Two cool features you can add to an existing swimming pool or to a new design are stream jets and laminar fountains. These styles of water features can be used to create a playful area for children or the ambiance of falling water on demand, without causing you to loose any use of the pool deck once turned off. By comparison a waterfall will always be a waterfall. It will always take up the same amount of space whether it’s being used or not. Water features that incorporate into the deck add versatility in that if they are not being used, they do not impact the use of the patio area and do not create any visual burden in the backyard. They can be hidden so well that what could appear to be a simple classic swimming pool, can in the next second, erupt with life as arcs of water leap from seemingly no where into the swimming pool.
Let us talk about these two styles of fountains in more detail.
Stream jets (deck jumpers) are typically smaller bronze or plastic heads that are designed to blend into the appearance of the deck and have a smaller visual profile. The stream created by one of these jets tends to be more turbulent and playful then that of a laminar fountain. Deck jets typically do not take an excessive amount of water flow and are relatively inexpensive which allows the addition of multiple deck jumpers in a pool design more efficiently then other types of water features. These can be used affectively to add ambiance to a swimming pool without an overpowering waterfall sound and also to create a playful area for children to enjoy getting wet without necessarily entering the swimming pool.
Laminar fountains are a bit more complex and can render some awesome visual affects. A laminar by definition is a perfect undisturbed flow, which is a fair label when describing the stream of water created by one of these fountains. Through specialized baffle designs, laminar fountains offer what visually appear to be perfect bent rods of water about a ½” thick arching out to your swimming pool. To make them even more impressive, a LED style laminar can impart color into the stream to make it look even more stunning. Under perfect conditions at night, they look like neon light rods arching color through the midnight air dispersing that color gently into the calm pool water. Because of their special design, laminar fountains take up a larger footprint then their stream jet \ deck jumper cousins and are substantially more expensive; however in my humble opinion they make a larger visual impact and have that wow factor normal stream jets may lack.