A water feature or fountain can add something truly special to your yard – a dynamic layer both when seen and when heard. As long as it is running it draws attention. Some water features can even attract birds. When your fountain stops running it can quickly become an eyesore. Here are some tips for maintaining a fountain or water feature.
Fountains should be cleaned every one to three months. Additives to reduce algae are also useful. Larger water features benefit from a deep clean every spring and fall, including an inspection for leaks. Ponds should be skimmed weekly to remove leaves and other debris.
2. Keep things moving
Static features such as ponds should still have water circulated with a pump. Aerating the water reduces algae buildup and prevents mosquito larvae from hatching. It can also attract birds more than a stagnant pond. If you have fish in your pond they need a certain level of aeration to breathe properly – talk to an aquarist about the specific needs of the fish you are keeping. It is worth considering adding at least a couple of insectivorous fish to control mosquitos.
3. Check pumps regularly
Pumps can easily become clogged. Filters and screens reduce, but don’t eliminate this – any debris gathered on the screen should be removed often. If there is any change in water level or any odd noise from the pump, check it immediately. If you turn your water feature off for the winter, then try to store the pump inside. This is particularly important for pondless water features.
4. Shade your feature.
Direct sunlight increases water evaporation, potentially causing problems with your pump and increasing the risk of algae. If you have a pond that is not located in a shady location, add shade plants around the edge to shade about 60 percent of the water surface.
If you are in doubt, then contact an expert. WP Law, Inc. has the expertise to repair and maintain fountains and residential water features, and they can both install and repair water features and advise you on the best way to do it yourself.
How hard could it be, right? You go to the nearest home improvement retailer, buy the pump that looks like the best deal, and 30 minutes later you are ready to install. Except it’s not as simple as that. The sump pump you choose now could prevent a lot of issues later. Even worse, it could add to them.
Submersible vs. Pedestal
Submersible pumps—those that are installed below water—are preferred in most situations. For one thing, being underwater makes them less prone to overheating. But your space may not accommodate a submersible pump, which means you will need to consider a pedestal pump. You will also need to consider the capacity of the impeller and the size of solids it can handle. One that is too small may clog easily and often.
Sump pumps are available in a variety of horsepower options. However, even choosing between pumps with 1/3 or 1/2 HP can have consequences. If you select a pump with too little horsepower, it will not be able to keep up with water flow in some situations. A pump with too much HP will cycle on and off more than it should, which can damage the pump. Therefore, you must estimate the gallons per hour (GPH) your sump pump will need to handle at the highest rate of flow.
Other issues to consider include mechanical vs. pressure switch, how to estimate the rate of water flow in your space, and more. Even if you do choose the right sump pump, proper installation is never a given. And that can also affect the performance of a sump pump. Therefore, we at WP Law, Inc. would love to learn more about your requirements. We can help you choose the right fit for your space needs before you invest your first dollar. To discuss your plans further, please contact WP Law, Inc. to talk with one of our sump pump experts. It could save you a lot of hassles down the road.
A traveling irrigation system can be the easiest way to evenly irrigate crops, sports fields or other large, flat areas. Often, however, the system fails to maintain the same water pressure as it moves, and does not distribute water evenly. Why is this?
A sprinkler system that is operating loses pressure through friction – a loss which has to be calculated when the system is designed. Because the primary loss of pressure is due to friction, the further the water has to travel, the more pressure is lost. Selecting the proper pipe size based on the flow rate of the system is an important design element.
If you are operating a sprinkler system on uneven ground, then any change in elevation is going to make the distribution of water pressure uneven. Pipes should be, as much as possible, laid across the slope rather than up and down it.
Compensating for these factors
A well designed system will compensate for this and ensure that you get the design pressure needed at heads furthest from the source or when the traveling system is furthest away.
To get even irrigation requires a certain expertise in system design. W.P. Law, Inc. is experienced in irrigation systems of all sizes, from small residential applications to farms and sports facilities. Contact them to find out what how to get even irrigation and no brown spots.
When talking to an irrigation specialist, you will hear a lot of jargon. One of those is backflow, which goes along with backflow preventer valves. Your installer will no doubt tell you how important it is to prevent backflow.
What is backflow?
Backflow is when water (or another fluid) flows through a piping system in the wrong direction. It is most often caused by a sudden drop in water pressure, which can happen any time you are attached to a municipal system – like if the fire service opens a hydrant a few streets over.
Why is backflow from your irrigation or piping system bad?
Any kind of backflow is bad. If, for example, you have a lawn irrigation system in your yard, the water used for irrigation will sit in underground pipes for days before the system turns on. Contaminants such as fertilizer, lawn care chemicals and even pet waste can be drawn back into the system if backflow occurs. Backflow can transmit this contaminated water back into the municipal piping system or even your home’s piping system. In industrial systems, backflow can also cause cross contamination with the municipal system or even contamination among other fluids used within the industrial process.
How do you prevent it?
Other than avoiding sudden water pressure drops, which are not always avoidable, backflow is prevented by a backflow preventer or valve. There are a variety of types, depending on the application and risk of backflow contamination. The type of backflow prevention device required is usually dictated by local and state codes. Your local water purveyor usually has a list of approved backflow prevention devices available on their website. A backflow preventer contains check valves that only allow flow in one direction. If a sudden drop in pressure occurs upstream of the backflow preventer, the check valves will close and block the flow of water back “upstream” into the system.
Preventing backflow is a key aspect of proper design of an irrigation or piping system. Contact a professional such as W.P. Law, Inc. to help you prevent potentially contaminated water ending up in your kitchen faucet, or worse.