Evening photo of an outdoor living area with gazebo and fireplace

There are many benefits to having a waterfall in your backyard. It transforms your backyard providing tranquility and relaxing sounds. Waterfalls are an elegant feature for your home.

Because of their calming natural sounds, waterfalls are proven to be stress relieving. If you're having friends or family over make sure they experience the wonderful affects of your waterfall. After seeing it and spending some soothing time in your back yard they will want their own!

There are various types and shapes of waterfalls. The look and shape of the waterfall will be determined by your tastes and your landscape. When determining the type of waterfall, consider the size of the area where you want to install it.

There are two basic types of waterfall:

  • pondless
  • ponded/water garden

  • The pondless system has the waterfall with a closed system at the bottom to filter water and return it via a pump and filtration system. These waterfalls require less space as the pond/water garden is removed.

    Waterfalls with a pond or water garden at the bottom will require substantially more space. The waterfall splash water out the same distance as the water falls. The pond should be at least three times the size at the bottom as at the top to catch the water flowing down and recirculate it.

    Photo of seating under sun filled trellis

    • Your waterfall should take the surrounding landscaping into consideration. If your landscaping contains natural stone, then the waterfall should be made out of natural stone.
    • You will want to make your waterfall twist and turn so that the water flows unevenly. The waterfall will be captivating to watch.
    • Make sure that you place the waterfall so that you can view it from your deck or from inside your home. You want to be sure that you can enjoy your waterfall from all areas of your home and landscaping.
    • Using small flowers and plants on the outside edges of your waterfall will soften the look.
    • Be sure to use a biological filter to keep the water clear and clean.
    • The size of the pump will determine how fast the water flows. Fast flowing water mimics natural waterfalls giving a more natural look and sound.
    Photo of fireplace with wall and water fall behind it

    Your choices for waterfall lighting are varied as are the locations that they can be placed. Lights can be colored, fluorescent, white and bright white.

    The lighting can be placed in a number of locations depending on the look and feel you are trying to achieve. Lights can be placed at the bottom of the waterfall pond, behind the waterfall or in the landscaping pointing at the waterfall.

    At the bottom of the waterfall pond the lighting can be pointed up at the waterfall. This increases the night vision of the waterfall and provides makes it possible to see any aquatic life in the pond.

    Behind the waterfall in and around the rocks will highlight the waterfall itself. Placing only one or two lights gives the waterfall a classy and prestigious look.

    Spot lights can be placed on the landscaping surrounding the waterfall to highlight it from the front.

    All these options can be used separately or together. You don't have to pick just one type of lighting. Remember, it's about what affect you wish to achieve and what you wish to see every night when you look at your waterfall while relaxing on your deck or when looking out your windows.