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Water Quality/Cat Water Fountain


Hello. I am not sure if this question is directly related to your area of expertise but I have been unable to find an answer or solution and I am hoping you can help. I just purchased a stainless steel water fountain for my cats. Prior to this, I had a plastic fountain but plastic can cause a problem for cats. The new stainless steel fountain consists of a bowl, and a top piece where the cascading waterfall flows out of and into the bowl, powered by a pump, and it has a charcoal filter. This fountain does not have a water reservoir like the previous one, therefore I have to add water to keep it at a certain level. I am using bottled "spring" water, although I have also used distilled water in the past. This fountain has only been in use for 3 days so a complete routine cleaning is not needed yet. What I am finding on the surface of the water is a large circle of foam (?) which looks like soap bubbles that have congregated together; and this same accumulation is appearing in the water along the sides of the fountain. I have removed this "foam" and added new water but it just comes back. I know that it could be from minerals, but it did not occur with the previous plastic fountain. It is very unsightly; I just don't know why it never occurred with the other fountain and I would like to eliminate it. Should I just change to distilled water? I am also trying to consider what is best for the operation of the pump, as I know my regular tap water is hard water which comes from a municipal source (but this area is rural) so I think hard water deposits would build up in the pump and eventually ruin it therefore I use the bottled water. I greatly appreciate any information you can provide, thank you for your help.

Hi Joan,
I would just use distilled water.  If you buy it at a grocery store it's usually cheaper than the bottled "spring" water.  I have tested various bottled waters that call themselves "spring" water and found that they are no better (most of them anyway) than regular municipal water.  In fact a lot of them are just municipal water that has been run through a charcoal filter to take out the chlorine.  But they are full of other minerals.  Without knowing what's in the water I think just using distilled should take care of the problem.  If it doesn't let me know and we'll look at other options.
Good luck,

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Steve Young


I will answer questions on residential water treatment, i.e. use of softeners, filters, reverse osmosis systems, disinfection, iron and/or sediment removal and other issues facing the homeowner. I have worked extensively with well water systems.


I have worked in the water treatment area for many years as a consultant and as a professional environmental engineer in the private industry sector. I have designed reverse osmosis, deionization, and water softening systems. I have also done work in water quality and stream and river remediation as it relates to the Clean Water Act.

I am currently serving as an Expert for Home Improvement, Travel (New Mexico) and Travel (North Carolina);

BS Environmental Eng.

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