Think of a water feature as miniature landscape and use it to mimic a natural scene. When you match the feature to the size of your available landscaping space, it will look like a natural element in your landscape design that’s easy on the eyes and brings years of enjoyment. Regardless of the type of water feature that you have as part of your landscape design, maintenance is the key to keeping it pristine. The following are techniques that landscaping experts use to combat common maintenance issues.
Algae. A properly designed pond with the right plant material should not generate a lot of algae. If you do have algae, use a low impact algaecide to control the growth — ultra violet lights are also great options for controlling algae.
Foam. Use a hot tub de-foamer and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Winterization. Depending on your location, running water features year round is the best winterization option. If your climate is extremely cold, you may need to drain and winterize it. If you have any questions or aren’t sure what is best for your water feature situation, consult your local contractor.
Evaporation. Evaporation is normal in a water feature — if necessary, use an auto-fill valve to keep the water level constant.
Pump cavitation. Your pump may cavitate if the water level gets too low or debris gets lodged in it. Check the pump occasionally to make sure it sounds the same as when it was installed.
Wildlife. Raccoons and waterfowl are notorious for snatching expensive fish out of water features. Use a sheer net over the feature and keep the water clean using a filter to detract predators. Another option is to provide rocks or deep pools to allow the fish to hide from their natural predators.
Plants and decorative items. Water features that have plants and fish in them are harder to maintain than those that do not. When planning your feature, determine the amount of time that you have to maintain it and the elements that you add. In some cases, you may benefit from hiring a landscape contractor and design expert to perform the necessary regular maintenance.
Children. If you have children or know that children will visit your property regularly, design a water feature that’s safe for curious little ones. Take special care to make sure that you provide a gate or rail. The other alternative is to make the collection pools shallow — less than 1 foot deep.