One of a community association’s biggest priorities is aesthetic appeal. Aesthetically pleasing elements around a community can help retain homeowners and make it more desirable to potential residents, boost property values, strengthen its reputation, and inspire confidence in property managers. But it can be challenging to sustain superior aesthetics without nonstop maintenance.

Floating fountains are an excellent, cost-effective tool that can provide long lasting aesthetic benefits without the burden of constant maintenance. Better yet, fountains have many functional advantages to steadily support the health and beauty of aquatic ecosystems.

Like a star on a Christmas tree or a vase of flowers on a table, fountains are often used as a finishing touch on lakes and ponds. Property managers can choose from dozens of options to fit the unique aesthetic needs of their communities – from large, magnificent systems that propel intricate water patterns into the air, to delicate fountains with graceful silhouettes. They can stand alone as a spectacular focal point or be grouped together for eye-catching shape and movement. Fountains can also be outfitted with captivating lighting elements to reflect brand colors, holidays, and themed events, or simply for continued enjoyment after the sun has set.

But many property managers don’t know that their benefits are twofold. Floating fountains are not only capable of transforming the beauty of a waterbody, they also help reinforce healthy, balanced water quality conditions.

This is accomplished in two ways. First, fountains increase dissolved oxygen (DO) levels in the waterbody. The turbulence of water falling across the lake or pond increases the transfer of oxygen at the surface. Second, fountains help circulate the water, spreading vital DO throughout the water column.

DO is an important indicator of a healthy waterbody, and one of the first components aquatic experts measure during lake and pond evaluations. Fish, native plants, and beneficial bacteria and organisms that serve as the base of the food chain all require DO to survive. Balanced DO levels help support healthy, flourishing ecosystems that, in turn, enhance the surrounding community.

DO is also essential for the natural “digestion” of bottom muck, animal waste, and other organic matter containing high concentrations of nutrients. When nutrient levels pass a desirable threshold, aquatic weeds, algae, and toxic cyanobacteria (also known as blue-green algae) are more likely to develop – leading to frustrated residents and ongoing complaints to property managers. Once weeds and algae become established in a waterbody, they may trigger other problems like dangerous shoreline erosion, fish kills, stormwater damage, and flooding.

Fountains are incredible tools, but sometimes communities are more interested in the functional benefits than aesthetics. In these cases, professionals may recommend a surface aerator. Like a traditional fountain, surface aerators float on the waterbody, but are designed to churn water at a higher flow, injecting up to 3 lbs of oxygen per horsepower per hour into the water.

It’s important to note that fountains and surface aerators are most effective in waterbodies less than 6 feet deep. That’s why professionals recommend pairing lake fountains with a submersed aerator, which pumps surface air through a diffuser placed on the bottom of the waterbody. As the bubbles rise, they further oxygenate and circulate the water column.

Though fountains and aerators are considered low-maintenance, annual upkeep will help prolong equipment performance for as long as possible. As part of an annual management program, aquatic experts make the process easy. Approximately once a month, your professional will check the system, removing any debris that may have accumulated and closely examining for any signs of wear.

1-2 times per year, your professional may remove the fountain to perform a more comprehensive inspection of the motor and wiring. If freezing is particularly severe in the region, they may also prepare it for winterization. This involves draining the equipment, removing accessories like lights and nozzles, disconnecting wiring, and wrapping it in a protective cover for winter storage. Every 3-4 years, your professional will also perform an oils and seals change, which involves replacing components that help the system run smoothly and prevent water from leaking into the power unit.

Fountains provide unparalleled benefits, both aesthetic and functional, but they are just one piece of a comprehensive annual management program. Aquatic experts tailor these programs to the unique environmental demands of your waterbody, incorporating many tools and solutions as needed. These include water quality testing, nutrient mitigation, shoreline restoration, buffer management, weeds and algae treatments, mechanical hydro-raking, and other impactful services.

Maintaining an aesthetically pleasing community is more challenging than it looks. Property managers know that premium aesthetics often require significant upkeep, time, and expenses. Floating fountains can make a big splash in any community while working overtime to support the health of the aquatic ecosystem and the well-being of residents.

SOLitude Lake Management is a leading environmental firm specializing in the sustainable management of lakes, stormwater ponds, wetlands, and fisheries. Learn more about this topic at

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