Nothing promotes family fun and togetherness quite like backyard pools. What's better than an afternoon of playing in and around the water? But if you want to make your pool the focal point of your yard from a design as well as a function standpoint, consider a pool waterfall, fountain or grotto.
Swimming pool waterfalls can be tiny declines of a few inches or dramatic drops of several feet. The water can fall in a narrow stream or in a wide "water curtain." The flow of water can be a steady trickle, a soft drip or a roaring gush. Indeed, there are numerous swimming pool waterfall designs from which you can choose.
Premade pool waterfalls are relatively cheap and easy to install. They are usually constructed of plastic or composite and come in a wide variety of styles; the most popular simulate the look of real waterfalls with a rock-like finish and synthetic rocks at the bottom. Genuine pool rock waterfalls are more expensive and more difficult to build, but add true beauty and majesty to your backyard.
If you're not ready for the cost or look of a waterfall, consider a fountain. Floating fountains are relatively cheap (as little as $45) and easy to maintain; they simply float freely on the surface of the pool and spout water at regular intervals.
A grotto is basically a small cave connected to a pool, with a waterfall serving as the door. Grottoes offer some privacy and add some structural variety to your pool area. Some people use grottoes as an extension of the pool, while others choose to enclose a hot tub in it.
Grottoes require the most landscaping of any pool addition, and floating fountains require the least (none). Waterfalls need elevation for the water drop from, so they usually require a little bit of landscaping to create a slope at the pool's edge. Many people also add decorative landscaping such as plants and garden rocks.
One extremely popular addition to pool waterfalls is lighting. Adding lighting to your waterfall ramps up the drama and really draws attention to the feature. A simple spotlight can highlight the feature after dark, while colored lights can add whimsy all day long.