March 3, 2014

Yard water featureOutdoor water features vary in configuration, size and types. Some homeowners would like waterfall-creating fountains while others prefer ponds filled with fish. Each outdoor water feature consists of different base and decorative ornamentation, but all bring enjoyment. There are also a number of benefits that accompany water feature installation.

1. Encourages Relaxation

For centuries, cultures have recognized the soothing power of flowing water. The sound a waterfall or trickling pond makes depends on the size of the flow and the material that the water flows across. Some people find the sound produced by one water feature more pleasing than another. However, most find that sitting or lying next to a flowing outdoor water feature with eyes closed encourages stress and tension to leave their body. The appeal of this soothing effect also often attracts other family members, which provides the perfect location for relaxing family time. Many owners also add ambient lighting for enjoyment after the sun goes down.

2. Attracts Wildlife

In addition to appreciating the relaxing sight and sound of water, water feature installation also draws the attention of a variety of feather and fur-bearing creatures. Whether having a still pond or a flowing waterfall, homeowners are bound to see their outdoor water feature begin to attract animals like:

* BirdsEastern Bluebird Beating The Heat
* Rabbits
* Squirrels
* Other native wildlife species

Many stop by for a quick drink. Birds use the water for grooming. While standing in the water, a bird will remove dust, pests and loose feathers.


3. Enhances Property Value

While the cost of water feature installation varies according to the complexity of the project, they provide a return investment by adding charm and visual interest to the landscaping. There are probably not too many prospective home buyers that would balk at the sight of a water feature. Consider:

* A simple bubbling ceramic pot
* A miniature brook
* A multi-tiered water fountain

4. Improves Air Quality

Any type of outdoor water feature produces a continual flow of negative ions. Researchers reportedly found a correlation between these ions and stress reduction. Positive ions alter the acid/alkaline balance of the body, which may lead to mental or physical health problems. People come in contact with positive ions from:

* Cell phones
* Computers
* Electrical power lines
* Various other electronic devices

Negative ions counteract the effects. Some studies also indicate that negative ions balance the effects of air pollution. Additionally, the sound produced by active water features often camouflages more unpleasant noise generated in the area.

5. Conserves the Environment

Water feature installation plays an important role toward environmental sustainability efforts. Many outdoor water features are self-sustaining and require very little maintenance. While it may seem that the fountain or pond needs a large quantity of water for initial filling, the system requires less water than what may have been used to sustain the lawn that the feature replaced. Water features also alter the climate around buildings by anywhere from 20 to 25 degrees Fahrenheit depending on the size.  The U.S. Department of Energy reports that homeowners commonly save up to 30% in heating and cooling costs.