Water Feature Winter Care Guide

water fountain in winter

Backyard water features add beautiful bubbling joy to your green space. Except, in winter, when they freeze over and can break. Just like a pool, it is essential to winterize any water features that you have in your yard. Here is a quick guide on how to care for different water features when it gets cold. 

Non-Fish Ponds 

How do you care for ponds that don’t have fish? The process is a little simpler than it is for koi ponds: 

  1. Debris: Fall probably left many leaves and other natural debris in your pond. It is important to clean this out. If you use netting to prevent it, don’t forget to remove it before it begins to snow. 
  2. Trim: Underwater plants need trimming just like land-based plants. Trim down lilies and others to within one inch of their crown. 
  3. Cold water bacteria: This is an optional step to keep the water cleaner and make opening the pond in the spring a little easier. Cold water bacteria will keep debris and keep the water clear. 
  4. Remove the pump: If left in place, the water inside the pump could freeze, breaking it. Empty the pump of water and store it inside for the winter. 

Looking for help winterizing your outdoor water features? Reach out to our team today.

Koi Ponds 

Any outdoor pond in Canada should have a species of fish that can survive our cold winter conditions, given the right habitat. Koi fish are one of these fish. They will be able to lay dormant through the winter assuming the water in your pond is at least four feet deep. This protects them from directly freezing. Otherwise, their metabolism slows down and they simply wait for spring. 

Winterizing your koi pond is a relatively involved process. Your koi will still need aeration of their water to breathe properly, but your traditional pump may not work in the cold. Instead, you may want to add a bubbler or aerator at the bottom of the pond. There are also in-pond pumps that can work. If you use one of these options, you will also need a floating de-icer to leave a hole in the ice at the top of the pond. Otherwise, there is nowhere for the bubbles to go. 

If you don’t think you can provide good conditions for your koi or fish, don’t forget that you can put them in an indoor aquarium for the winter. 

Water Fountains 

Do you have a water fountain? These also need to be prepared for the chilly water. Here is how you do it: 

  • Empty the fountain: Leaving water in place can crack the fountain and put pressure on it. 
  • Remove pump: The pump could break if it is left running or if there is any water left in it. You may want to clean the pump while you’re at it, using vinegar or a dedicated cleaner to remove algae and debris. 

Do you have questions about water feature care over the winter? Reach out to our team today. 

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