June 25, 2010, Newsletter Issue #172: Finding the Volume of Outdoor Water Fountains

Tip of the Week

Finding the volume of a garden feature is a first important step in choosing the best floating fountain. If you are currently creating a garden pond it is easy to calculate its capacity. Simply check the water meter when you start the garden hose running into the empty pond. Note the reading. When the pond is filled, immediately note the meter reading again and convert the cubic feet of water used into gallons. (Multiply cubic feet by 7.48 to convert.)

Finding the volume of existing floating pond fountains requires more creativity, especially for irregular forms like kidney shapes and for oblongs and circles. With rectangles and squares, simply, multiply length by width in feet to get the surface area. Circles require finding the radius (length in feet from the center to the edge) and multiplying the radius by itself and again by 3.14 for the surface area. Similarly, for ovals measure from the center to the most far away edge and the center to the closest edge. For area, multiply both numbers and the total again by 3.14. Break an oblong shape into a square and two half circles. Measure the square and treat the two half circles as a whole circle to get the area. Treat kidney and other irregular shapes accordingly, break them into standard geometric shapes and do the math for the area of each shape. A final key step is to multiply the surface area of any outdoor fountain by the average depth to get the approximate volume and convert cubic feet to gallons.

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