The Sounds of Fountains

One of the most common questions people have when choosing a fountain, is the amount of sound it will make. Unfortunately there is not an easy answer. A fountain’s sound is determined by the path the water takes as well as other variables. Here are a few tips to help you make the best decision for your individual needs.

Generally, the sounds a fountain makes come from three different sources. The first source is the distance the water falls. The second is what the water falls onto. And the third source is how many levels the water falls through. If there is only a small stream of water that flows a short distance, or if the water is simply running down the sides of an urn, the noise level will be small. If you have a tall tiered fountain, where water cascades from tier to tier and falls into a basin, the sound produced will have a significant volume.

Here a few other factors to consider:

1. The Water speed: The majority of fountains come with variable speed pumps. This means that by increasing the speed of the water flow will increase the volume, and vice versa.

2. Sound Reflection: The placement of your fountain can affect the sound. If you place it in a corner of a backyard it will reflect more sound into your setting, than a fountain standing in the middle of an areaBasin

3. Water Level: If your basin has low water levels, then the water falling into it must fall further, creating a greater sound. If your basin has a high water level, the water has a shorter distance to fall making it quieter.

General Guide to Fountain Water Sound

Fountain soundRemember the amount of sound a fountain makes also relates back to the amount a given fountain will likely splash. This means that placing the fountain in an area where people closely sit or walk by it should be factored. You don’t want an area to become slippery or dangerous to walk in.

Also think about entertaining areas. If you’re conversing, say at an outdoor dining area, you don’t want people’s ability to chat be overwhelmed by the fountain noise.

The amount of fountain sound that’s right for you is your own personal choice. Consider that what may be loud to you may be more on the quiet side to someone else.  What if you choose a fountain and find that it is too loud? Then add real or silk foliage into the basin to help quiet the falling water, and add a stunning appearance to the fountain. If your fountain is a bit too quiet, move it to corner where the sound will be amplified. This can be an ideal way to help drown out undesirable sounds, such as traffic from a nearby street. There are minor adjustments like the pump speed and water level that can affect the sound as well.

This should give you a better understanding of the sound level of various fountains, and how to judge the fountain sound desired for your space!
Posted by Jean Widner.