A talk involving the National Park Service titled “A Manageable Approach for the Maintenance of Fountain Water” recently caught our attention. Descal-A-Matic has a long history of providing effective water treatment for public fountains, including the World War II fountain and pool on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
So when we came across the talk, we were interested to see what the speaker, an Objects Conservator had to say about fountain water, particularly related to preventing scale and algae growth. While the presentation is fairly technical, a few key points resonated with us and show a clear alignment with the Descal-A-Matic Ion Generator.
The speaker states, “In many cases it is practical to use halogens such as chloride or bromide or metals like copper or silver to control unwanted growth. Chlorine is the most common method used to eliminate unwanted biological growth. Chlorine used in a fountain can be effective at disinfecting water but may have other unwanted side effects. Chlorine used in an outdoor feature will add swimming pool odor to the surrounding areas. Chlorine and other halogens can deteriorate the mechanical systems of the artwork in contact with the chlorinated water or the vapors from these waters.
“Copper and silver are commonly used to control biological growth in water. Some studies have shown that particular growths in accommodation of copper and silver work better. Copper acts as an algaestat rather than an algaecide retarding and preventing growth but not actually killing established algae. Silver is an algaecide for pink algae but otherwise is a better bactericide.”
While the purpose of the talk wasn’t to promote copper and silver as the only viable solution, it does reinforce our findings, which are that the Ion Generator is an effective and proven solution for controlling algae in water systems. The system in particularly effective in water features and fountains, and provides a safe, non-chemical treatment option.