Outdoor Water Features: Options to Suit your Space

A backyard water feature can change the look, sound and feel of any outdoor space. From grand and expansive to small and simple, the options for water features come in all shapes and sizes to suit whatever your ambiance goals may be.

Small Spaces

The smallest water features to add a little something extra to your outdoor space are tabletop fountains. Available in all kinds of styles and designs, these ready-to-go waterfalls and fountains will add the tranquil sounds of running water right on your tabletop. If you’re looking for something a little more eye-catching, patio pools and fountains are also easy to get going but sit directly on your patio as an attractive piece of décor. Many only require to be plugged in and their water tanks filled.

Ponds and Pools

Ponds are a popular water feature for many homeowners. They are a versatile solution as they can be made to fit the size and landscape of each lot. Ponds are typically made to look like a natural part of the landscape, often irregularly shaped and surrounded by rock and other natural landscaping. Ponds are constructed by excavating the dirt and lining the hole with either a rigid or flexible liner. Ponds require a water filter and pump to keep the water moving and clean. Some backyard ponds even have fish -- Koi and Goldfish are popular choices. However, it is important to note that fish ponds may require different features like greater depth and will need additional maintenance to keep the fish healthy. Many ponds also include additional features such as waterfalls and fountains to keep the water moving, drowning out the sound of the pump and adding an extra element to the design.

Reflecting pools are designed with more unnatural designs, often geometric shapes, like a circle or a square, rather than the more natural shape of a pond. Reflecting pools typically are surrounded by a walking path and are most often installed as the central feature within a decorative landscape that will “reflect” in the smooth surface of the water. Ornamental pools are similarly constructed in geometric shapes but typically are surrounding a central feature such as a statue.


Waterfalls can be designed as stand-alone features or added to a pond or pool and are typically made of natural stones, sculpted concrete or painted fibreglass. The size of your waterfall will depend on your landscape and design plans but can be made to any size. The larger and taller the waterfall, the more water can flow through it and the louder the sounds it gives off.

In addition to a typical waterfall out in your backyard, modern homeowners are bringing the waterfall feature up onto their patios in new and interesting ways. Water-Walls may be considered part waterfall part fountain, where the water runs down the face of a wall and is cycled back up to run again. The sound a water-wall gives off can differ depending on the texture of the wall and its material. Often featuring LED lights, this luxurious feature can be an incredible upgrade to an outdoor seating area, pool or spa. Rain curtains are another modern take on the outdoor water feature. Operating similar to a water-wall, the water falls from the top of the feature like rain, rather than down a surface, and is collected at the bottom and filtered to fall again. These modern features have a lot of design flexibility and can even be a fairly easy DIY.


Typically, we think of fountains to include classic statues with simple catching pools and often they do. However, they can also be modern and complex and can reflect any design style you choose. Available ready-made or custom built, fountains are often stand-alone features but can be part of an existing pool or pond. The sounds they create will depend on the amount of water they pour through and the design of the flow.