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.

Medium pump chamber original

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

Medium pump submersible original

Submersible pump kit with filter and fountain attachment