Place water 15 feet from cover. Trees and shrubs are ideal – they provide a safe place for the ‘washed bird’ to perch and fluff feathers until they dry.
Be careful about water depth. 1”-2” is perfect. Any deeper, and birds can drown. If you have a deep water feature, put in rocks to bring the bottom up near the surface. This will be safer for the birds, and reduce the amount of water needed.
Clean baths regularly to remove algae and avoid spreading disease. Many sources recommend a 10% bleach to water solution, followed by thorough rinsing. We have had good success using a simple kitchen scrubber.