Four Ways To Keep Your Backyard Fountain Clean

Statue water fountains can add endless beauty to your backyard landscape... as long as it stays clean! A green, algae-laden fountain won't win you any friends, and once the fountain gets to this point, cleaning it up can be a real burden. So, instead of waiting for grime to accumulate, follow these tips to keep your fountain clean:

Trim any trees overhead.

Ideally, you would place your fountain in a spot where there are no trees shading it so you don't have to worry about leaves tumbling down and into the fountain. But if your fountain is already located under a tree, the best you can do is keep the tree trimmed back as much as possible to reduce the portion that overhangs the fountain. If you water the tree during times of drought, this will also help to reduce leaf drop, which will, in turn, keep your fountain cleaner.

Put pennies in the fountain. 

Throwing a penny into a fountain is not just good luck. The copper in the pennies actually helps prevent algae and fungal growth. (That's why copper is the main ingredient in so many fungicides.) If you can find pennies made before 1982, these are best since they are made entirely of copper. Post-1982 pennies are just plated in copper, so they won't have as profound an effect. 

Use mosquito tablets.

In addition to algae, one of the biggest threats to your fountain's cleanliness is mosquitoes. These pesky creatures congregate wherever there is water, and as they breed in the water, it grows more and more murkier over time. You can purchase mosquito repellent tablets made specifically for water fountains. Put one into the fountain approximately every 30 days -- and as often as every 2 weeks during hot, humid weather.

Scrub the fountain regularly.

Ideally, you should drain your fountain, take it apart, and give it a good scrub every 6 to 12 months. This should remove the beginnings of any algae growth that is starting in spite of following the tips above. You can use plain dish detergent to clean the fountain. Scrub stubborn spots with a soft toothbrush, and use a garden hose to spray off the pump, removing any debris like little leaves and sticks. 

In addition to following the tips above, make sure you always scoop leaves and other debris out of the fountain as soon as you see it. Your fountain will stay looking clean and fresh!