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Update Your Home With a Water Feature

There’s a reason waterfront properties are always in demand - water makes you feel serene and rested. You can get the same feeling every time you use your backyard when you install your own water feature. Whether you’d like a garden-like koi pond or fountain, or a lagoon-style swimming pool, here are a few ideas to consider.

Ponds

A pond can be the focal point of your yard. You can also keep colorful koi (a kind of carp that come in many patterns and colors) or goldfish to add to the attraction. Ponds can attract frogs, turtles, birds and butterflies, as well.

Creating ponds is easy. Pond kits can be purchased that include rubber liners, liner protection fabric, a pump, biological filter, filter media, pump sock, PVC tubing, a check valve, and assorted fittings and adhesives. You can do it yourself or you can hire a landscape architect who will help you design the pond, the surrounding fauna, walkways and seating to create an attractive and healthy sustainable pond environment.

Stocked with plants, the pond has its own natural cleaning system, but it still should be cleaned seasonally, or two to four times per year to make sure algae isn’t taking over the water surface.

Maintenance may include de-chlorination, removal of some plants and algae, PH balance and control, and adding beneficial bacteria, pond tint, granulated oxygen, and seasonal products.

If you have fish, cleaning the pond is a little trickier. The fish have to be safely removed for cleaning and kept in a safe environment, and then re-acclimated to the fresher water conditions. Recommended plants should also be removed, kept hydrated, and also re-acclimated.

Fountains

From decorating an outdoor wall or tabletop to creating waterfalls by a swimming pool, fountains provide a beautiful addition to a backyard. The water is recirculated via tubes and pumps, and the volume can be set to a soothing trickle or a roaring waterfall.

The care for fountains is easier than for ponds as you likely won’t have plants or fish creating bacteria that can turn into algae. That said, you’ll still have some, so at the least, you’ll have to keep the waterspouts and bowls clean.

The latest in fountains is solar-operated. The sun's energy runs the water without electricity. Their power comes from a panel on the fountain that receives energy from the direct sun. Remote solar panels can be placed several feet away from the fountain, as well. The fountain may not operate on a cloudy day, but you can purchase a backup battery.

Lighted fountains make a spectacular display at night. Smaller ones can be plugged into an outdoor

plug on a patio. Decorating a wall, standing alone, or on a tabletop, lighted fountains evoke a romantic mood.

Swimming pools

The largest and most expensive water feature, swimming pools are popular choices for swimmers, sunbathers, and loungers. Pools can be designed in-ground or above ground. Deck surrounds, attractive tile, and landscaping adds to the appeal of a pool.

Pools also require more frequent care than other water features. Debris must be filtered out, the pool cleaned often, and the quality of the water checked frequently. The filtering equipment, pumps, and water levels must all be well-maintained to keep the pool safe to swim in. Many busy pool owners hire maintenance services which adds to the expense, but they value the increased free time to enjoy the pool. Like fountains, pools can be solar heated, so you can enjoy your pool beyond the summer months.

Check local ordinances regarding pools as many cities require safety fencing surrounding the pool area, which can detract from the looks of the installation.

Whatever water feature you decide on, keep in mind that installing it may not add value to your home, but if you keep your water feature beautifully maintained, it will definitely be a desirable feature when it comes time to sell your home.