Keeping Water Fountains Clear And Free Of Bacteria

Published: 31st March 2011
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While water fountains remain one of the most popular types of interior and exterior design accessories, many people who love the natural elegance, soothing sounds, and health benefits of running water are concerned or uncertain about the care and maintenance of a fountain. Since decorative water fountains are a bit of a mechanical wonder, it seems natural that some people might have a concern about cleaning and maintaining a number of moving parts. Of course, the big secret is that caring for water fountains actually isn’t that much work; with simple and quick daily maintenance as well as a few preventative measures, your water fountains will remain clean and clear for quite a long time to come.

Use Bottled Water

The easiest way to reduce or prevent algae formation in your water fountains— especially in smaller, tabletop fountains— is to exclusively use distilled water. The distilled water is a less hospitable home for bacteria and algae, since it possesses less mineral content and other inclusions that make bacteria and algae happy. Additionally, if you live in an area with particularly hard water, using distilled bottled water in your fountain will prevent a lot of unsightly build up of mineral deposits on your fountains.

Save Time With Water Additives

While nothing is a total substitute for occasionally scrubbing down your water fountains, purchasing and using the right water additives can make those scrub downs few and far between. There are a number of organic and otherwise harmless algaecides and insect repellants that won’t harm children or pets, as well as additives that inhibit or prevent the buildup of calcium and other minerals on the walls and sides of your fountain— and on your pump as well, preventing expensive and problematic damage due to corrosion.

Clean Your Water Pump

Even if you follow all of the other directions outlined here, occasionally pet hair, dust, and other irritants will find their way into the water recycling system in your fountain. When the motor itself is a bit louder than normal, or water circulation seems sluggish in comparison to when you first purchased the fountain, it’s probably time to gently take apart the water pump. An old toothbrush works best for cleaning the inside and outside of the pump, ensuring that all the detritus, mineral buildup, and other irritants are safely and quickly removed.

Polly Godwin has been an expert on water fountains since 1998 and is the owner of, a company specializing in the highest quality water features. Visit today for expert advice and quality water fountains.

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