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Common Water Feature Problems and Other Issues

Waterfall at night

Water features are one of the least commonly requested landscape features that our MPS design team encounters. However, there are still many homeowners who are interested in the idea of incorporating a water feature or garden fountain to add a sensation of tranquility to their landscape. Running water helps induce a sense of rest and relaxation, as a matter of fact, the sound of running water actually triggers the body’s natural response to relax. However, in our 30+ years of experience, most types of water features end up being more of a headache then the relaxing experience that was expected. Here are the main reasons MPS does NOT recommend water features:

  1. Canadian Climate: The biggest reason we don’t recommend water features is because of the Canadian climate. The variance in temperatures from season-to-season are not ideal for the mechanics of most water features. The Freeze/thaw cycles can damage the pipes, liners, and wiring of the water feature. Not to mention that the water features can only be enjoyed for a short period of the year, unlike warm weather places.
  2. Upkeep: The second reason we discourage customers from installing a water feature, is the amount of upkeep that they require. Most homeowners don’t realize the amount of effort that’s required to upkeep a water feature, including regular cleaning, maintenance, and winterizing.
  3. Pests and Insects: The final reason we don’t recommend water features, especially one’s large ponds or reservoirs, is that they can attract wildlife and insects that you may not want on your property (ex. Attracting mosquitos to an area where you would entertain)

Water Feature in rock

Contemporary Pond-less Water Features

Of course, some customers have their hearts set on a water feature in their landscape design, at this point MPS recommends designing it without a pond reservoir. Pond-less water features are simply waterfalls or streams without the presence of an open water reservoir. Pond-less water features pump water from an in-ground, or covered, reservoir through the waterfall spillway and continue to re-circulate it without a pond or open water reservoir.

We highly recommend pond-less water features because they require much less maintenance, are more cost-effective and easier to winterize. With a wide variety of styles and sizes on the market, pond-less water features are the perfect option if you want to incorporate the tranquil sound of water into your landscape design. If you want more information about designing and installing a landscape with a pond-less water feature, request a landscape consult with one of MPS’ designers here!