Decorative fountains are great for ambience—in many places, they rank high among visitors’ and residents’ favorite features. However, despite their beauty and relaxing sounds, fountains can become a health and safety hazard if not properly cared for and maintained. Whether you’re considering your first fountain or you already purchased one, you can avoid those health hazards by reading this guide to proper fountain maintenance. Here is some information on maintaining your decorative fountain.
Keep Water Temperature In Mind
Your decorative fountain’s water temperature makes a difference. Bacteria, like Legionella, will grow faster depending on the temperature of your fountain’s water. Legionella is a gram negative microorganism can cause illness and may prove fatal to humans. Water temperatures under 68 degrees Fahrenheit or above 130 degrees Fahrenheit will mitigate Legionella spread, but rarely is it feasible to maintain these temperatures in the long run. Consider heating the water in a separate location before mixing it with clean, cool water as it enters your fountain.
Use Distilled Water To Reduce Biological Load
If you want to discourage algae and other unwanted bacteria from making your fountain their home, use distilled water. Distilled water is water that has been filtered to remove impurities from the original water source. Bacteria and other unwanted contaminants can feed on water impurities, so using distilled water will keep your fountain cleaner for longer. Distilled water also discourages the growth of biofilms. Biofilm, a bacteria safe haven, is the slimy cluster of organic film that accumulates on water surfaces.
Do Not Stop the Fountain Flow
Fountains work best when they are left running. Shutting off a fountain overnight may save you a few dollars in energy costs, but it leaves behind stagnant water that encourages bacterial overgrowth. That bacteria can even harm the fountain’s equipment if they are not removed from the fountain pump’s textured surface. Turning your fountain on and off will decrease your fountain pump’s longevity because it puts an unnecessary physical strain on the fountain’s mechanical components. Maintaining your decorative fountain means running it at all times, except for cleaning.
Clean Your Decorative Fountain Regularly (Including the Pump!)
Speaking of cleaning, be sure to schedule regular maintenance that includes a deep scrub of the fountain’s surfaces. Do not neglect the pump, either—bacteria and algae can accumulate inside the pump, affecting its ability to run. Any contaminants in the pump will be recycled back into the fountain over and over if they are not removed, and the strain of running against the algae growth will wear down the pump’s mechanical features over time, leading to premature failure.
Check Water Levels and Add as Necessary
Even if your fountain does not spill water on nearby surfaces, it will lose water volume as its contents evaporate. Over time, your fountain’s water level will diminish, so include water replenishment as part of your maintenance schedule. Not only will this reduce the concentration of bacteria in the water, it will also prolong the life of your fountain pump. A pump running on insufficient water levels could break from overheating. This is because the water is unable to whisk away heat from the machinery. A pump also relies on water to reduce its friction and per-minute rotations against the weight of the water. A fountain pump left running in dry conditionswill spin too fast,overheat, and burn itself out.
Use Appropriate Water Treatment
Water treatment chemicals are just as critical for decorative fountains as they are in other water-bearing systems like cooling towers, condensers, and swimming pools. Many bacteria cannot withstand concentrated chlorine, a common chemical used in water treatment. However, the type of water you use, your water fountain’s environmental conditions (including temperature, exposure to UV rays and more) and the overall structure of your fountain will inform your water treatment plan. You can always ask an expert to help you create the perfect water treatment plan.
Trust The Experts To Help You Maintaining Your Decorative Fountain
A decorative fountain is a beautiful addition to your property, but it requires proper care. If a decorative fountain is in the cards for your business or residence, be sure to partner with the experts to create a decorative fountain maintenance plan. The professionals at Legionella Compliance Solutions would be happy to help you establish a robust plan of care for your decorative fountain. Reach out to learn more or to schedule an appointment.