Written by Greg Blackham, Aquatic Specialist
Your pond fountain is one of the greatest assets to your pond and community. It provides an attractive display of water and lights year-round while also providing your pond with essential aeration and circulation. As you get further north where temperatures tend to be much lower in the winter season, ponds freeze much faster and the ice gets much thicker. This colder weather can prevent the year-round benefits of running the fountain. Many communities even have to remove their fountains from the water until warmer conditions return.
In theory, if a pond fountain continues to operate twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, the water around and under the fountain would never freeze because it would be constantly moving. In practice, this can sometimes be just too risky. If the wind blows one direction for an extended period, ice could start to form. A plastic bag, leaves, or debris, can clog the fountain and impair the output enough to let the encroaching ice solidify and damage the motor seals. These possibilities and other rare events can make running the fountain in the winter a possible liability.
There is one solid and tested solution for keeping a fountain running through the bitter months of winter regardless of how cold it gets. Bottom diffused aeration systems make a perfect companion to a fountain. These aeration systems transport air from a land-based compressor to diffuser disks placed at the bottom of a pond. They then produce a conical stream of bubbles vertically approaching the surface. When placed directly under a fountain, this constant stream of air will prevent the water directly around the fountain from freezing all winter. This coupling of aeration systems will keep your beautiful fountain running all year long, and will also provide a dramatic increase in water quality due to the supplemental benefits of bottom diffused aeration. In a sense, “You can have your cake and eat it too!"
NOTICE: With freezing temperatures upon us, we advise our clients of this: If your floating fountain is currently running, keep it on and if it's off, keep it off. If you have concerns with your fountain's timer or other winter fountain or aeration maintenance questions, please contact SOLitude's office to speak with one of our professionals.
Contact the experts at 888-480-LAKE (5253) for all of your lake, pond and fisheries management needs.
Greg Blackham is an Aquatic Specialist with SOLitude Lake Management. Since 1998, SOLitude Lake Management has been committed to providing full service lake and pond management services that improve water quality, preserve natural resources, and reduce our environmental footprint. Services are available throughout the Eastern United States. Fisheries management consulting and aquatic products are available nationwide. Learn more about SOLitude Lake Management and purchase products at www.solitudelakemanagement.com.