Water fountains found outdoors have for the longest time been used in estate gardens worldwide to indicate high status and prestige. Initially only the affluent had the capability of owning water fountains that were made of marble then. Today there is a wide variety of designs available to choose from and that cater for all manner of budgets.
Types of fountains
Garden water fountains come in different sizes, are made of made of different materials and have different styles. The type of garden water fountain one selects is a function of the available space, the budget one has and the amount of maintenance you are willing to do. Some of the common types include:
The Tiered Fountain – These are common fountains that have been in use for quite a while. In Mediterranean countries such as Italy and Spain is where they are mostly applied to improve the aesthetics of plazas and even courtyards. Tiered fountain designs are based on carvings of human beings and all types of animals. Such designs can be complex or simple in nature depending on a client’s specifications. This type of foundation comes highly recommended for landscape settings that are considered traditional. The color of the chosen should match right into the paving for a desired visual effect.
Disappearing Fountain – This type of fountain also goes by the name pondless fountain. It has an underground water reservoir that is completely hidden from site. It is most appropriate when located next to a path or even a patio. The famous styles of this type of fountain are millstones, granite columns, fountains with a natural look and ceramic urns. It is preferred because of its hidden reservoir feature. This effectively reduces drowning risk especially for children, reduces water evaporation and therefore saves on water bills, requires minimal maintenance due absence of algae growth and leaf fall and it utilizes a small space making suitable for all places.
Japanese Fountain – The design of this type of fountain was done with focus being placed on water instead of the basin. Bamboo can be installed to act as the spout from which water will flow into mostly a stone basin. It is recommended that it has edges that are jagged and have an ancient and weathered down appearance. Preferably it should be established within rocks and should have plants that are evergreen in close proximity.
Wall Fountain – These types of fountains are mostly suited for tiny patios and courtyards due to their relaxation effect. It occupies minimal space and can therefore be fitted on a particular wall. Its requirements include a water basin, internal tubing, pump and spout. It has the provision of being installed as free standing or mounted on a wall.
Self-Contained Fountain – This type of fountain has grown in popularity because of its affordable cost and ease of installation. They are easy to move and have water reservoirs of their own. They can be placed literally anywhere in the garden.
Singapore is located next to the equator and has a tropical climate. This type of climate is characterized throughout the year by heavy rainfall, humidity and temperature levels that are high. This type of climate encourages algae growth and mineral buildup in outdoor fountains that require to be frequently removed.
9 Useful Outdoor Fountain Cleaning Tips
It is necessary to keep outdoor fountains free of algae buildup, stagnation, mineral deposits and debris accumulation. The following are nine useful cleaning tips to keep your fountain running smoothly and remain clean:
Tip1: Use distilled water to top up when the water level drops such that the water pump is always submerged. Distilled water contains few minerals and ensures that your fountain as well as the water pump does not experience mineral buildup that is a common problem in fountains.
Tip 2: Use a small net to remove twigs, leaves, insects and other debris that might fall into the fountain from the surrounding environment. This should be done on a regular basis so that there is no significant accumulation of these items in your outdoor fountain. The water pump should also be checked for any signs of debris that may cause clogging and prevent proper circulation of water.
Tip 3: Soak pump in 50% solution of distilled white vinegar that is diluted. This functions to loosen and remove stubborn stains that occur as a result of mineral buildup in the fountain. This should be done when the water is entirely removed from the mountain. You can use a soft cloth to clean the outside.
Tip 4: Use a scrub brush with stiff bristles, a mild dish detergent and some hot water to thoroughly scrub the interior section of the fountain. In the case of stubborn mineral stains, soak them off with baking soda or vinegar. These have active ingredients that serve as mild abrasives to make stains loose and remove them afterwards.
Tip 5: You can remove the cover to the water pump and clean the inside of debris that is large with the aid of your hands. For small debris, you can use a toothbrush is no longer in use to remove deposits of algae and buildup of minerals from sections that are difficult to reach. Afterwards properly rinse and return the cover.
Tip 6: Unplug the water pump monthly to drain all the water especially when it starts to have a dirty appearance. The plug is usually located at the bottom of the basin to facilitate easy drainage. This will ensure the water is always clean and fresh.
Tip 7: If you have a large fountain and purchasing distilled water to refill is expensive, you can simply add several tea spoons of chlorine bleach to regular tap water or alternatively utilize fountain enzyme that effectively prevents algae and mineral buildup. A single tea spoon of chlorine is sufficient for outdoor fountains of a smaller size.
Tip 8: Use a pressure washer to remove stains, mold, and mildew. You can also remove the water pump and clean it with ordinary dish soap and warm water. Ensure all the soap residue is rinsed off once you are done with fountain cleaning.
Tip 9: A scrubbing pad can be used to loosen algae, dirt and mineral buildup in a fountain. However, ensure all soap residues are thoroughly rinsed off to prevent forming when you refill it with water.
Use the above 9 useful outdoor fountain cleaning tips to ensure your fountain is always clean and is running smoothly. However, it should be noted that vinegar is only effective in removing lime and calcium buildup in fountains if they are cleaned regularly.