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Winterizing Your Water Feature

Nothing beats the sound of running water to rinse away stress or to cool a back yard on one of the hot summer days we just experienced. Now, the weather has cooled down and has even dropped below freezing. And, we’ve gotten our first real snowfall.

If you haven’t done so, it’s time to winterize your water feature. The extent of your winterization depends on the type of water feature you have. If it’s a free-standing fountain, for example, you can empty the water, unplug the pump and put it away with your other hardscape items. If it’s a permanent pond, you have to consider the needs of the fauna and flora that live in it.

Your main goal is to prevent the pond from freezing solid. Those with no fish or plants can be covered with an insulating material. If you do have fish and plants, place one or more floats in the water, as many people do with their swimming pools. This will lessen the chance of ice damage. You may also need a floating deicer.

It’s important to keep fallen leaves out of the pond. This can be done with a pool skimmer or by covering the pool with netting. A layer of rotting leaves on top of the pond depletes the oxygen and inhibits its replenishment. This can kill fish and water plants.

You’ll need to disconnect the pump, filter and clarifier. It’s recommended that you store them indoors for the winter. You may also have to store tender plants and even warm weather fish indoors. Hardy plants can survive with only a cut back. Hardy fish can survive, too, as long as the pond is deep enough to provide sufficient warmth and the pond isn’t frozen over completely.

This may seem like a lot of work, but all you have to do is remember the soothing sound of water and the cooler summer temperatures that your water feature provides.

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