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I have a buried fountain reservoir that cannot easily be protected from rainwater. It soon fills and at some point this winter will freeze over.

Is there anything I can put in it that will prevent it from getting damaged? Something that would prevent or reduce pressure from splitting the sides?

[update]

The pump is already out, so I am not so concerned about that.

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    If no one answers here at Gardening&Landscaping after a few days (as I suspect), it might make sense to try this on Home Improvement, where dealing with frost problems may be more common. I have NO experience with fountains, but if the pump is at the bottom of the reservoir, and the reservoir is well buried and sturdy, I'd be more concerned about ice breaking the pump, and thus would consider trying to keep the reservoir nearly full. Here's an off-the-cuff idea for preventing reservoir damage: put in something/s inflated/compressible but sturdy - maybe cheap soccer balls or similar.
    – Ed Staub
    Dec 15 '11 at 14:51
  • @ed A good suggestion, worth sticking as an answer I could upvote. Thanks Dec 16 '11 at 11:36
  • Thanks, but where experience is key, I don't like to post my guesses as answers. Try it, and if it works, you post it ! ;-)
    – Ed Staub
    Dec 16 '11 at 13:36
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I have an olive barrel/reservoir/water feature that is completely buried underground. The pump is at the bottom of the barrel which is approximately 4 feet underground. I drain the reservoir in the autumn. It is full of water every spring. So far, in our zone 5 location, where temperatures of -30 deg C are not uncommon the barrel and pump have come through fine since being built in 2008.

If you are really worried get a cattle trough heater with guard from a feed store. That will keep things liquid at the cost of some electricity.

Water feature with buried reservoir

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