a thorough cleaning. First, suck out the dirty water with a wet-dry vac, then follow that up with a good thorough scrubbing, says This Old House. Infuse your fountain with some fresh water and add a clarifier that will help to prevent excessive algae growth. Adding a scale and stain remover is also a good idea. This will save you some work the next time you have to clean. Avoid adding chlorine, as this places too much stress on the pumping system. If the algae is out of control and nothing else works, add just a few capfuls of bleach to the water and run it through a cycle.
Fountains in the House:
If you’d like to bring this tranquil setting into your house, a decorative tabletop fountain can add a touch of relaxation and zen to your day. However, if you have shiny stones and rocks within your fountain, these can get coated with slimy algae that can really start to smell if you don’t wash them regularly. Dismantle the fountain once a month or so, depending on size, and hand-wash all components and decorative rocks with a mix of vinegar and warm water. Add fresh water and a smidgen of bleach to keep algae and bacteria away.
Cleaning your fountains is a small chore that won’t take up too much time yet will pay off in the long run with a little dedication. You’ll not only boost the appearance of your indoor or outdoor fountain, but you’ll also contribute to its long life.