A maintenance worker cleans the outside of an Avea pool.

Spruce Up Your Swimming Hole with Our 5 Most Popular Types of Pool Water Features

February 7, 2020

Have you ever seen a swimming pool that doesn’t have a water feature? Whether it be a waterfall, water jets or gushers that bubble up from the ground, chances are that almost every in-ground swimming pool out there has some sort of moving water feature. Why do we like them so much? The water relaxes us, catches our eye, and serves as a playful visual for kids and adults alike.

The challenge, though, is finding the right water features for your pool. Not only must they fit your budget and lifestyle, but they must also make sense with your pool’s design and your home’s architecture. For example: a modern pool needs very structured, clean-looking water features to enhance its design — not a rocky alcove with a descending waterfall.

But no matter what you’re thinking about adding to your pool, you’ve got to like it!

Thus, we want to discuss the five most popular water features that people request from us. Having all the details is essential for you to consider if you’re thinking of building a pool, spa, hot tub — or all three!

1. Waterfalls

As you might imagine, waterfalls are the most requested water feature on this list. Depending upon what you want in a waterfall, it can be dramatic, alluring, or peaceful — but it always makes a statement.

It’s everything you want in a water feature, whether you’re building your pool from scratch or updating your current one. This classic focal point has typically been made from natural rock, but many more options exist today for nearly every type of pool, including:

  • Rain waterfalls: Designed to mimic actual rainfall
  • Cascade waterfalls: A waterfall that shoots upward, creating a rainbow-like arc that gracefully flows into the pool
  • Curtain waterfalls: Designed to look like a curtain of water
  • Water walls: Water brushes over mosaic tile or a stone wall and then flows down into the pool

A maintenance worker cleans the outside of an Avea pool.

2. Sheer Descent

A special type of waterfall, the sheer descent makes for a dramatic statement piece without adding too much pizzazz, making it perfect for more modern pools. This water feature produces a clean, clear arc of water that effortlessly flows from a raised wall into your pool. Such a waterfall can range from as little as 8 inches to 8 feet in length, and the flow of water can be as gentle or as rapid as you want.

AVEA waterfall pool design

3. Bubblers

These small jets — also called gushers — are self-explanatory: they make bubbles! Typically located in the shallow end of a pool, jets installed on the floor of the pool shoot up, creating a gurgling sound. The entire effect reminds of us of a low-key version of Old Faithful, the geyser in Yellowstone National Park.

You’ve definitely seen these before. They’re used in all sorts of water applications, from water parks to small installations in the front of office buildings. Bubblers are a great addition to any pool with a defined wading area that’s substantially shallower than the rest of the space.

AVEA pool features

4. Scuppers

Historically, scuppers were small openings cut out of the sides of a ship above the level of the deck so water could flow overboard. Today, “scuppers” is the name of a swimming pool feature! They work very similarly to their original design, serving as a spillway from a jacuzzi or hot tub area into the main pool.

However, they can also be inserted into a wall for decorative purposes. In this format, they resemble mini sheer descents, making them a perfect feature if you want a small touch of flare.

Scuppers, a common swimming pool water feature

5. Pencil Jets

Also called laminar jets or deck jets, these scream “Drama!” Pencil jets are often installed into pool decking and shoot a thin arc of water across the width of the pool. Add several of them, and you’ve got yourself a water show!

Some pencil jets arrays come with light displays, allowing each arc of water to be illuminated with a different color of your choosing. This feature looks great with almost any pool design, from modern to traditional.

Laminar pencil jet water features

So, which pool water features sound the most appealing to you? The pencil jets? The bubblers? To truly determine which features go with your pool, you must match it with the surrounding space. The shapes, colors, textures and lines of your home’s exterior will ultimately influence your pool environment — including which features you want to add.

This is AVEA’s specialty. You will work exclusively with one of our seasoned architects to design an outdoor living space that complements both your home’s exterior and interior. We pay special attention to your wish list. Want some pencil jets? A fire pit? You’ve got it! Nothing is too custom for us, so start dreaming about the perfect pool for your home.