By Patrick Simmsgeiger, Founder of DWI
It provides a beautiful finishing touch to any landscape design. A source of refreshment for the eyes, ears, and the soul, it may be a gift of nature or the creation of a landscape architect. No matter if it takes the form of a lake, stream, pond, or body of water, it takes a water maintenance professional to keep the water flowing on your aquatic environments.
Just as it takes someone to trim the trees, re-paint the walls and replace the burned out light bulbs, water features are an investment for any golf course that needs professional care in order to keep them looking as good as the day they were created.
To start with, a architect should consider maintenance in the initial design of a water feature as crucial to proper function. In reality, most water features have been completed and filled by the time a HOA takes control. Water maintenance professionals understand and will accept this challenge, but don’t be surprised though if they bring the design to your attention, as the design, or lack thereof, affects the functionality.
Now that your water feature has been designed and built, plan ahead by having a well though out budget and reserve allowance based on a reserve study that is updated yearly. This budget should allow for a regularly scheduled maintenance program and will include allowances for repairs and possible upgrades. Once you have your budget in place, the process of hiring of a water maintenance professional should include some planning as well.
Request bids from at least three different companies so that you have a selection to choose from and can make an informed decision. The water maintenance company should be required to validate the trust that you are about to place in them as a partner in maintaining your water feature. Proof of licenses, permits, general liability, workers compensation, vehicle verifiable, long-term references.
Once you find a company with these qualifications, listen to their suggestions. Trust your water maintenance professional to do the right thing. They are devoted to the beautification of aquatic environments and they have an investment in maintaining your trust. The better job that they do, the more likely you are to keep them on the job, so listen to their advice as you would any one on your management staff, from your accountant to your landscape company.
An aquatic company environment is a treasure to enjoy and cherish. The key to keeping the water flowing is a little planning, and the support of a water maintenance professional.