Outdoor waterfalls are artificial decorative pieces that have a system of continual flowing water as in a real waterfall. They can have many patterns, shapes and sizes according to personal preference. Their most important components are a basin in which water is made to fall, a submersible pump which allows the water to rise up again, and a cascading slope which channels the falling water.
The common materials used for outdoor waterfalls are copper, slate and stone. All these materials are non-rusting and are not affected by water or humid air. Their heights can vary from a few inches to a towering ten feet or more. They can be designed in any perceivable color, but the common colors are brown, gray, green, beige and black. The pump, and hence the whole waterfall, is driven by electric supply and can be turned off when not required.
People place outdoor waterfalls in their gardens or backyards. These serve mostly as a curio and an attraction, beside which parties and conversations are held. Outdoor waterfalls are also designed to cascade into swimming pools to create a continuous water effect.
The sound of water splashing in the basin creates a soothing effect, which can be recreation in itself. Taller waterfalls produce more resonating sounds. Waterfalls also use devices like metal tubes and pipes to produce more reverberating sounds. Some people believe in the Feng Shui significance of outdoor waterfalls and place them in strategic positions in their landscapes. Waterfalls are also designed especially to cater to Feng Shui sensibilities.
It is a laborious and time-consuming task to build a waterfall all by oneself. Stone waterfalls require a great deal of skill and talent. It is much easier to buy a copper or slate waterfall and install it in the required spot. There are also landscape designers who specialize in creating custom-ordered waterfalls.
Outdoor waterfalls provide added beauty to drab landscapes, and also help to dampen undesirable noises with their calming water sounds. But they do not come cheap. A moderately sized waterfall of copper would start at a thousand dollars. Stone waterfalls are more expensive. But custom-made waterfalls are the costliest. There are many things that can be done with waterfalls, thus making their costs quite variable. People may add an aquarium or a water pond to the waterfall, or create additional cascading effects.