Pool Waterfall. Pool Rock Waterfall

Pool Waterfalls 101: What You Need to Know

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Planning a new inground pool installation? Make sure you consider making a pool waterfall part of your overall design. Once you learn more about the benefits and types of pool waterfalls, we’re sure you’ll see why they are such a popular feature.

Benefits of a Pool Waterfall

Incorporating one or more pool waterfalls into your overall inground pool design has many benefits. 


The main benefit of a pool waterfall is the beauty and ambiance. A waterfall can bring an elegant or tropical feel to your backyard, depending on the style you choose. By adding a waterfall to your pool area, you create a resort-like atmosphere. What’s not to love?

Water Circulation

Aside from the aesthetics, a pool waterfall has several practical benefits. The first of these is improved water circulation. The continuous water movement from a waterfall helps keep your pool clean, by moving any debris towards the filter. Increased circulation also helps distribute pool chemicals more evenly throughout your pool.

Temperature Regulation

Another practical benefit of a waterfall is cooler, more comfortable water during the hottest days of the summer. Pool water can get uncomfortably warm rather than refreshing if we have a string of 90-100-degree days. A pool waterfall helps bring in a continuous flow of cool, refreshing water. This raises the oxygen level in the pool, which helps cool the water.

Sound Blocking

The sound-blocking quality of a pool waterfall is both aesthetic and practical. The sound adds a calm and serenity to your pool area. It also blocks out the noise from neighbors or traffic and can act as a sound barrier to allow you to have a private conversation without being overheard.

Types of Pool Waterfalls

Now that you’re sold on the benefits of adding a pool waterfall, it’s time to learn about your options, and which type is best suited to your pool.

Pool Rock Waterfall

If you’re looking for a tropical feel or natural look, a pool rock waterfall is your best bet. These can be built with natural stone or faux rock. Your design team helps determine the look and feel of the waterfall, as well as the rate of water flow. You can also add a hidden grotto as part of this waterfall design. 

Some of the manufacturers of pool rock waterfalls include:

Spa Spillway 

Another popular way to add a waterfall to your pool design is to create a spa spillway. A spa that’s elevated above pool level can easily be used for a waterfall effect. You can have one main spillway or several small spillways that send water falling directly into the pool below, or down a series of steps into the pool.

Cascade Waterfall

Cascade waterfalls, also known as sheer descents, send water cascading directly into your pool, rather than over rocks like a pool rock waterfall. They can provide a contemporary look by creating a “wall of water.” 

Rain Curtain

A rain curtain is a type of water feature installed on a structure at the edge of your pool. The water volume flows through small nozzles to mimic the water droplets of rainfall. Many rain curtains are available with LED lights to create a lovely display after nightfall.


Scuppers are metal troughs or chutes built into your pool walls that create a series of waterfalls. Pool scuppers can bring water from your spa to create waterfalls into your pool. The higher the placement, the larger the waterfall.

Water (and Fire) Bowls

Water bowls and water & fire bowls are a growing trend for pool owners across the country. They’re either round or square vessels frequently placed on poolside pillars, but the water bowls can also be placed at the level of your pool coping. They come in both concrete and metal finishes. We like PebbleTec’s fire and water bowls for their dramatic effect.

Can I Add a Pool Waterfall to an Existing Inground Pool?

The short answer to this question is yes. But adding a waterfall to an existing inground pool is not a DIY job. It takes an expert understanding of your pool’s structure, masonry, pump system, filtration, and drainage. If your pool has seen better days, you might consider a new pool installation where the design incorporates the pool waterfall of your dreams.  

Related Reading: 

Dream It. Build It. Live it. 

If you’re looking to upgrade your existing inground pool or make your new pool stand out from all the rest, we can help.  We design and install luxury inground swimming pools our clients love.  Use the contact form to schedule an on-site consultation or call 301.720.1000 today. We work with homeowners in Maryland, DC, and Northern Virginia.

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