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How to Get Rid of Green Slime in Water Fountains

Updated February 21, 2017

In addition to adding visual interest to the landscape, water fountains feature the soothing sound of running water. Over time, an unsightly green slime can form on the water and on the surface of the fountain. This green slime is actually algae which can bloom rapidly due to sunlight and warm temperatures. Commercial algicides will remove the algae, but a less expensive way to keep your fountain slime-free is to use products that can be found in most household pantries.

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  1. Unplug the pump and drain the fountain.

  2. Rinse off the fountain with fresh water. Use pipe cleaners or a toothbrush to thoroughly clean the pump's tubing and any spouts, small openings and crevices in the fountain.

  3. Pour a generous amount of vinegar into the fountain or into a bucket. Scrub all the surfaces of the fountain with the vinegar solution and a stiff brush. Vinegar has antibacterial and antifungal properties and will not damage the fountain's surface or tubing.

  4. Alternatively, use chlorine bleach to scrub the surfaces. Allow the fountain to dry and then rinse it thoroughly with clear water to remove all traces of the bleach.

  5. Reattach the tubing and refill the fountain. Consult your retailer or fountain manufacturer for recommendations on additives for the water to retard future algae growth.

  6. Warning

    Avoid using detergent to clean a water fountain. The bubbles can damage the pump and are difficult to clear from the water.

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Things You'll Need

  • Rubber gloves
  • White vinegar
  • Pipe cleaner or toothbrush
  • Scrub brush
  • Chlorine bleach (optional)

About the Author

Lee Weal began writing and editing online content as a corporate intranet administrator in 2000 and was also the publisher and editor of a monthly employee newsletter. Her articles specialize in children's issues and home improvement.

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