A great pool design is often realized by the water within—its appearance, reflections, and how it refracts light and color. By adding a vertical element of moving water, the design can spring to life and almost become a work of art. There are many types of water features to choose from, and the effects they can create are seemingly infinite when factoring in size, flow rate, acoustics, and lighting. Simply put, today’s pool builders create customized features that move water in astonishing ways.
Diamond spas (DSI) can work with your builder during the important design phase. DSI can explain the different options for your budget and the look you’re hoping to achieve. As a general rule, rock waterfalls are ideal for rustic, lagoon-style pools, while sheetfalls, laminar jets, and fountains can establish a more formal or clean look. Mediterranean-style pools utilize raised walls with sconces (in which water pours out of mounted rosettes, lion heads, etc.).
Deck jets create an elegant look as they shoot streams of water from the deck to the pool, but they must be placed properly to perform well.
Beyond a preferred style, pool owners should focus on something that fits the topography. To make use of a tall hill, a design could include a step ripple effect coming down the elevations. If you have an area 50 feet long and a drop of 15 to 20 feet, you might run a waterfall down the length of that with 4- to 5-foot-wide step increments. This allows the water to go flat for a ways then spill over the next level so that it flows down several layers.
Water Features by Name
• Fountain bubbler, foam jet, sun jet: This feature shoots up out of the pool floor and falls back on itself, like a mini geyser and is usually placed on a Baja shelf (a shallow sun ledge or extended first step).
• Deck jet, fountain spitter: A deck jet is an inexpensive option that shoots a narrow stream of water from the deck into the pool. The stream contains air and water sprays slightly apart in droplets.
• Laminar jet: A more expensive jet that produces a steady, forceful arc of bubble-free water, creating the illusion of a glass tube. It can be hidden in flowerbeds and is often lit by LEDs to create a colorful visual effect at night.
• Sheetfall: As the name implies, this feature has sheet of water that flows down from a thin, flattened spillway.
• Sconce: A decorative object mounted on a wall from which a narrow stream of water flows.
• Scupper: This feature sends water across a small ledge before falling down into the pool.
• Rainfall curtain: A series of pencil-like streams of water rain down from an elevated beam to create a curtain of water.
• Rock waterfall: Usually seen with tropical, lagoon-style pools, this type of waterfall varies in size and complexity.
• Waterwall: This feature sends water cascading from above and flowing down the wall.
Excerpts by Luxury Pools