Tips on removing suds from an outdoor water feature
Outdoor water features can develop suds naturally from organic compounds deposited in the water from different origins. These features are also left open to neighbourhood pranksters who dump dish soap or bubble bath in them causing a large clean up project.
Removing the suds from your outdoor water feature can be done with store bought chemicals made specifically for this purpose or you can utilise some of the things you most likely have around the house.
Removal of Natural Suds
Natural suds that have been deposited in the water from bacteria, plants or animals can be removed with non-toxic foam removers. Foam for Fountains or Crystal Clear Foam B Gone are just two of the many products that are available today. These products dissolve the substances that are causing the problem. They can be used safely for this purpose.
The reason for the natural suds is the film that the organic material leaves on top of the water. The water going through the filter, water fall or any pressurised hose, churns the film into suds. Removing this film will remove the suds. To do so, gently lay large beach towels spread out on the water's surface to soak up the suds and the film that is causing it. An old foam mattress topper will work like a sponge which will also soak up the film and suds when laid across the water's surface.
Removal of Soap Suds
If the suds are from a soap source, chances are the water feature is flowing over with white foam. Usually you can pick up this type of foam with a pool skimmer. Shovelling all of the foam off the water into an open sheet which will be gathered up and then transferred is the quickest way to get rid of large amounts of foam, which can be carried off in the sheet and dumped in a spot where it will not harm vegetation.
A wet-vac can also be used to carefully vacuum up the suds. You will need to be careful about not getting too much water in it at the same time or you will be emptying the canister frequently. Skimming over the top with the vacuum hose can quickly remove the suds. The canister will compress the suds so you can clean a moderate amount up before having to dump it out.
Removal of Both Types of Suds
Some common food items can help to remove the suds from both the natural origin and soap sources. Regular table salt sprinkled over the top of the suds will make the suds dissipate on contact.
Vinegar will also work in taking the suds down in size if you pour it into the water and let it sit for an hour or so. You only need one bottle to do a small pond and just a capful for a fountain. The only down fall to this is the smell which will stay with your water feature for a day or so.
If you have fish or plant life in your water feature, check with the vendors for their recommendations when adding anything into the water to dissolve the suds. Even though most of these techniques are safe to use, the life in your water feature could be in jeopardy if you use too much of an additive. It is best to double check for this reason.