Simple Water Features

If you don’t have room for a pond in your garden, you can still enjoy the pleasant sound of water by installing a simple water feature. Kits for features like pebble pools are readily available or you can buy the components separately and construct one yourself. Small children and water features don’t mix – so think about a plant feature instead if you have kids.

Basic Components

A water pump: The size of the water pump is determined by the proposed feature. Solar-powered pumps are available but may not pump enough water for your purposes. Mains-powered pumps should be fitted by a qualified electrician unless a low-voltage type is used and protected by a residual current device.

A sump: A sump is used to collect and hold all the water in the system. The collecting area to collect the splashing water should be as wide as the outlet is high.

A pipe: You will need to run a pipe from the pump to an outlet nozzle.


  1. A sunny position will bring out colours on wet stones and pebbles.
  2. Try to locate your feature reasonably close to an electricity outlet.

Sample designs

Sink feature: An old enamelled sink can be very effective as a water feature. The pump sits inside the sink with the outlet pipe emerging through the plug hole (sealed to prevent leaks). The outlet could be the tap, or a plaque on an adjacent wall. Water then cascades into the sink.

Large pots: A similar arrangement could be constructed inside a large wide-brimmed pot with the outlet in the centre, creating a fountain or bubble effect.

Pebble ponds: These consist of a sunken reservoir with a fountain on top. A liner is laid sloping into the sump – wide enough to collect splashing water – and covered in pebbles. Alternatively, have water bubbling from a hole in the top of a large stone. Imitation stones made out of plastic are available and look very effective.

Design your own

Using the principles above it is quite easy to construct your own design. A pebble tower can be made by drilling holes in large pebbles that are held vertically by a piece of copper piping. A plastic pipe leads up from the pump to an outlet at the top and water streams down the sculpture.


  1. Pumps need periodic cleaning and maintenance.
  2. Empty the water out of your feature in winter to avoid freezing.
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