How to Keep Water Clean in Outdoor Fountains


Clean your outdoor fountain to create a constantly peaceful atmosphere that attracts many species of birds and adds an elegant touch to any garden or patio. Keeping the water in an outdoor fountain crystal clear can present a challenge, but with a little know-how, it’s not hard to do.

Remove debris daily. Using a small net, such as those designed for removing larger fish from a home aquarium, remove debris such as leaves, twigs, feathers and anything else that falls into your fountain. Debris, especially leaves, quickly breeds bacteria and algae, which will cause the water to turn brown and look dirty. If you take a moment each day to remove the debris, this process will not take place. Removing debris right away also helps protect the pump from damage.

Wipe down the fountain once a week. Let the water drain out of your fountain and use a rag and scrub brush to clean the interior surfaces of the fountain. Be sure to remove any dirt, bird droppings or other residue that has collected in the bottom. By doing this once a week, you will not give algae a chance to grow in your fountain. Cleaning once a week also keeps the cleaning process quick and easy. Cleaning a dirty fountain once a month can take hours. Cleaning a well-maintained fountain once a week can take just a matter of minutes.

Clean the pump once a week. Proper water flow is an important part of keeping the water clean in an outdoor fountain. If the pump is not working well, the water will not move properly, and bacteria and algae will quickly multiply. Disconnect the pump and check for any leaves, twigs or other debris that may have been caught in the pump. Remove any obvious dirt or debris. Using an air compressor, blow any dust out of the pump. If you don't have an air compressor, an air hose at the gas station can accomplish the same thing.

Change the water once a week. Each week, after cleaning the fountain and the pump, drain any remaining water and replace it with fresh water. For large fountains, this can be done less often, such as every other week or once a month. Any time you observe the water turning color or algae forming, change the water.

Add a non-toxic cleaner or enzyme to the fountain water. After each water change, add a cleaner or enzyme designed to keep fountains clean. Alternatively, you could add bleach, but it might be harmful to animals or to any plants the fountain water comes in contact with. There are numerous non-toxic cleaners and enzymes made for fountains that are not toxic to animals or plants.


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