Sooner or later, even the most elaborate pool gets a little stale. And no matter how many times you rearrange the patio furniture and decorations, it’s still the same old pool that you always had. But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do. 

One of the most popular ways to spruce up your backyard is to add water features for pools. Water features can range from simple to highly complex, and they can change the entire look and feel of a pool or merely add a discreet talking point without much fuss. 

Below, you’ll find some of the best water features to add, as well as a few things to keep in mind if you’re adding them. 

What to Expect From Pool Renovations

You should be aware that any modification to your pool, even most minor ones, will likely require your pool to be drained. If it’s a small addition, it can be finished in a few days. However, additional plumbing, pool expansion, or things like adding a waterfall to an existing pool could take your pool out of commission for weeks. 

You also need to remember your pool’s limitations. Not every pool can accommodate every water feature, and if you’re too ambitious, it’s easy to get carried away and crowd the pool with more features than it needs. 

But, if you’re measured in your approach, and you work with experienced professionals, there’s no reason you shouldn’t expect to be able to add at least a little something regardless of what kind of pool you have. 

Water Feature Ideas for Pools

The following list is just here to get your creative juices flowing. You can choose one of the features we list here, or you can combine them into something totally new. When you have an idea of what you want, give us a call, and we’ll be happy to give you a quote for the pool addition. 

Sheer Descent

A sheer descent is simple and elegant and fits with almost any pool. It features a linear waterfall that exits from an elevated structure as short as a few inches and as high as several feet above the pool’s water level. The waterfall comes straight down without any additional features and drains into the pool. 

It creates a lovely curve that can be made more or less pronounced by adjusting the water pressure. The angle and height also work to create different sounds as the water hits your pool, so there are many decisions and aesthetic options you can choose with this unique and classy feature. 

Water feature at a swimming pool


If you want something a little more elaborate, a waterfall is a classic addition that makes any pool come to life. Waterfalls are such a common addition to pools that there are even waterfall kits you can use that can be installed in as little as a day. 

With a waterfall, you get a lot more to look at than with a sheer descent, but it also detracts from the minimalistic beauty that a sheer descent can provide. Waterfalls are also relatively inexpensive and rarely require a full pool renovation. 


A scupper is similar to a sheer descent, except it has a short lip that directs the flow of water. Scuppers are usually narrow and arranged in a pleasing pattern on a vertical structure above the pool’s water level to create the appearance of many small waterfalls. 

They’re more versatile than both waterfalls and sheer descents, but they’re often a little more involved and can take longer to install. Scuppers can also serve an important function if you have a pool that’s divided into sections. The scuppers bring water from one section, such as a spa, into the main pool to aid with circulation and water filtration. 

Pool Deck Jets

Deck jets are exactly what they sound like, jets of water that originate from the pool deck and stream into the pool. You can create elaborate designs by adjusting the angle and water pressure to have the jets either arch grandly or choose a more subdued arrangement. 

First and foremost, deck jets add a “wow” factor to your pool, especially if you have guests over. You can instantly turn your pool into a fountain and talking point. 

However, deck jets have other uses as well. Shooting water through the air serves to cool it and slowly lowers the temperature in your pool, which can be a godsend on hot summer days. Plus, deck jets create a nice background noise if you want to enjoy your backyard without noise pollution from nearby roads or other distractions. 

Gushers or Bubblers

Bubblers are a type of water jet that are installed in the shallow end of a pool and create a bubbling jet from under the water. They’re common in fountains, and they add a delightful eruption of water that can set your pool apart in a fun way. 

However, they have some restrictions. Bubblers usually aren’t installed in water deeper than six inches, and they’re almost always done in sets of three. Usually, when you’re adding water features to a pool, you want to work with odd numbers for aesthetic reasons. And, since gushers are somewhat demanding on the plumbing and water pump, three ends up being the number that most people can accommodate in their pool. 

Detail of pool fountain

Weeping Waterfalls

Technically these are just a subset of waterfalls, but they create a much different visual statement, and they’re very much in style right now. Weeping waterfalls look very similar to rock waterfalls except in that the source of the water appears to be between the rocks rather than from the top of the falls. 

Not only are they visually distinct from waterfalls, but they create a different sound that most people describe as tranquil and soothing. 


Perhaps the most complex water feature you can add to your pool without a complete overhaul is a grotto. Essentially, it’s a rock formation that creates a cave hidden by a waterfall. To some, it’s the ultimate water feature, and it can be made with natural rocks to have the look and feel of an actual grotto on a coastline. However, grottos range between three and five tons, so you’ll need to work with a pool designer to figure out the correct placement and structure. 

The Perfect Feature for Every Pool

As stated, this list of features just covers the broad strokes. There are countless ways you can mix and match these features to come up with something unique for your pool and backyard. In fact, we encourage you to think outside of the box and come up with something truly yours. 

And when you’re ready to install your masterpiece, give us a call, and we’ll create a customized quote for your renovation and upgrade. We love pools, but we love happy customers even more! So if you have any questions or comments about water features, we’d love to hear from you, and we’ll do the best to answer them. 

Drop us a line right now!