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A fountain by definition makes use of water. Since water is the lifeblood of any fountain it is important to consider what kind of fountain water will be used, how the particles present in water will effect fountain functioning, and what over the counter solutions and additives are available to treat the water you are using. Using additives can also reduce water fountain maintenance.
What is in water that can effect fountain functioning?
The composition of water and the particles within it are not usually readily obvious to most people at first glance. Many particles are suspended in city and tap water that include calcium and other hard water deposits that we cannot see under most circumstances. However, these minerals do become noticeable if we run water through a water fountain over time. Eventually, these particles will form rings, lines are crusty deposits around the edge of the water level where they accumulate and dry. If the water level varies over time, for example as it is filled to different levels, this will result in several areas of deposit. Eventually these unsightly accumulations will not look appealing and will need to be scrubbed off to remove them. The cleaning of hard water deposits is a necessary chore on most outdoor fountains where we do not have the option of using distilled water as we do with indoor fountains, because the water capacity and evaporation rate of most garden fountains makes the use of distilled water implacable and costly. One of the best things we can do to eliminate, or at least greatly reduce, mineral deposits on outdoor fountains is to add a solution to the water whenever we fill the fountain. Although there are advanced techniques to keeping indoor water fountains free of bacteria, we can also use these additives with indoor fountains as a preventative measure, but it is better to stick with distilled water on indoor water features since distilled water has been treated specifically to remove mineral deposits and this will best protect our indoor waterfalls. In addition, hard water buildup is much trickier to clean off an indoor fountain because we cannot scrub the sensitive metal parts where they may accumulate without harming the clear coatings and color finishes that are used on indoor fountain styles like floor and wall fountains.
What solutions can we add to fountain water?
There are primarily two solutions available that can be added to our fountain water to keep hard water deposits that result in unsightly rings and also adversely effect pump operation and longevity at bay. These two water treatment additives are Protec and Fountec.
Protec's dual-action formula makes it very easy to maintain the beauty of water statuary surfaces. Contains a unique blend of advanced organophosphate's for superior protection against both white calcium mineral buildup and metallic stains. Protec will prevent and remove existing mineral deposits and metal stains on all types of fountain and statuary surfaces. Also helps prevent pump damage due to hard water buildup. Protec was especially developed to quickly remove and prevent white calcium deposits and iron, copper, manganese stains on fountains and statuary surfaces. Protec will circulate through the water and prevent these deposits from forming on fountain surfaces. Instructions are on the bottle, you just add the appropriate amount of solution in accordance with the amount of water you are adding to your fountain each time.
Another solution you can use is Fountec. Fountec is not only a powerful algaecide and clarifier, it is also a surfactant that breaks water tension. Due to the natural effect of Fountec's polymers on water tension, it is an excellent deterrent for control of mosquitoes, flies, and wasps in fountains, water gardens and birdbaths. Algae is not as hard to clean as mineral deposits are, but algae can cause the water to look murky and unclean. Algae is usually a concern only on garden fountains installed in outdoor areas where the pond and water are exposed to sunlight, shade and micro-organisms that exist in an outdoor environment.
Water solution additives can be purchased over the counter at many landscaping, nursery and garden supply stores.
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