swimming pool waterfall pros cons

At Dolphin Pools & Spas, when we refer to our custom pool construction, we truly mean custom. We work directly with all our clients to build them a pool to meet their exact specifications and budget, combining structural integrity with virtually any design theme, template or additional add-ons you’re interested in.

For many, this process includes several customized features or additions on top of the actual pool structure itself. One great example of such a feature that’s very popular among many modern homeowners: A pool waterfall. What exactly are we referring to here, what are the pros and cons of waterfalls in your pool setup, and what are the costs and alternative uses of these fixtures? This two-part blog series will go over everything you need to know.

Pool Waterfall Basics

First off, let’s get a few basic terms and definitions out of the way. For one, you may hear artificial waterfalls connected to swimming pools referred to as grottos – these are usually interchangeable terms, and only industry pros really differentiate between them.

With that in mind, all pool waterfalls have a few common fixtures: They begin above the waterline of the pool, then flow over the falling section using powered pumps that direct the water.

Pool waterfalls are incredibly varied and versatile in today’s day. They come in a variety of designs and sizes, plus in various different materials – concrete, brick, synthetic and a few others will all be seen depending on your needs. They can be built into the upper lip of the pool, or can flow from raised walls.

One vital component to be aware of: The pump, which is needed to move water upward to the top of the waterfall. This needs to be a durable pump with enough power to continuously serve the fixture while it’s on.

General Benefits

There are several distinct benefits of pool waterfalls:

  • Visual appeal: The primary benefit for many pool owners is the way a waterfall adds to the aesthetic.
  • Calming features: Waterfalls and other water features are known for their calming sounds, visuals and related themes.
  • Water circulation: The movement of water through a waterfall circulates the water more often through it’s filtration center, keeping it cleaner and higher in oxygen.
  • Home value: Waterfalls do great for home value, and may even help you cover equipment or pool machinery that sits out.

Possible Drawbacks

A pool waterfall won’t be for everyone. It does come with a few potential drawbacks for some pool owners:

  • Cleaning and maintenance: Pools with waterfalls require significantly more cleaning and maintenance, and have more variables at play during maintenance or even long-term repairs. Those who prefer not to spend too much time dealing with pool maintenance might want to avoid them.
  • Weather damage: Larger, exposed waterfalls may be at-risk of weather damage when exposed to the elements.
  • Material erosion: Certain waterfall materials like artificial rocks may erode over time, requiring expensive replacement.

For more on swimming pool waterfalls and whether you should install one, or to learn about any of our swimming pools or spa services, speak to the staff at Dolphin Pools & Spas today.