The Top 5 Mistakes People Make When Building Backyard Water Features

If you’re building a backyard water feature, like a waterfall, pond, or fountain, it’s important that you do some planning before getting started. While there’s a lot of potential for adding beauty and value to your backyard, there are also plenty of mistakes that can be made along the way.

Types of Backyard Water Features

When it comes to creating a peaceful backyard that’s private, relaxing, and ideal for gathering and entertaining, few things have the ability to set this space apart quite like a water feature. And regardless of your preconceived notions surrounding water features, the possibilities are endless. Common options include:

  • Fountains
  • Spout water features
  • Pondless waterfalls
  • Koi ponds
  • Natural swimming pools

These are just some of the ones you’ll commonly find in backyards. However, the list could go on and on. And regardless of what water feature you select, there’s ample room for creativity.

5 Backyard Water Feature Mistakes

Designing and installing a backyard water feature requires care and precision. This is not something you do without research. You’ll want to hire experienced professionals and verify they’re following best practices. This means avoiding mistakes like:

  • Choosing the Wrong Location

Location is extremely important when it comes to adding a water feature. Here are some of the mistakes homeowners can make:

  • Building it in a “low spot” on the property, which collects water and compromises the water feature.
  • Building it too close to the home, which could create flooding issues and other risks. 
  • Building the water feature in an unused portion of the property (which limits your visibility and enjoyment).

Smart, proactive planning can help you avoid running into any of these costly and frustrating issues. 

  • Not Digging Deep Enough

You might think that digging a pond is simple and straightforward, but there’s a lot to it. One of the biggest mistakes homeowners make is not digging at the right depth.

If you dig a pond too shallow, the water evaporates. If you dig too deep, light is unable to reach the bottom of the pond (which causes stagnation). This is why you should always consult an expert to dig your pond. Not only do they have the experience, but they also have liners and prefabricated shells that make it easy to achieve a functional pond that looks good. 

  • Using Poor Filtration and Aeration

Water needs to move. If it sits for too long, it can attract unwanted pests and insects. It’ll also develop algae and other unwanted water conditions that are unsightly and toxic. Using the wrong filtration and aeration (or none at all) is a huge mistake.

“Aeration is vital for any backyard pond,” Living Water Aeration explains. “An effective pond aeration system helps you avoid stagnation and ensures you benefit from a thriving ecosystem.” 

Don’t wait until you’ve already built a water feature to pay attention to this part of the design. The best time to think about filtration and aeration is during the planning phase.

  • Ignoring Safety Precautions

Anytime there’s water involved, you have to take proper safety precautions to ensure you aren’t exposing anyone to unnecessary risk. If it’s a pond, for example, consider what risk it presents to young children in your household/neighborhood. (You might need to incorporate a fence.)

  • Ignoring Underground Utilities

When installing a pond, waterfall, or other water feature, pay close attention to underground components. A failure to check with local utility companies could lead to damage in the digging process. It’s also possible that you could build a water feature directly on top of an area where you’re not allowed to build, which could mean you have to remove the water feature in the future.

Before starting any digging project, be sure to call 811 and have someone come out to spray for your utility lines. This is a free service that could save you thousands. 

Design Your Dream Backyard

Every homeowner has dreamt of having a gorgeous backyard that sets the scene for relaxing evenings, weekends with friends, and holiday parties. A beautiful water feature can help you stand apart. As you approach the process of designing and building a water feature, be sure to reference this article. Avoiding the aforementioned mistakes is half the battle!

Leave a Comment