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What are the Different Types of Pondless Water Features?

T. L. Childree
T. L. Childree

Water features often provide a peaceful and serene atmosphere for lawn, garden, and patio areas. These systems continuously recirculate a small amount of water and require only an electric pump for their operation. Waterfalls, freestanding fountains, and wall fountains are three basic types of pondless water features available but countless variations can be designed. Pondless water features usually offer all the benefits of a ponded system without the unpleasant maintenance requirements.

Waterfalls are very common pondless water features with almost unlimited design possibilities. The simplest form of pondless waterfall consists of a single stream of water flowing across some type of flat, natural stone. More elaborate variations feature stones positioned at different levels to create multiple waterfalls. Waterfalls can be purchased in a prefabricated kit for self-installation or constructed on site by a professional contractor. Do-it-yourself instructions and ideas may be found in books, magazines, or online.

A wall fountain with a lion's face.
A wall fountain with a lion's face.

Fountain-type pondless water features can be small or large and are often a centerpiece for other landscaping designs. This type of water feature may be placed in the corner of a garden or located in the center of a lawn as part of a more elaborate display. Fountains can consist of a simple spray of water into a small collection area or an intricately designed, multitiered showpiece. Many fountains feature a statue or sculpture while others utilize several circular tiers positioned above each other. Special colored lighting is also available for nighttime illumination.

Wall fountains are pondless water features designed to blend into the background of other forms of landscaping. These water features are easily attached to a garden wall and occupy only a small amount of space. Wall fountains often provide an attractive accent to walls constructed of natural stone materials. This type of water feature is usually fabricated out of metal, fiberglass, or stone and typically sold in a prefabricated self-installation kit. Do-it-yourself designs can be easily constructed with readily available materials.

Pondless water features require very little maintenance and are becoming increasingly popular among homeowners. The danger of small children falling into the water is also eliminated by installing a pondless system. Water features work best when part of an overall landscaping design, however. When choosing a design, make certain that the colors and material compliment surrounding structures such as walls and walkways. The overall size of the water feature should also be in proportion to nearby objects.

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    • A wall fountain with a lion's face.
      A wall fountain with a lion's face.