How to Keep Water in Water Features Clean

Having a water feature in your backyard is a wonderful element that offers many benefits, but the beauty they provide often requires some upkeep on your behalf. Keeping up on the maintenance of your water feature means making sure the water is clean, flowing properly and having it winterized correctly. This will allow you to enjoy it for years to come.

One of the most important questions we hear is how to keep the water in water features clean. Below are a few simple steps you can take to get the most out of your water feature to create a relaxing and beautiful space.

How to Keep Water in Your Water Feature Clean

Water in any in water feature can turn into a stinky and slimy mess if not properly taken care of. Algae is the biggest culprit, and it’s not only unpleasant to look at but it can also damage the filtration system and the feature itself.

The best way to keep the water clean is to invest in a proper filtration system and keep filters clean. Particularly in the spring, keep an eye on debris and remove them promptly to avoid buildup. Additionally, perform a thorough cleaning every one to three months, depending on the size of the feature. Cleaning all components of the water feature will help eliminate algae growth by limiting the amount of waste materials and nutrients in the water. You can also use biological treatments to remove algae growth using friendly bacteria.

To clean your water feature, turn it off and remove the pump and any decorative features or stones if applicable. Fill a bucket with warm water and mild soap, then find a non-abrasive sponge or rag to wash the inside of the water feature and all of the components. Clean the pump and put it all back together. [1]

Is Your Water Feature Losing Water?

A common question for people who own a water feature is, “Why is my water feature losing water?” The main reason for this is evaporation. Depending on the heat, your water feature can lose up to 2 inches of water in the span of a week.

To combat this, add more water and try to put it in a place that doesn’t get full sun. You can also add an automatic water fill valve that maintains the water levels of the water feature automatically.

Another reason for water loss is a low edge. This is in regards to the liner of the water feature being lower than the water level. The liner can easily be shifted due to the movement of rocks or other decorative features. To remedy this, find the low edge of the liner and raise it up.[2]

Leaving the Water on All the Time

Another question that water feature owners ask is, “Do you leave water a feature on all the time?” Generally, yes you do. The more you turn the water on and off, the harder it is on your pump. Leave your water feature on as long as there is constantly enough water in it to minimize the impact on your system and need for replacements.

H2: How to Winterize a Water Feature

Once the cold weather hits, your water feature needs to be protected. Follow these simple steps to extend its lifespan.

Remove all plants, stones or decorative pieces, then wash and store them somewhere safe. Clear all the algae out if any before draining any water and drain the unit and all hoses and lines. Then take the pump out and also store some place dry and safe.

Wrap up all large water features with a tarp and some rope, and bring all smaller features inside if possible. [3]

If you want to find out more on how to keep your water clean, or if you have any other landscaping questions, contact the experts at Wright Landscape Services.

[1]  Anderson, Caryn. How to Prevent Algae in Garden Fountains. SF Gate. December 14, 2018. Available online

[2] My Brand-New Water Feature is Losing Water – Help! R&A Landscaping. August 18, 2017. Available online

[3] Water Fountain FAQs. Serenity Health. Available online


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