Twelve Tips for Preparing Your Water Feature for Fall

stone water fall feature with landscape pond surrounded by ferns and softscape

Having a water feature as a part of your landscape design means you have a place to relax and unwind at the end of a long day. This landscaping element is a great way to make the most of your outdoor living space. Like any aspect of your landscape, seasonal maintenance is required to keep it looking great. Spring and summer do not need significant amounts of work. However, there are some winter and fall water feature maintenance tasks required for cooler weather.

Fall Water Feature Maintenance

As fall and winter approach, it is important that you take some time to prepare your water feature for the season. The steps taken will vary whether you have a pond or a water feature such as a fountain. Regardless of the type, water feature maintenance is an important part of seasonal maintenance.

Pond Maintenance

  1. Empty out the debris basket every day. By allowing leaves or other organic matter to gather in the water, it will eventually turn the water brown. Keep the water clean and clear by removing any debris that has collected.

  2. Remove pond netting. Now is the time to remove your pond netting. Also, if you have a fountain as part of your water feature, disconnect the pump and check the valves. Make sure to allow the water to drain from it. This is a good time to make a note of the pieces that may need replacing.

  3. Lower the pond’s water level. You will want to lower the water level to below the opening of the skimmer.

  4. Trim back aquatic plants. Now is a great time to trim any plants surrounding your water feature. Make sure none of them hang into the water. If your plants are in pots, move the pots to the bottom of the pond to protect them from cold temperatures.

  5. Add water treatment. Use a water treatment designed to protect your pond against cold weather bacteria. By doing this, you will prevent any kind of growth that can be harmful to your pond.

  6. Check the liner for any cracks or tears. Ensure nothing can lead to water seepages. Ideally, you should do this on a regular basis. Cracks and tears can allow water to escape. A low water level can be damaging to your pump and can result in costly repairs.

Fountain Maintenance

  1. Clean the water pump thoroughly. It is best to do this as fall approaches. This will allow your fountain to continue running smoothly and looking beautiful. For a basic but effective cleaning agent, use white vinegar (the kind you find at your grocery store).

  2. Treat the fountain with algaecide. Add some algaecide to the water to prevent and eliminate any algae that may start to grow. Another option to prevent algae growth is to use distilled water in your fountain.

  3. Clean out any debris. Remove any debris that may have accumulated in the fountain. This will prevent blockages or damage to the pump.

  4. Treat hard water. Hard water can cause a white build-up known as white scale. This can be easily removed by rubbing the affected area with white vinegar. For ongoing prevention of white scale, add a fountain cleanser product to the water.

  5. Keep the pump running. Because our winters are mild in comparison to other parts of the country, you do not have to turn off the pump. In fact, keeping it running will extend the life of the pump. However, make sure the pump is completely submerged by monitoring the water level.

  6. Protect it from freezing. If a deep freeze is coming, cover the fountain with a tarp to protect it from damage. This will help prevent the fountain from getting too cold. Excessive freezing can damage pumps or even cause cracks to expand.

Maintaining your water feature doesn’t have to be difficult or time-consuming. Take these basic steps so you can enjoy your fountain or pond for years to come. If you have questions about fall water feature maintenance, contact the Outdoor Makeover & Living Spaces team. We are here to help you design and build the ultimate outdoor living space. Our experts have been serving the metro-Atlanta area since 2001.