The Garden Guide

Pump equipment - review

Pond Construction Guide

A pumping system comprises:

  • a water inlet protected by a suction strainer or by a sump with an anti-vortex plate, or suction screen, to prevent air and debris from entering the pump
  • a suction pipe, which through which water is drawn to the pump
  • a discharge pipe, through which water is supplied to a fountain or cascade
  • a pump

Traditional water features (eg at the Villa d'Este, Versailles, and Caserta) relied on gravity. They drew water from a river, stored it in a reservoir and discharged the water into a river. This was expensive. Modern fountains generally have a closed system using electric pumps to re-circulate water. The two main types of pump are:

  • submersible pumps, with a watertight electric motor. Submersible pumps can stand on the pool floor but are best located in a sump. Submersible pumps are easy to install.
  • dry pumps, located in a separate chamber and protected from water ingress. Dry pumps are more expensive to install but can pump larger volumes of water.

Fountain kits

Manufacturers offer fountain kits comprising a submersible pump, piping, nozzles and valves. They may be more expensive than buying the components separately but they are easier to install and the parts work together.

Dry pump, in a pump chamber, drawing water from a pond and supplying a fountain.

Submersible pump kit with filter and fountain attachment