Be Wise When Using Water Features

Got a fountain in your landscape? You can now enjoy the soothing sounds of it — and other water features — while kicking back in your garden watching the wildlife revel in it, too.

Residential water features can run anytime, even during drought restrictions. Still, while enjoying your fountain, pond, waterfall or stream, remember they do use valuable water. And, depending on the size and location, they may use more than necessary. Consider these factors when planning and operating your water feature:

  • Orient your water feature so that both sun and wind are minimal; at the very least, aim for placement in late afternoon shade.
  • Use a watering can or gallon jug to refill the basin of your water feature no more than twice a week.
  • Don’t use a hose or an auto-refill device to replace evaporated water; automatic devices frequently overfill or fall into disrepair and it’s dangerous to place a hose into a vessel of non-potable water (including swimming pools) due to contamination risk.

Ideally, we discourage operating fountains at all during drought restrictions. But with a few simple steps, you can minimize the amount of discretionary water used and still enjoy the soothing benefits of landscape water features.

Picture of Mark Peterson
Mark Peterson
Mark A. Peterson was a conservation project coordinator for San Antonio Water System before retiring. With over 30 years of experience as an urban forester and arborist, Mark is probably the only person you know who actually prunes trees for fun. When not expounding on the benefits of trees and limited lawns, you're likely to find him hiking San Antonio's wilderness parks or expounding on the virtues of geography and history to his friends.
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