Just add water
Water features bring that little something extra to any pool, whether adding a touch of drama or creating a soothing space for relaxation.
Pool water features and waterfalls come in a range of designs and styles, which can become the centrepiece of your pool or fade seamlessly into the environment…the choice is yours. In some cases, it may be possible to retrofit a waterfall or water feature to an existing swimming pool, but you’ll need some expert advice to be sure that the pool’s filtration and system and pump are suitable (or can be augmented) and that the existing drainage is up to the task.
Curtains, cascades and rain waterfalls
These designs come in a range of sizes and styles that can be fitted in straight or curved lines to suit your requirements. As the names imply, they feature a curtain or cascade of rushing water that automatically becomes the focal point of the pool, particularly if illuminated at night-time.
Rain designs are intended to mimic the sound of rainfall, offering a relaxing soundscape and adding another dimension to your outdoor oasis. They will give varying effects at different heights but as a rule of thumb, the greater the height, the noisier they are.
Delivering the drama of a waterfall means moving a fair amount of water, so you need to ensure your pump is up to the task or if you can incorporate additional equipment and that you’ve factored in any additional running costs when it comes to energy use.
Spillways are fantastic way to link two elements, like a pool and spa, connecting them visually while still ensuring they operate as distinctly separate areas. These are sometimes referred to as dam wall designs and are a great way to take a dull functional design element and give it an huge aesthetic push.
Jets, gushers and bubblers
Water jets are usually single arcs of water positioned on the pool deck that shoot into the pool. They can be lit up at night to deliver a bit of added interest and help set the mood for a poolside party.
Pool gushers and bubblers are usually installed shallow areas including steps, sun shelves, ledges, benches or beach entries. They project water upward for an attractive effect that creates visual interest.
Spouts, scuppers and channels
These options deliver narrow projections of water – more than a jet, but less than a curtain. They can be arranged in multiples with any space variation to create a commanding water feature that catches both the eye and the ear. The more concentrated flow makes for a noisier water feature than other types.
Water bowls and pots
A perfect retrofit option, there are virtually no design limits to water bowls and pots. They work best when positioned higher than the pool edge surface – on a raised wall for instance – which gives the water a more spectacular fall line and adds to the visual appeal.
The look and feel of your home and existing outdoor area will help narrow down the options for suitable water features – there’s no point dreaming of a rustic, natural looking waterfall and sandstone rockwork if the rest of your design elements are streamlined, contemporary and clean.
Think about the noise levels. You may find the constant sound of rushing water to be more thundering than calming if you aren’t prepared for it…and no one wants a water feature that’s too noisy to turn on. You should also be aware that some options may increase evaporation during warmer months, but it shouldn’t be too noticeable overall. On the other side of the maintenance coin, anything that moves water through the pool spells good things for filtration, so your water feature will earn its keep.
As with any pool project, speak to a trusted pool professional before you embark on anything, ensuring that design and installation is a practical option in terms of your site and existing equipment and systems and delivering the best choice for your needs.