Is a waterfall worth it?

Yarzy

Member
Jul 16, 2020
5
Bucks County, PA
Hi everyone, we are still in the very final stages of our pool design and I had a question about adding a waterfall. For those who have them, did you find it "worth it"? Here are my reasons for perhaps wanting one and some reasons perhaps it is not a great idea. Pros - I do like the sound of water in a waterfall but we could always get a fountain for the patio to solve that. The main reason for wanting a waterfall is that I am reading that moving water adds a lot more depth to the pool color. We are going with a dark blue (Barbados Blue Reflection) and I am wondering if it would help at all with water movement and how large of a waterfall would I need to make a difference (pool is 18x40). The cons are obviously cost (not really sure what they range from) and the fact that it will take up space on the decking. With kids around, I know decking space will be at a premium. Just curious what peoples thoughts are on this. Thanks so much!
 

bmoreswim

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Jul 16, 2012
6,411
Central MD
You'll get all the water movement you need (not that much) for general pool water appearance changes from your pump. I agree there is a big difference between still and moving water. But I don't have a waterfall so I'll defer on that part of the question. They do change water chemistry if used for extended periods of time. They raise pH. But that's not a dealbreaker, you'd just need to add more muriatic acid versus not if you didn't have the waterfall running for hours on end.
 

HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
506
Katy TX
I think it is a personal preference due to $$$ to install. We have a rock waterfall and love it. The sound is great and also provides a very nice scene from our patio and inside the house looking out. We do not let anyone jump off of it. It is there to view and enjoy the sound. Ours is about 5 feet wide as to where water falls to pool. It is about 3 ft high at back of pool. See the picture - waterfall is not on as I was taking picture for water clarity but you can see the wet area on the rocks.

There is one point on chemistry. Water aeration causes pH to rise so if I run my waterfall a lot I can see the change in pH over a couple of days. I normally run it daily for 30 mins but also put it on if we are in the pool or have friends over (none recently due to COVID) sitting on the patio. I also like the waterfall as it has its own circulation path (separate lines and its dedicated pump). So if my main pump ever breaks down, I know I can at least circulate water several hours a day until repaired.
Pool - Clear 2.jpg
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
18,804
Bedford, TX
Y,

There is a fine line between a great looking waterfall and a pile of rocks at the end of your pool.. You can see this if you look through our construction forum...

I wanted a waterfall and now that I have one, I almost never use it.. When running it is much more noisy than I had expected.. I now only use it to increase my pH when I am in the process of reducing my TA.. it works well for that. Other than that it does not fit my lifestyle..

My recommendation is to ask your pool builder to show you (in person) several pools with waterfalls that he has built.. Watch them run and check out how well they look and how loud they are.. Most pool builders are glad to do that, and most home owners are happy to show off their new pools.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 
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spd500

Well-known member
Jul 20, 2020
314
Houston, TX
There is a fine line between a great looking waterfall and a pile of rocks at the end of your pool.. You can see this if you look through our construction forum...
This right here was a huge deciding factor for us in not getting the rock waterfall. We originally thought we wanted one, but when we started looking at them even in pictures online we noticed that most of them seem really out of place and poorly designed. What we ended up doing instead is a stepped stone waterfall from the spa into the pool, 2 24" sheer descent waterfalls in the raised back wall, and a bubbler on the tanning ledge. With our setup we will be able to control each of the water features individually and will likely only run one or two of them at any given time. The only real reason we even went with the bubbler on the ledge was for the dogs to be able to play in it, lol.
 
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jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
2,755
Morris Cnty NJ
Waterfalls are really popular but it also depends on the overall style of pool. I buried a pipe years ago for one when I built my personal pool amd finally built it this spring when corona first hit and we weren't slammed yet. My kids love it they jump off noth levels amd the wife loves the ambiance. I'm rarley home anymore and rarely use the pool but it's a nice feature. I use mine as a demo for customers now instead of sending them to previous customers houses
 

goody222

Silver Supporter
Feb 6, 2018
152
Chesapeake, VA
We love our waterfall. When people see our pool, its the first thing they comment on. The kids love it too. We got a 28" Rico Rock. I believe it added $3000 for everything. Have not noted any unusual increases in pH from using it. As far as how much noise it may make, we have a valve at the pump pad that we can throttle and adjust the flow (although full flow is fine). The waterfall is surrounded by mulch and bushes, so it doesn't "stick out" and looks more like part of the environment. We also got 2 jump rocks that are on each side of the waterfall (also Rico Rock).
A good recommendation from a landscaper was to plant a dwarf Japanese Maple behind it - that way over the coming years the leaves will start to drape over it giving it a more authentic look.
 

PoolGate

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 7, 2017
4,832
Damascus, MD
I have 2 waterfalls. A sheer descent and a rock water fall. We use them both around 75% of the time while in the pool. That is mostly because with the heater on they are heated and everyone loves the hot water coming out of them. If we are in the pool, the heater is on, regardless of water temp, for this reason. On the flip side, they are fairly loud. I can balance the water between the two falls, which share a common line. Usually I put about 90% to the sheer and 10% to the rock falls. No regrets but if I had to do it again, I might opt for a wall of lighted sheers and lose the rock waterfall.
 

Nikilyn

Member
Sep 3, 2018
24
Gilbert, AZ
To me it is worth it. I like the look and I like the sound the water makes. I don’t like the sound sheer descents make. It just sounds like a hose running in the pool. I think the sound of the waterfall is relaxing. Plus, it’s fun for the kids to jump off of. But I do think you have to have the right pool for it which is most likely free form. I can’t see a rectangle pool with one. But I think this is like the question people would ask when building a new home, Should I get a tub in the master? Well, that depends on if you are going to use it. For me, it’s a must because I love taking baths. My DIL doesn’t like them so left it out of their new house. So, do you want to have it for the sound, aesthetics and jumping or are those not important to you?