Outdoor Water Features: The Different Types

July 1, 2022 Patio Design

Whether you want to add a touch of elegance, a bit of nature, or if you just love the soothing sounds of water, outdoor water features can be a perfect touch for your space. Here’s a look at the different types and what it takes to install them.

Natural Pond

For an organic look, these features can be built to flow with your existing landscape and can be a home for plants and wildlife. They are normally excavated from the ground and given a liner and a pump to keep the water clean.


  • The shape and look is completely customizable
  • They can appear as if they were naturally occurring


  • They require some level of excavation, which may need specialty equipment
  • Liners can rip or get punctured
  • Pumps can sometimes fail, requiring maintenance


These elegant features provide the sound of trickling water and can become a focal point for your outdoor space. They are normally built where the water slowly flows down and is pumped back up from the reservoir.


  • They are very customizable as they can be made from a variety of materials to match your space
  • They can be built on an existing wall or as a new freestanding feature
  • Lighting can be added to create whatever mood you wish


  • They require a filter that needs to be changed
  • They periodically break down and maintenance can be costly

Scuppers and Sconces

If you’re installing a pool, these features add visual interest and are a great way to cool off. 

A sconce is a small decorative piece that provides a small trickle of water. Multiples are often used together to create a bigger effect.

A scupper is a feature that brings water from one section of a pool to another. For example, it can bring water from the spa into the main pool area.


  • They add an elegant look and sound
  • There are many design options, including lighting to accentuate the feature


  • Scuppers can be expensive
  • They make pool construction a little more complicated and add time


Whether you want big and bold or a slow, soothing trickle, a fountain delivers the sights and sounds of flowing water. These features can be a part of pools or ponds, or can be added as their own freestanding element. Similar to waterfalls, they use a pump that feeds water from a reservoir back to the top of the feature. How high they spray or flow over is up to you.


  • They can fit any design style from natural to more high end
  • There are many pump sizes to fit whatever scale you need
  • They can accompany other water features such as bubblers and sconces


  • Filter changing and cleaning makes them difficult to maintain
  • Maintenance can become expensive

Give one of our outdoor-living specialists a call at 281-265-1994 in Houston or 972-915-2727 in Dallas/Fort Worth and we can help help you plan your perfect backyard space.

Have a project in mind? We work throughout the Houston and Dallas - Fort Worth areas.

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