Step by Step: How to maintain a water feature

illustration: David Preiss
illustration: David Preiss

Pond maintenance programs are a good way for contractors to strengthen their businesses and stay connected to their customers. There are different ways to set up a maintenance program based on varying levels of involvement. For example, contractors may choose to offer only spring cleanouts and fall shutdowns, or they may opt for weekly, biweekly or monthly visits.

If enough customers need maintenance services on a regular basis, adding a full-time water feature maintenance employee is something to consider. A dedicated maintenance staffer allows for a faster response time when a customer calls with a problem. To take advantage of a full-time person, it is a good idea to offer a variety of maintenance packages for customers to choose from.

Performing on-site maintenance calls helps contractors stay in front of their customers and provides the opportunity to upsell new products and features for their ponds. Maintenance contracts also can provide steady revenue streams during slow periods. For example, spring cleanouts generate revenue in those critical months leading up to pond-building season.

Follow the steps here to perform a standard biweekly pond maintenance service.

Step 1


Complete the following items during each biweekly visit:

  • Clean skimmer net
  • Clean skimmer filter pads
  • Check pump/waterfall for proper flow
  • Check automatic fill valve for proper function and adjust
  • Check and maintain amount of string algae
  • Check all underwater lights
  • Check water condition
  • Apply beneficial bacteria
  • Replace gravel, if necessary
  • Cover exposed liner, if necessary
  • Fertilize plants (every 4 to 6 weeks)
  • Prune dead leaves and flowers from plants

Step 2


The maintenance program should include the rental (by client) and installation (by contractor) of a water treatment system, such as an Automatic Dosing System, to maintain water quality. During biweekly visits, check and service the system as needed.

Step 3


Net the pond in early fall to protect it from debris. The maintenance package should also include a fall shutdown in late fall and a spring cleanout in the spring.

Source: Aquascape
illustrations: David Preiss

LM Staff

LM Staff

Landscape Management's staff brings together collective experience in journalism, research, writing, and editing. Our team stays tapped into the pulse of the industry, covering a wide range topics with a commitment to delivering compelling stories and high-quality content.

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