7 Types of Modern Pool Fountains

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When thinking about what features your dream pool would have, a common one is a pool fountain. There is something naturally relaxing about water in motion, the sound it creates, how it is calming to look at and is soothing to touch.

These attractive features are not just beneficial for you and your guests but also add advantages to the pool itself.

First, we should go over your options when thinking about including one in your pool project. There are a wide variety of water features you can add to your pool, each offer a unique experience and fit different budgets. If you are not sure on what you can afford for your dream pool, we encourage you to use our loan calculator to determine a monthly payment you are comfortable with.

As with all parts of your pool build you will want to select an option that complements the other elements of the pool and ensure it ties in nicely with your home’s style.

Popular Types of Modern Pool Fountains

It is important to choose a fountain that suits the surroundings and it is not overwhelming in the space nor too minuscule to be appreciated.

Let’s cover the most common types:

Spillways / Spillovers

spa with spillway into pool
With an elevated spa you can easily add a water spillover to enhance the space with a water feature.

These are features that take the overflow from one body of water into the main pool. The most common is from your spa. Having the spa elevated above the pool allows this water feature to connect the two spaces. It can be a simple spout with the water pouring directly or you can add elements for the water to fall over before it makes it to the pool.

spa with spillway waterfall into the main pool
Spillways don’t just have to be a simple slot, you can incorporate them into a waterfall.


backyard waterfall over rocks with drop into pool
Your imagination (and budget) is the limit for waterfall ideas.

Waterfalls are the most customizable water feature with a huge amount of designs and materials you can use. This customization not only allows you to control how much volume of water is passed through it, but also how loud you want it to be and the type of sound you want coming from it. Some like a peaceful trickle of water as a background noise, while others prefer a more prominent sound which cuts out ambient sounds.

Waterfall over grotto with a water slide incorporated into it
Waterfalls can be made in any shape or size to perfectly fit in with your outdoor space.

Cascades / Scuppers

metalic pool scupper
A cascade or scupper can be made a centerpiece of the pool or other designs are more subdued.

Possibly the most common water features in today’s pools is a cascade or scupper type fountain. They are popular for the ability to be added to any pool design and often come as single units, allowing them to be modular. They are a smart option for many pools, thanks to their affordability and ease of installation.

Scupper refers to a style with a small slot while the cascade has a long wide mouth and the water flows out as a sheet. Increasing the distance the water has to fall into the pool makes a more dramatic effect of the cascade.

elevated cascade pouring into pool
Able to be added to almost any pool makes these a great option for any pool.

Water Jets

water jets spraying into a pool
Water jets generally have the cheapest operating costs due to them passing less volume of water than a lot of other options on this list.

A water jet fires a stream of water into the pool, which separates in the air to hit the water as a spray of droplets. There is a wide range of options here as you can have them coming from the pool wall or even out of your pool deck firing into the pool. They can also come from within statues. Deck jets are popular because when off, they are basically hidden, so they will not look ‘unused’ like a non-running waterfall might.

Water jets typically use less water and are quieter than a laminar. Kids love to play with them and they are an easy ‘on/off’ feature.

elephant statue water jet fountain spraying into pool
With the ability to come from the ground, walls or statues, water jets are a versatile option.


Similar to water jets, but not the same. A laminar jet is usually a fuller stream of water which maintains its shape until it reaches the water. This creates a symmetrical arc into the pool and a more dominant sound of the stream hitting the water. They also have the advantage of being able to have colored lights incorporated into them, creating a dramatic lit up arch.

laminar fountains spraying into a small pool
Laminars maintain their arc as they fall into the water, usually they use more volume than water jets and make more noise when the stream hits the pool.

Water Bowls

Water bowls come in many shapes and variations. They typically fill up from inside and then overflow into the pool. They can be incorporated into any pool design and still look good when not running as standalone decorative elements. Usually they are not added as singles, as having multiple ones has a more striking effect on your pool. Typically, they push a fair amount of volume through them and so are good for aerating the water and help cool it down.

water bowl fountain pouring into a pool
Water bowls have the advantage of when not running they are still eye catching features.

Outside of the Pool

As with any pool design, your imagination is the limit. Pool fountains, of course, do not have to be incorporated into your pool directly and can instead be used to complement your outdoor area. However, in doing this will you miss out on some of the benefits of a pool fountain.

backyard waterfall and pond
A water feature away from the main pool can help add other highlight areas of your backyard.

