Solar Water Features
Adding a water feature to your back yard is a fun way to make an inviting, attractive garden area. Using solar energy to power your water feature is better yet. With solar pond and fountain pumps, you can make an attractive water feature that doesn’t cost money to operate. Solar pumps last for years and are convenient because they don’t need to be plugged in to an outlet and there are fewer wires involved in the system. Here are three fun ideas for backyard solar water features.
Solar Garden Pond
Garden ponds add peace and tranquility to any backyard. They provide good habitat for goldfish and water plants, but must be big enough to sustain them. Making a garden pond isn't to difficult to do yourself, but does require a lot of digging and moving of rock, so get your muscles ready and get a friend to help.
By adding a solar water pump to your backyard pond, you will keep the water from becoming stagnant. Stagnant water breeds mosquitoes and overall muckiness, so it is important to keep the water moving and aerated. Any old pond pump would work, but a solar pond pump has several advantages. First, you aren’t tied down to a location with access to electricity. Second, it costs nothing to operate a solar pump with free solar energy. And finally, you can operate your pump without consuming smog-producing electricity.
Solar Powered Fountain
Fountains create a soothing sound of moving water and add visual interest to their surroundings. They can be big or very small so are versatile for any backyard situation. If your backyard is small but gets sun, then a solar fountain is ideal. Many commercial fountains will work with a solar pump and there are solar fountain kits that are ready to install out of the box. Another option is to make your own solar fountain. All you need is a basin to hold the water, a solar pump and panel. You may also want form something for the water to trickle or cascade down. This can be rocks, a series of bowls, a piece of pretty metal, or anything else you can think up. It is also good to hide the pump tubing.
A solar waterfall can be part of a pond or it can stand alone as a disappearing waterfall. If you have a pond already, it isn’t difficult to add on a waterfall. You’ll need a waterfall filter or waterfall weir, solar pump, and rocks for the water to cascade down. Use mortar or black waterfall foam to keep the water running over the rocks, not under them. If you don’t have a pond, you may prefer a standalone waterfall. Disappearing water features are simpler to maintain and safer because there is no open water that a child or anyone could fall into.
Any backyard that gets at least a little bit of direct sunlight throughout the day can be enhanced by a solar water feature. Whether it is a small fountain, large garden pond or anything in between, building a solar powered water feature is a fun weekend (or extended weekend) project.