Put down the shovel. Pause. Breathe. Resist the urge to fill with dirt. No matter its current state, imagine what your water feature could be. Whether it is stellar or less than perfect—it will proudly serve as the pièce de résistance of your new space. Water features adorn the most exclusive homes and establishments across the world—they embellish and enhance. They infuse charm, ambiance and elegance. And with the proper equipment, they can be as easy to maintain as a lawn.
If your home purchase was accompanied by a pond—depending on its condition when it conveyed—an upfront investment of time may be necessary. But as sure as daffodils know to flower in spring, your pond will develop a natural rhythm—things will happen, year after year. This is not to imply that you can ignore it and it will be beautiful—but with minimal maintenance and the proper equipment it will be an asset to your space.
When you “inherit” a pond, first calculate its volume—how many gallons it holds. The rule of thumb is to circulate the water at least one time per hour. For circular ponds: Diameter x Diameter x Depth x 5.9 = Total Gallons of Water. And for rectangular ponds: Length x Width x Depth x 7.5 = Total Gallons of Water. This will give you a general idea of the volume. If your pond is not precisely square or round, estimate the average length, width and depth and follow the same equation.
The volume of water will determine the type of equipment and the amount of additives needed. If you have fish in the pond—or would like to add some—the water capacity will dictate the ideal number of fish to stock.
Check the quality of your pond’s water, ideally every two weeks. Test the water for pH value, carbonate hardness, total hardness, nitrate/nitrite content, phosphate content and dissolved oxygen. If treatments are necessary, evaluate how the ecosystem changes—growth of water plants, fish activity, et cetera.
You may not yet be an expert on pH, nitrates and nitrites, but water feature novices can feel confident in assessing aesthetics. Is the water clean and clear? If not, check the pump—is it suitable for your pond’s capacity? Is the filter clear or clogged? If you need to replace the pump, consider getting an OASE pump with a dual-suction, solids-handling, frost protection down to -4°F, and intelligent pump protection from thermal overload, blockage and dry running.. Utilizing the right equipment will minimize maintenance and conserve elbow grease.
If your new home is adorned with a fountain, what material is it made from? Visually inspect the fountain, checking for cracks, chips or stains. If it is made of stone or fiberglass, cracks can be repaired with clear silicone. On stone fountains, chips can be filled with mortar or quick drying cement.
Discern where the plumbing connections are, so in the event it needs maintenance, you know how it works. Check the pump and ensure it is distributing water through the system.
If Inheriting a water feature feels daunting—a little research will reveal it is easier than it appears. Ponds and fountains elevate your home’s curb appeal—providing a sensory experience for its admirers and a centerpiece for your lawn.