As the clocks move forward, and the sun sets later, relaxing by your water feature seems more appealing by the minute. It would be great if you could have your space set up and ready to go with the snap of your fingers but unfortunately technology has not come that far just yet. But Spring is right around the corner and now is the perfect time to start preparing your water feature for the warm weather ahead! We’ve created a checklist of things to for your pond this Spring.
Step 1 — Check the Condition of Your Water Feature
Jumping in and getting right to work is always our first instinct, but preparation is key. It’s best to start in early Spring so you can have your feature ready to go when the warm weather hits.
- Start by inspecting the area around it to make sure there are no potential hazards or areas that have weakened from the frigid winter weather. Check that the rocks and landscape around your feature have not eroded or shifted from the winter conditions.
- Next, check the condition of the water feature itself. Is there wear and tear in the pond liner? Are there cracks or holes in the streams or waterfalls? Are the pumps or other equipment in good working condition?
- Then, make sure that the plumbing is working efficiently. Is the tubing cracked or clogged with debris?
- Lastly, take note of what needs repaired or replaced and create a shopping list.
Step 2 — Test the Water & Perform a Water Change
Good water quality is essential to having the perfect water feature. While you may not have fish or plants in your water feature, you still want the water to be clean and clear. Go to your local Home Depot and pick up a simple water test kit. Pay attention to the nitrate and ammonia levels in the water, be sure they’re both at zero.
Elevated levels of ammonia, nitrite, or nitrate, or significant variations in pH or hardness, mean that it's time for a water change. A partial water change (approximately 10-20% of the water) can help restore balance and rid the water of organic pollutants. Using water treatments can also remedy issues you may discover. Many of our water treatments can be used for preventative measures, including Barley Pond Clarifier and Pond Cleaner Tablets, which naturally promote a healthy pond environment all season long. Learn more about water quality and our water treatments.
Step 3 — Complete Water Feature Cleaning
Spring cleaning isn’t just for inside the home, it applies to your landscape and water features too. Start by cleaning the area around your feature first. After a long winter, your feature can accumulate leaves, branches, and other debris. For a proper cleaning, it’s helpful to pump out the water into a large tub or kiddie pool. Then use a wet-dry vacuum to remove any sludge. Be careful not to remove the velvety slime coat on the liner. Believe it or not, that’s beneficial bacteria. It helps keep the water’s ecosystem healthy. When the feature is up to your standards, slowly add the water you pumped out, back into your water feature. The agitation may cloud the water for a brief time. Learn more about beneficial bacteria.
Step 4 — Inspect and Clean Your Equipment
Before you get started — and this is important — make sure all water feature equipment is disconnected from the power source.
Gently clean the pump and filter, if you have one, as debris and organic waste can build up. Routine maintenance will keep your equipment working at peak performance. This maintenance entails getting rid of any debris that has collected on the internal and external surfaces. You may need to scrub gently with a washcloth or old toothbrush and warm water. Disassembly is quick and easy! Watch our helpful videos here.
Now is a suitable time to replace any filter foams from your filters. If you have a UV (ultraviolet) Clarifier, which effortlessly removes the green out of water and prevents nasty odors, make sure to inspect it as well. Check the quartz sleeve of the UV bulb is clean, crack-free, and functioning. We recommend that you replace the UV bulb every Spring. The efficiency of the UV bulb degrades over time, so replacing it in the spring season will ensure peak performance when it gets hot, and you need it most.
Step 5 — Let’s Decorate
This is the fun part! Decorate your feature to change it up or make your backyard dream a reality. Whether it’s decorative lighting, adding plants, or artificial lily pads, any addition can add a pop to your water feature.
Here's a condensed checklist:
- Check out the condition of your water feature.
- Take note and get any supplies you need for the season.
- Test the water and perform a 10-20% water change.
- Perform a complete water feature cleaning.
- Inspect and clean your equipment.
- Make your backyard dream a reality!
Download this quick-start version of the list and stick it on your refrigerator. We hope it gives you the jump start needed to get your water feature ready for the season ahead. The sooner you start, the sooner you can sit back and enjoy!