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Decorative water features

Decorative water features are normally architectural design elements with water, moving or not, such as a fountains, ponds or waterfalls.

Decorative water features are normally architectural design elements with water, moving or not, such as a fountains, ponds or waterfalls.

Devin provide a decorative water feature consultancy on industrial and commercial projects to landscape architects and other design disciplines.

Our technical expertise in fluid dynamics and water engineering enables us to support design teams from early concept stage across a myriad of features including:

  • water fountains
  • water curtains and water walls
  • waterfalls
  • natural ponds and reflection pools.
Key elements to consider in your design
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Physical interaction with the water in the feature is not normally anticipated.  In some cases bathers may be able to enter the feature, this needs to be anticipated, especially with respect to water quality.  In all situations decorative water features will require a level of treatment in order to maintain a visually attractive and safe water with regards to algae and legionella.

Water quality management is an essential part of any decorative water feature.

Where water clarity is important then filtration will normally be required; indeed most decorative features will include filtration and a residual disinfectant in the feature water body.  Internal water features can benefit from ultra violet irradiation to minimise chloramine levels; although there is probably little benefit of doing this on external features.  Where there is the possibility of bather interaction with the water body, then treatment for cryptosporidium oocyst removal may be required.

There are many types of decorative water features including:

  • Jets/fountains/geysers/dancing waters
  • Mirror pools
  • Cascades
  • Waterfalls
  • Rills

Landscaping design can play an important role in the feature operation; landscaping and drainage should be designed to minimise the return of surface water to the feature circulation system.

Regulations, Standards and Guidelines
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There are no specific standards and regulations for decorative water features, whether associated with the technical design characteristics of the form of the feature or the water quality within the feature.

There is one published trade subcontractor design guide, that provides significant technical information; other sources of information tend to be from specialist consultancy or subcontractor experience or publicly available internet research.

Despite the lack of feature water treatment design standards, there are a lot of cross over criteria and best practices from swimming pools and similar environments that can be considered.

Using this cross over approach, one can rely on various publications to identify an appropriate level to which the water must be treated and maintained and potentially the treatment system design to achieve this.

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