“What causes the water in an outdoor fountain to look foamy? I have a concrete fountain in my garden, and the water appears full of foam or suds. Any advice?”
Foam is a common problem in both outdoor and indoor fountains, usually caused by an excess of proteins and other organic compounds left behind by bacteria, plants, or animals. The compounds form a slick layer on the surface, which is then churned up into foam by the splashing water. Here are some ways to reduce the formation of foam in your garden fountain:
- Change the water in your fountain regularly to keep it fresh.
- Move your fountain out of direct sunlight – the sunlight increases evaporation, which increases the amount of material left behind in the water.
- If possible, use distilled water in your fountain to discourage mineral accumulation, algae, and bacteria.
- If the foam persists, you can also try products such as Jungle Laboratories No More Foam for Fountains or Crystal Clear Foam B Gone. These nontoxic additives help to dissolve the substances that cause the foam buildup.
- Clean your fountain with a scrub brush and water, or with a fountain cleaner, every couple of months. Never use regular soap or bleach – not only can these products harm the birds and creatures who may drink from your fountain, but they can also soak into porous concrete or stone and create foam of their own.