Water Feature Algae Control: Maintaining a Healthy and Safe Office Landscape

If your commercial landscape contains water features, you will need to keep on top of algae growth. Thick layers of algae, called algal blooms, may form when nutrients build up in the water in amounts in excess of naturally-occurring nutrients. When you see this occurring, it’s time to call in the experts!

Water features bring a sense of tranquillity and elegance to office landscapes, creating a serene environment for employees and visitors alike. However, the presence of algae can quickly turn these captivating features into unsightly and potentially hazardous areas.

Algal blooms can often form in stagnant waters, or water that is exposed to too much light, high temperatures, or too many nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen, often caused by too much sedimentation that has accumulated at the bottom of the pond or water feature, and that also reduces the oxygen in the water which can cause problems for the ongoing health of ‘pond cleaning plants’.

Whereas swimming pools will often use chlorine to keep on top of algal growth, in water features and ponds, adding harsh chemicals like this will damage the wildlife that has taken up home in your pond. So another solution is needed.

In this article, we'll explore the importance of water feature algae control and effective strategies to maintain a healthy and safe office landscape.

water feature algae control

What Causes Algae To Grow in Water Features?

Algae growth not only diminishes the aesthetic appeal of your water feature but can also compromise its water quality and safety.

Algae are primitive aquatic organisms that thrive in water bodies, taking advantage of sunlight, nutrients, and warmth. While some algae can be harmless, others can multiply rapidly and form unsightly blooms that discolour the water and emit foul odours. In addition to the aesthetic issues, excessive algae growth can lead to oxygen depletion, imbalanced pH levels, and even pose health risks to humans and animals.

It is clear then that it is important to keep algae under control from a health and safety point of view, but tackling this job will also keep your grounds looking their best, which makes a great first impression for visitors to your site.

  • Aesthetic Appeal: Algae-covered water features are unattractive and can detract from the overall appearance of your office landscape, making a negative impression on clients and visitors.
  • Water Quality: Algae can degrade water quality by consuming oxygen and releasing toxins. This can harm aquatic life and create an environment that is unsuitable for fish or other aquatic organisms.
  • Health and Safety: Algae blooms can harbour harmful bacteria and create slippery surfaces around the water feature, increasing the risk of accidents and falls.

water feature algae control

Effective Algae Control Strategies

One of the most effective ways to prevent algae from forming is to install appropriate filtration systems in your water feature to remove debris and excess nutrients that algae feed on. Mechanical and biological filters can help maintain water clarity.

Regular aeration also introduces oxygen into the water, disrupting the growth of algae and promoting a healthier aquatic environment. This is why many public parks that have ponds and man-made water features as part of their landscapes will often have a fountain ‘at play’. So next time you see a particularly elaborate fountain design, think that there is a functionality to the feature other than just seeming like an ostentatious show of wealth!


You could also consider adding floating plants – and lily pads with their beautiful blooms will often go hand in hand with a large pond feature - or introduce natural shading to reduce direct sunlight exposure to the water's surface. Less direct sunlight can inhibit algae growth.

For swimming pools, chlorine is often used to keep algae growth in check, but for more natural bodies of water, other algaecides are used. Algaecides in general are chemical treatments that can effectively control algae growth. However, they should be used cautiously and according to manufacturer recommendations to prevent harm to aquatic life. Even a modest water feature can soon become home to water snails, frogs, newts and other creatures, and so you wouldn’t want to inadvertently harm your pond’s residents.

And then it goes without saying that a regular pond or water feature maintenance schedule that includes cleaning the water feature, removing debris, and checking for signs of algae growth will prevent a larger restoration job needing to be done to correct out-of-check algal growth.


Water Feature Maintenance Tips

Embrace these techniques to keep algae in check and maintain a healthy and inviting office environment.

  • Regular Cleaning: Remove leaves, debris, and organic matter from the water's surface to prevent nutrient build-up.
  • Water Testing: Periodically test the water's pH, ammonia, and nitrate levels to ensure they remain within healthy ranges.
  • Beneficial Plants: Introduce aquatic plants that naturally compete with algae for nutrients, helping to keep their growth in check.
  • Balance Nutrient Levels: Limit the introduction of excess nutrients into the water, such as fertilizers from nearby landscaping, to prevent overfeeding algae.
  • Pruning: Trim or remove overgrown plants that may shade the water feature excessively, creating conditions favourable for algae growth.
  • Monitor Fish Population: If your water feature includes fish, ensure that the fish population is balanced to prevent overloading the system with excess nutrients.

A water feature can be the centrepiece of your office landscape, offering a peaceful retreat for everyone who encounters it. By implementing effective algae control strategies, you can ensure that your water feature remains visually appealing, environmentally friendly, and safe for all. A well-maintained water feature not only enhances the aesthetics of your office landscape but also contributes to the well-being and enjoyment of your employees and visitors.

If algae growth becomes overwhelming, seek assistance from a professional landscaping company like SPA Landscaping, who are experienced in water feature maintenance.


Contact Us

If you are a facilities manager, property or land owner looking for a reliable ground maintenance team for either the renovation of your grounds, water features or are looking for a regular maintenance contract, get in touch with us.

Telephone: (0114) 269 9119


Request a Free Quote