Imagine this: you're lounging by the pool, basking in the heat and the sunlight. You then decide to go in for a quick dip into the cool, pristine water. Few things are more enjoyable than relaxing in a backyard pool on the hottest summer days. However, even the best pools don't always feel perfectly integrated into the landscape. That's where pool waterfalls come into the picture.
A well-designed pool waterfall can turn an ordinary swimming pool into a backyard oasis. It will recreate the same majestic ambiance provided by natural waterfalls while simultaneously helping to keep the pool's water aerated. Before hiring a pool contractor, read on to find out everything you need about pool waterfalls.
What is a Pool Waterfall?
Although one pool waterfall can look quite different from the next, their core design principles are the same. All waterfalls relocate water from higher to lower levels, and with pool waterfalls, the water empties into the central part of the swimming pool.
The water from the pool itself is circulated in pool waterfalls, so they require specialized pumps. The power source for these pumps is usually derived from the home's electricity, but solar and wind-powered models are also available.
The traditional way of building pool waterfalls uses natural stones and boulders, which create a natural look and feel but can be quite expensive.
Homeowners on a budget can request that their contractors use synthetic materials instead. Artificial stones are cheaper, lighter, and pre-molded, and they require less deck support than natural stones and can be installed faster, which means lower material and labor costs.
Pool waterfalls come in many designs. Some have single streams, others feature multiple converging ones, and pools can even feature multiple waterfalls for a truly immersive experience.
The best place to integrate a pool waterfall is in a more superficial area. That way, swimmers can take full advantage of the new water feature by standing underneath it and bathing in the cool, flowing water.
The Benefits and Drawbacks of Pool Waterfalls
Now that you have a better idea of what a pool waterfall is, how it works, and what it's made of, it's time to dive deeper. Let's start by discussing the benefits and drawbacks of pool waterfalls.
The Benefits of Pool Waterfalls
The most obvious benefit of installing a pool waterfall is that it will improve the yard's aesthetic appeal, but there are other things you can stand to gain. A pool waterfall can also help drown out outside sounds, including the pump that powers it, nearby traffic, and other unwanted noise pollution.
It is common knowledge that stagnant water can become the breeding ground for various health risks. Waterfalls constantly keep the water circulating, aerating it and helping to maintain an appropriate chemical balance. This continuous movement also helps push water through the pool's existing filtration system, keeping it hygienic and safe without much upkeep.
Waterfalls also help to keep the water in the pool refreshing. Most people prefer to swim in cool water since it doesn't lead to overheating or muscle spasms, and it's much more invigorating, especially on a hot summer day!
Keeping the water cool also helps slow chlorine breakdown, which naturally occurs upon exposure to sunlight and heat. Maintaining cooler water temperatures extends the chlorine's lifespan, saving you money to spend on pool chemicals.
The Drawbacks of Pool Waterfalls
The primary drawback of installing a pool waterfall is the cost. These installations require dedicated pumps, plumbing, and the necessary construction materials.
Some people find that the amount of noise generated by pool waterfalls is a drawback. However, most still find the gentle sounds of flowing water soothing rather than annoying.
A final drawback of pool waterfalls is that, sometimes, mineral deposits build up on the rocks and get rinsed into the water, which can upset the pool's pH balance. As a result, the pool owner will need to monitor pH levels. If you choose to install faux rocks, you'll need to replace them eventually, as the pool chemicals will wear down the aesthetic facade over time.
Pool waterfalls aren't cheap, but they vary significantly in cost. Entry-level waterfalls usually cost between $5,000 and $10,000, depending on the size and materials used, while more extravagant systems can cost as much as $30,000 or more.
You should also expect your home's electrical bill to go up after installing a pool waterfall. The separate pump will need to run continuously, which will use more power. Installing a solar or wind-powered pump can eliminate this problem and choosing an energy-efficient, traditionally-powered model can minimize your expenses.
Pool Waterfall Ideas
One of the best parts of installing a pool waterfall is letting your creative juices flow and creating the perfect design for you. There are numerous ways to customize pool waterfalls, so don't just go for the factory standard model. You can customize it to suit the surrounding landscape and your personal style and preference.
The most popular base designs are:
Natural Rock Waterfalls
Natural rock waterfalls usually feature multiple streams. They look great not just in swimming pools but also as stand-alone water features.
In nature, weeping walls are created in cold areas where the snow melts and drips down rock faces. You can recreate this captivating scene using small natural or synthetic rocks that sit close to the pool's surface. It also creates more of a bubbling sound.
Water walls usually feature thin layers of cascading water that beautify the area. Arched fall water walls are rather popular among homeowners, as are scuppers, sconces, and accent spouts.
Sheer descent waterfalls create a smooth, sleek look. The idea is to install sheer descents of water that look thin, glassy, and sheet-like for a subtle and elegant ambiance.
Installing a pool waterfall with a grotto will add some serious luxury to your backyard pool. You'll get the relaxing sound of flowing water and the space behind it, which can be utilized as a spa, a secret room, or even to house a secondary pool, perhaps, for kids.
Give Us a Call to Discuss the Endless Possibilities
If you're ready to install a pool waterfall, know that not all contractors are up to the task. At Woodlands Pool Builders, we have the knowledge and abundant experience building all kinds of pool waterfalls. Whether you want a basic weeping wall or a custom-made grotto, if you live in The Woodlands, TX, or the surrounding area, we can help. Give us a call to discuss your options today.