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Water Features 101

Fountains, pools, ponds, cascades, waterfalls, streams and the like are some of the most coveted additions to any home renovation.

There are a multitude of options when it comes to crafting the perfect water feature. A water feature can be one or more items that range from fountains, pools, ponds, cascades, waterfalls, and streams. A landscape water feature can highlight any gardening style from: English, Mediterranean, Japanese, or Country. A water feature can be located indoors or outdoors as they conveniently range in size for any interior or exterior area. They can liven up a dull office with a desk top water fountain to a large natural boulder waterfall that spills into a meandering stream. Ultimately, there is a water feature that can fit any size budget and time commitment. The great thing is, water features don’t have to require extensive level of measuring algae content and won’t require to you read “living with koi fish” 101. Read on, to find some tips and tricks that will help reduce the stress in your life whether you’re considering adding a water feature, expanding one you already have, or mastering the art of water feature upkeep.

Step 1: Maintain

Water features don’t have to equal lots of upkeep. Odds are, the number one reason you originally invested in a water feature was to enjoy the soothing benefits both aesthetically and mentally. Don’t let the maintenance and up-keep of such aquatic beauties overwhelm you. Instead, pay attention to the water level with these 3 easy steps:

  • The water level will fluctuate as every feature will experience a little evaporation. The amount of water loss is directly affected by weather changes, the amount of sunlight the pond receives, the amount of water freezing over, waterfall height, water splashing outside the pond, stream length or a possible leak.
    • When you notice the water level getting low, simply drop a garden hose into the pond area and add the necessary amount.
  • The larger your feature, the more power needed to generate a constant stream of water. When operating a water feature you have the freedom of turning your pump on and off whenever, without messing up the ecosystem. Therefore, you should keep an eye on the pump temperature to ensure your system does not overheat. Once the temperature rises above 103° turn your system off. This simple practice can save you lots of money in the long run.
  • Properly prepare your smaller open ponds and pond-free features to manage the freezing temperatures. Water features such as bird baths small ponds with shallow basins, and bubbling rocks are the most likely candidates for damage or destruction as a result of freezing.

Step 2: Clean

Most ponds don’t require constant cleaning as they work in unison with the living bacteria that is beneficial for water health. Cleaning them too frequently, especially with chlorinated tap water, will often reduce or kill the beneficial bacteria growing on these filters. Keep an eye on the current status of your water feature as well as the water levels. If attention is needed try one of the two below options:

  • Replace your filter mat if it has been several years.
    • *Pond-less water features do not require filter mats or media bags.
  • Clean the filter screen. For this process, simply unplug and remove the pump so you can physically remove any debris or buildup that has made home on the bottom of the pump.

Step 3: Enjoy

Your water feature should provide a piece of relaxation and beauty. Work harmoniously with weathers natural patterns and your feature will be a soothing extension of Mother Nature’s greatest qualities. Here are 3 quick and easy reasons why water features are a simple yet elegant improvement to any lawn.

  • Reduced noise pollution
    • Your water feature acts as a barrier from the sound of overpowering traffic/ construction/ freeways/ airports.
  • Easy Maintenance
    • They provide the aesthetic benefit of a backyard pool without the maintenance.
  • Curb Appeal
    • Real estate agents, claim water features can be a great addition to your home that might even pay dividends in your home’s value and are an instant cure for increased curb appeal.


Water features can provide the perfect highlight to any lawn and can fit in any size yard or budget. This water feature 101 provides manageable tips to owning your very own water feature. When a simple DIY just won’t do the truck call the experts at Gail Willey Landscaping, of course!