Outdoor water features fill humans with delight, create an air of tranquility and add a great deal to any yard or garden. For those animals who aren’t humans, they’re essentially just a convenient source of water. Any fountain owner should assume that animals, both domestic and wild, will pop by their fountain now and again for a drink. Plan accordingly. This is particularly important in dry climates. Any source of water in these areas will not remain a secret to the local wildlife for long. Assume that they’ll stop by and want a drink and make an effort to be a gracious host where their needs are concerned.
Fortunately, many of the chemicals required to keep fountains free of nuisances such as algae don’t have to be overly-toxic. Many of them are safe for animals and one can use them without creating what amounts to a toxic water source. Two of the biggest chores for fountain owners are clearing out the aforementioned algae and deposits of white calcium. There are products that can be added to the water without presenting a hazard to any local fauna in the process. These should be purchased in preference to any others, as birds and other animals will most certainly take an interest in the fountain. Mosquito fish make an interesting addition to an outdoor water feature or garden water feature since they prey on mosquitoes as well as add life to your garden fountain.
Ponds are among the most tempting of all garden water features for animals. Ponds, of course, also require a great deal of water circulation to remain clean and fresh. Aside from the chemicals mentioned previously, a good pump is a great, non-toxic way to keep a pond fresh and clean. Stationed in the middle of the pond or at its edges, this mechanical filtration adds air to the water, cuts down on larvae that may be deposited on the water by insects and poses no threat to any animals that may happen by. Cascades of water are often very popular with birds.
While a great deal of the concern about maintaining outdoor water features in a safe way has to do with chemicals, there are other hazards that can be eliminated. A pond or a garden water feature is susceptible to becoming a breeding ground for mosquitoes and other nuisance animals. These animals can threaten others: mosquitoes are vectors for heartworm, West Nile virus and other serious ailments for humans and pets. Good mosquito repellant devices can eliminate this threat. Installed just below the water, they are non-toxic to animals and birds but are deadly to the larvae of invading mosquitoes.