Benefits of Fountain In Your Pool

If you are thinking of getting a fountain included in your pool design, you may be focused on just the aesthetic of it. Let’s cover all the advantages they offer.

They Help Cool Your Pool

When looking into adding water features to your pool build, a common question asked is if pool fountains cool water while they run, the simile answer is yes they do. By aerating the water, air molecules from are attached to individual water droplets and this outside ambient temperature passes through the water. When run long enough, this can help cool the pool by several degrees. The more fountains you have, the higher the volume of water they pump, the faster it will cool.

cascade fountain at the end of a swimming pool
A cascade spout and pump is often together allowing this modular feature to be added to any area of your pool.

Pool Water Circulation

Pools use chlorine to keep the water clean. The chemicals used need to be dispersed throughout the water in order to provide a consistent barrier against algae. Having a fountain running keeps the water circulating and ensures the chemicals are evenly distributed. Having the water moving more also means that it is more likely that all the water goes through the pump and filter.

cascade fountain coming out of a wall into a pool
If your pool as a wall on one side why not add a cascade to it?

Natural Noise Barrier

Part of the reason for having a pool is to have a little slice of paradise in your own backyard and a fountain can help with that experience in a big way. By providing a white noise of running water, you cut out other less pleasant ambient sounds that are typical in an average neighborhood.

Not only does it block out less desired sounds, but it is providing the tranquil sound of running water, which our brains find soothing, which helps you enjoy your outdoor space even more.

water hitting a swimming pool from a backyard waterfall
When choosing your design consider how much noise the water will make when it is running.

Make Pools More Enjoyable

Depending on which type of fountain you go for, of course, but some can add a whole new level of fun to your pool. Kids love to play with water jets or swim under a waterfall and use them to interact with their pool toys and balls.

Additionally, for adults alike, these water features make the pool more enjoyable as having the running water on your skin feels good.

scupper fountain hidden in the side of a pool
Water features don’t have to be a centerpiece, they can instead be incorporated into the pool where they are almost invisible when not running.

Nice To Look At

And finally, pool fountains, no matter the type, are just nice to look at. Just as staring into a fire is mesmerizing, so too is watching moving water. They catch your eye and add a feeling of movement and life to your backyard.

modern pool fountains create a feature between spa and pool
No matter which design you ulimately choose, all water features add something extra to any pool setting.

Do Outdoor Fountains Use a Lot of Electricity?

Fountains have been around for thousands of years, well before electricity. But in order for them to work, there needs to be some expenditure of energy. In Roman times, they used gravity. By bringing water down it would create enough pressure to have the water spurt out. This required a constant source of water flowing downhill and once it passed through the fountain, it continued on its journey. We don’t have that luxury in our backyards and so must use electricity to cycle the water back.

How much electricity a pool fountain uses varies wildly depending on how many you have and how much water passes through them.

If you are concerned about how much a fountain might cost to run, then speak to your builder about which options are more efficient. You don’t want to end up in the situation where you miss out on all the benefits of having a fountain just because you worry about the energy costs it is incurring.


backyard waterfall with a water jet coming out of it
Of the options we listed you can also combine different types of fountains to have a truly unique backyard set up.

You can customize your pool design by adding fountains, one of the many options you will find when researching ideas for your pool project. You can find a fountain that fits your needs exactly by looking through the many different types.

Having the tranquil sound of running water in your backyard oasis is desired by many and adds a real highlight for you and the family to enjoy. But adding any modern pool fountains, no matter the type to a pool project, is best left to an expert, so ensure to contract a reputable pool builder to undertake the job. Do your research on the types to know what will best fit your space and budget and talk to your builder about their thoughts.

If looking at options on how to enhance your pool, see our other helpful guides:

This blog is based on information available at the time of publishing and for the purpose of sharing information with the public related to swimming pools and projects that can be financed through Viking Capital. Although we strive to be complete and accurate, it is not information that is verified or maintained. It should not be relied upon for making financial decisions. An investment such as a swimming pool is significant. Viking Capital recommends consulting with a financial professional regarding your financing decisions and with pool professionals regarding pool options. To learn what financing options are available for you today, please apply with Viking Capital and you’ll receive your free loan consultation. Click Here to Apply.

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