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Water Feature

     It is important to manage your water feature effectively to reap the full benefits.  Care varies somewhat depending on the type of water feature you have in your landscape.  Please supervise children and pets around any water feature.

               Bubbling Boulder and Small Ponds/Streams- One of the most important maintenance steps to take for a smaller feature is algae control.  We typically recommend chlorine tablets to keep algae at bay.  There are also very effective copper based algicides that are compatible with these systems.  These control measures typically should be done every 7-10 days.  Please, read and follow label directions for any products used, or contact us for assistance. 

Remember that water is constantly evaporating from your water feature.  Open surface area or moving, splashing water creates greater opportunity for evaporation.  It is important to maintain a sufficient water level to avoid damaging your pump and keep your water feature looking its best. 

     It is important to keep the feature clean and free of yard waste, leaves, and debris.  Not only can they clog pumps, but they also provide places where anaerobic bacteria can thrive.  Your small water feature should be cleaned and power washed in the spring to prevent waste buildup.  Leaf nets can be installed in the fall to reduce leaf litter accumulation.

     During the Winter months, you may choose to keep your water feature operational.  The biggest challenge there is ice buildup, which can clog streams and block water movement, causing leaks or damaging components.  If water isn’t able to properly recirculate, the pump may become damaged.  For shallow ponds, fewer than 3’ deep, the pump should be removed during Winter months to prevent damage.  Deeper ponds and Bubbling Boulders do not require pump removal.  Please contact our office with any questions you may have or to schedule maintenance.

Larger Ponds and Streams- Maintaining your larger pond, particularly if you intend it for fish, swimming, or other forms of recreation, requires regular attention.  A healthy pond will have a pH that fluctuates depending on weather and seasonal conditions.  A typical range is between 6 and 9.  Values outside this range may require management to keep fish and other aquatic wildlife healthy. 

Algae control is also important.  Algae blooms typically occur when water temperatures are above 60 degrees Fahrenheit and high concentrations of Phosphorus are present, along with sunlight.  Chelated Copper and other products, such as blue colorant may help control algal blooms.  Avoiding fertilizer runoff and other contaminants, such as leaf litter or excessive fish food waste, will help as well. 

     Maintaining proper water level is important, not just for the function of the water pump(s), but for the overall health of the pond.  While some seasonal fluctuations are normal, aquatic plants and wildlife require reasonably consistent water levels to thrive.  Be sure to check water levels regularly and fill, as needed, to maintain a healthy system.  We recommend avoiding filling larger ponds from a municipal water source.  When possible, use well water or collected rainwater to maintain pond levels.  Water transport services are also available.  Please check local listings.

     If you plan to maintain fish in your pond throughout the winter, it is important to keep in mind their natural cycles.  Fish metabolisms slow considerably in cold water conditions.  Feeding them in the late fall and winter should be avoided.  It is important to maintain an area of open water to allow waste gases to escape throughout the winter months.  This can be done by maintaining circulation with an aeration device, which prevents ice from fully covering the water’s surface, or through the use of an aquatic heater.  In mild winters, it may be possible to utilize your pond’s waterfall to circulate water, though caution should be exercised to avoid excessive ice buildup, which can damage the water feature. 

     Further winterization may be necessary for your pond, depending on the pump style and location.  Please reach out to our office for advice or to schedule winterization or spring cleanup services to keep your pond in tip-top shape. 

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