Adding a Water Feature to Your Backyard

If you’ve been thinking about adding a water feature to your backyard, you’ve come to the right place. There are a wide variety of different backyard water features to choose from, including everything from a pond and waterfall right down to just a simple bird bath.

In this blog post, we’re going to talk about some of the things you need to consider when it comes to putting in a water feature in your yard. These may help you decide exactly what kinds of water features you’re interested in and take you one step further to making it a reality.

 Adding a Water Feature to Your Backyard - Image shows a white concrete birdbath and fountain with cherubs pouring water surrounded by flowers, a yellow birdbath with a fountain sprayer in it and surrounded by green and burgundy colored tropical looking plants and a backyard pond surrounded by rocks with green grass and shrubs behind it

Adding a Water Feature to Your Backyard

Benefits of backyard water features

Water features can be very relaxing. They can attract birds and other wildlife to your yard providing the joy of watching them and looking at/hearing the water can be quite soothing. In addition, the sound of water (from a fountain or waterfall, for example) can help muffle the sounds coming from outside your yard.

They can add beauty to your yard as well. A water feature is known to make your yard more pleasant and enticing to spend time in. When decorating your yard, a lovely water feature can add a focal point to it as well.

Think about where you would put a water feature.

Do you have space for a large one like a pond and waterfall? Or do you need to consider something smaller like a bird bath? Our backyard slopes a bit towards the back and it gets quite swampy in the spring when it rains a lot (funny story – we have even had whooping cranes and mallard ducks back there when it’s super wet). Although there is plenty of space, I wouldn’t want to add a pond back there as it would get overrun with runoff every time it rains and would get quite dirty over and over again.

If you’re adding a bird bath, consider a location that offers some cover for them like trees or bushes. Birds will feel more comfortable taking a moment to have a refreshing bath if they don’t feel completely out in the open and vulnerable. Shade also means that the water won’t evaporate as quickly and helps the water remain at a cooler temperature.

Consider maintenance.

How much time and effort do you have/want to put into maintaining a water feature. My dad had a pond in his backyard and it was lovely, but took quite a bit of work to keep it clean and working well. If you want to add fish to your pond, that is another consideration when it comes to the amount of maintenance work you need to do.

Even when it comes to a small bird bath, it is essential that you replace the water on a regular basis. Birds will come to depend on the bath and you want to ensure that you keep it filled with fresh water for them. Once a week or so, you will need to scrub away any dirt and algae that may have formed. I check ours every day and scoop out any debris that has gathered.

Think about the expenses of backyard water features.

Although you can find some budget-friendly water features to add to your yard, they can go up in price and become quite costly as well. Not only is there an initial expense, but you need to consider the cost of maintaining them too. Depending on where you live, the water used by these features can really add up over time.

When looking for a water feature, you might want to start small. Look for ones that are operated by solar power to cut down on expenses.

Look into the health and safety factors of water features.

It has been known for water features such as fountains and ponds to pose a risk of Legionnaires’ Disease. There are multiple reasons for this and two of the biggest ones are the temperature of the water and whether it is stagnant or not. Splashing and spraying water increase the risk of someone getting infected because of potentially inhaling infected water droplets.

In addition, standing water, in particular, can attract insects such as mosquitoes which a) can cause for discomfort when hanging around outside and b) can carry diseases such as West Nile and Zika. You can find more information about some of the risks of standing water here.

And don’t forget about the dangers of water features posing a drowning risk when it comes to small children as well.

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