Without question the sight and sounds of moving water is one of, if not the most calming presence that exists here on our planet. An outdoor garden in it’s own right, brings beauty and a sense of peace to our world. Combine a water fountain with a garden and you have your own mental fitness clinic.
Start your project by determining the actual size area available to work with. Next decide on the type of water fountain that pleases your taste and works with in the area of the project. Decide what the water fountain is to provide for you. Water fountains are offered in a wide range of sound and visual effects. Some have a quaint trickling sound, while others produce splashing sounds. Some trickle water down a textured vertical surface, while others have water falling from a surface, tier or multiple tiers. The height of the falling water also varies to provide different visual and sound effects.
Lets talk about location of the water fountain. Will it be placed in a remote corner of the project area or close to a seating area? If you want to hear the sound effects of the water, don’t place a trickle fountain in the farthest corner of the project area. Once you have a rough idea of your project layout, draw a sketch of the garden or project area. It is best to create this sketch with all the features being at the same scale. If there is a three foot wide sidewalk and a there foot wide flower bed, they should be the same size on your sketch. I find that if I don’t sketch my project, I usually run out of project area before all my elements are in.
For electric water fountains the next important step is determining where the source of electricity is. Keep in mind the electrical wiring is normally under ground. If there are any real obstacles between the power source and the location of the fountain, this could be an expensive installation. Supplying this type of electrical service should be performed by a qualified Electrician. Most Electricians will provide a free estimate for installation of the power source. Make sure you have the manufactures specifications for your water fountain, as the Electrician will need them.
If the cost of providing electrical power to the water fountain is outside the project budget, a solar powered water fountain might be a good alternative. There are advantages to solar power, like there is no expense for installing an electrical line. Then of course, solar generated power is FREE. Solar powered water fountains come in a couple of types, direct and battery backup. Direct solar power will only operate the fountain when the sun is shining directly on the solar panel. Battery backup systems, operate the fountain and store power in the batteries for use when the sun is not shining. This will help during cloudy days or in the evening hours.
Another option with a solar powered water fountain is a remote location for the solar panel. This allows the solar panel to be placed some distance (depending on the manufacturer) from the fountain. This would come in handy if the location for the water fountain is an area that does not receive enough sunlight. There is an electrical wire connecting the solar panel to the water pump.
Now you have chosen the water fountain style, size, options and power source requirements. You have the project sketch and are ready to start. Make sure to read the manufactures installation instructions. Depending on the size of the fountain you chose, it will require a stable area to set on or larger fountains may require a foundation. If an electric model water fountain is selected, it is best to have a qualified Electrician install the power source before the project is to far along. This will avoid trenching through a finished area of the project.
Now your outdoor water fountain is designed into your project. Have fun creating you little piece of paradise. It will provide you and yours, peace and relaxation for years. Remember that water fountains do require a little occasional maintenance.