1. Missed the live Ask the Expert event?
    Catch up on the conversation about fertilization strategies for success with the experts at Koch Turf & Ornamental in the Fertilizer Application forum.

    Dismiss Notice

How to rid a Pondless waterfall of Soap and Bubbles

Discussion in 'Water Features' started by JimLewis, Jun 28, 2005.

  1. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,872

    Just in case anyone here on Lawnsite or out there in the internet doing a search wants to know how to get rid of bubbles, soap, suds, foam, etc. from a pond, waterfall or waterfeature, here is how I did it just now.

    I came outside and noticed bubbles everywhere where my new water feature used to be. Some friends had left just an hour before so I knew it had happened within the last hour. And NOBODY soaps a fountain and doesn't come back by later to see how their cute little dirty deed turned out. There's just too much curiousity. So knowing that, my goal was to get rid of any evidence of suds before the little shi....err...culprits found their way back.

    Forget the fact that I got soaped in the first place. That was already too late to stop this time. And I knew it would happen sooner or later anyway. It is something I expected since I first installed my water feature. I wasn't as concerned about the fact that I got soaped as I was about not letting the little SOBs get any pleasure out of seeing the soap. Furthermore, I wanted them to drive by and see it all cleaned up and working again so they'd think, "Dang! He got that cleaned up already? Well that was no fun!"

    So I quickly got online and did a pretty thorough search here on Lawnsite and throughout the internet. There really isn't much written on this subject of how to rid a pond or waterfall of suds, surprisingly. What most people wrote as the solution was to throughly clean out the entire pond, waterfall, filters, everything and totally replace all of the water. UGH! That would take hours! And with a pondless waterfall (where the "pond" part is totally filled up with rocks) that would be virtually impossible to remove all the water and clean it out thoroughly. I had to come up with a different game plan. And I had to act fast before the little punks came back....

    So here's what I did; First, I got rid of all of the suds and moved them off of the water feature with straight water from a hose. No nozzles on the end of the hose. The nozzles restricted the water flow too much. And I noticed right away that the one thing the bubbles didn't like was tons of water flow. Straight water from the hose not only cleared the mass of bubbles off my water feature into the street very quickly, but it also virtually vaporized them. After 5 minutes of blowing them all off my water feature into the street, it only took another 10 minutes to get rid of all the bubbles piled in the street.

    Well, by that time, another mound had started forming at the bottom of my water feature. I would have to replace the contaminated water, I thought. So I stuck the hose into the top of the water feature. Having a hose bib that is hooked up straight to my main water line (not from the house, but the actual water line) really helps. I get over 20 GPM from this hose. So anyway, I placed it at the top of the water feature and went inside for 30 minutes.

    The goal here was to overflow the waterfeature. Any water feature - I don't care if it's pondless, a regular pond with a waterfall, etc. - has a low spot or a place where the water goes as soon as the water feature is overflowed. So my goal was to overflow the water feature and eventually clean the water that way. It's like if you put a cup of milk in the sink and turn on the faucet over this cup. Eventually, fairly quickly actually, the glass is totally empty of most all of the milk and is full of clear water. That's what I was trying to do here.

    So I returned to the water feature 30 minutes later. Another big pile of suds had formed, about 1/3 the size of the first pile. I quickly blew those out into the street and melted them down as described above. Then, nothing.


    It is now suds free and has been for over an hour now. No bubbles. Nothing but my nice waterfall again.

    So just in case anyone else ever has this problem, this is how I solved it. Seems to have worked pretty well.

    Of course, the other solution - that I didn't see mentioned anywhere - is to set your water feature on a timer. Make it so that it goes off every night at dark and doesn't turn back on until the morning. Most little punks want to see some immediate gratification. They want to see bubbles when they drive back by in an hour or two. If your water feature is off after it gets dark, you will have a lot less chance of someone vandalizing it. This is my next step that I will implement within a few days.
  2. wlkjr

    wlkjr LawnSite Member
    Messages: 26

    Wouldn't a little fabric softner such as Downy have worked?
  3. i_plant_art

    i_plant_art LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 558

    so did u ever see the little punks comming back around or find out who they were?

    DUSTYCEDAR LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Messages: 5,132

    yes it does that is what i was going to say
  5. Brianslawn

    Brianslawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,004

    you shouldve stood out there and did your dishes while you waited for them to come back. now i know why i havent seen bobby gedd on here the last couple days.
  6. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,157

    what about a defoamer like the we use if we aren't careful mixing pesticides????
  7. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,872

    Nope. That doesn't work.
  8. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,872

    Yes, as a matter of fact, after I posted this, it happened again about a week later. As luck would have it, my wife was upstairs and was just shutting the blinds for the night when she looked out and saw 5 or 6 punk teenagers soaping the fountain. She yelled downstairs at me and I got in my truck within 20 seconds and started chasing after the little bass-turds. I almost caught up to them but then they ditched somewhere where I couldn't follow them. But we definitely scared the crap out of them. Haven't had any problems since. It's been good for almost 2 months now.
  9. poolboy

    poolboy LawnSite Silver Member
    from earth
    Messages: 2,408

    Go to your local spa/pool store and get a bottle of soap & scum remover. It's used for your spa when you bring to much soap from your clean bathing suit. I've used in the past; however, when there is too much I just drain and refill and start over.
  10. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    It seems that a little squirt of Recede would do the trick.

Share This Page