Running water

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Leonardo DaVinci said “Water is the driving force in nature.” Because our bodies are mostly water, it’s in our nature to live near bodies of water. Most of the Earth’s population lives within a few kilometers of a lake, river or sea. According to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 39% (123.3 million people) of Americans lived in counties that contained one of the country’s shorelines, which is 6x more people than live in the corresponding counties more inland. The US National Institutes of Health noted in a 2011 study that only 10% of humans live more than 10km away from a freshwater source.

Being near an ample supply of water has a calming effect. Perhaps this is why many homeowners add water elements to their outdoor spaces.

The sound of running water seems to be especially soothing. There are a few ways to add that particular sound to your Hardscape. “Pondless” streams are electrically pumped fountains that simulate a babbling brook. Small fish ponds with fountains blend well into more natural backyard landscapes and, if installed correctly, don’t freeze in the wintertime.

The largest water elements, of course, are swimming pools. Although pools are required to contain a filtering pump, the pumps are usually silent by design. Lately homeowners are making pools do double duty as swimming hole and countryside creek.

This design circulates water from the hot tub over a natural looking creek bed.

The simplest way to add the sound of falling water to the pool is to install a floating fountain or pvc-pipe cascade fountain. If you are starting from scratch, you can incorporate waterfalls into your pool design. Fan and cascade waterfalls can be added under the paver stone deck.

Here are a few photos from the EP Henry albums that demonstrate the addition of running water elements to pool design.

Officially, a “fan” waterfall found in nature has a crest 1/3rd or less in width than its base (from the Western New York Waterfall Survey Glossary http://falzguy.com/waterfall.glossary.html). In this example of a Hardscape design, the wise homeowners installed multiple rectangular, classic waterfalls for swimmers to enjoy.

When designing plunging waterfall elements, make sure to add enough power so the water extends past the rock face. Also take notice how the waterfall decreases in width as it drops into the pool.

Have a flair for the dramatic? Consider incorporating a water arc into your design. These water streams can be illuminated with led lights and the height can easily be adjusted by changing the water pressure.

Take a look around your Hardscape. Is there a place to easily add a running water element? EP Henry has a few more ideas for you in our catalog. Click here to see more.