Date added: 09/17/2014 Pond Fountains: Clean Water vs. Dirty Water Fountains

If you are planning to install a pond fountain in your backyard or farm pond this year for aeration, algae control and aesthetics then evaluating the quality of the water in your pond is one of the most important factors to consider before choosing your fountain.

Some ponds have plastic or concrete liners and are primarily filled by well water to maintain the desired water level. These ponds are considered to be "clean water ponds".

A clean water fountain that is equipped with a common submersible sump pump will have a shortened lifespan in a retention pond application as these types of pumps are not designed for continuous duty in dirty water conditions. A sump pump will work fine for a varying period of time depending on the concentration of particulates in the water and then the seals will fail allowing water into the motor section, which causes the pump to malfunction. Most pump manufacturers do not recommend using sump pumps with “lip seals” in a pond fountain application and they will not warranty seal failure. Sump pumps are widely used on pond fountains because they are inexpensive. Most sump pumps are intended to operate only for the period of time necessary to pump water out of a flooded area like a basement. Sump pumps will give an acceptable lifespan when used in a lined pond filled with well water.

Most ponds fall into the category of “retention ponds”. A retention pond is primarily fed by rainwater runoff from the surrounding grounds and is considered to be a “dirty water pond”. When rainwater drains to a retention pond it carries particulates such as dirt, sand, clay and decayed organics into the pond with it. These particulates are what cause the pond water to take on a dark or cloudy appearance.

A dirty water pond fountain utilizes a submersible pump that is designed to handle dirty water conditions. A dirty water pump has a different seal configuration than a common sump pump and also uses a different type of impeller in most cases. A dirty water pump usually contains at least one set and often two sets of “silicon carbide on ceramic face seals”. Pumps that utilize this type of seal are found in many industrial applications and processes because of their ability to work in harsh and corrosive environments. Dirty water pumps with industrial seals will normally have 3 to 5 times the lifespan of a common sump pump in a retention pond. This is due to the industrial seals ability to withstand the sandblasting effects that occur inside the pump as the dirty water rushes thru the pump.

When selecting a pond fountain, make the ponds water quality a primary factor in determining which type of fountain is right for you. If you get a fountain that is designed to operate in your ponds water conditions for many years then your fountain experience will be a happy one, like it should be!