How Does a Garden Fountain Work?

The melodic splash of a water fountain attracts birds and beneficial insects to a garden, while the spray adds moisture to the air. The combination of that added moisture and the psychological effects provides a cooling environment to make your garden more refreshing on even the hottest days. Whether the fountain is an elaborate, tiered setup with multiple sprays or a simple basin with a single bubbler, the basic workings are the same.

Basic Parts and Functions

Small garden fountain with running water

A water fountain consists of four basic parts: a pool of water, a submersible pump, a power source to run the pump and tubing to carry the water from the bottom to the surface. The fountain may include one or more nozzles to create different spray patterns, as well as one or more basins into which water can flow. A filter may also be attached to the setup to keep debris out of the pump.

Water Fountain Operation

The submersible pump connects to an electrical outlet equipped with a ground-fault circuit interrupter or to a solar battery, though some smaller pumps may be powered by an internal battery. The pump sits below the surface, drawing in water and forcing it up through the tube and nozzle. The arc or stream of water falls back into the basin so that the pump can recycle it again and again.

About the Author

Deb Powers is an avid urban gardener who works with a community collective to promote sustainable urban agriculture and build partnerships between local business owners and community organizations. Powers serves as a social media and marketing consultant for local non-profits and businesses, and is collaborating with a coffee roaster to publish a cookbook highlighting coffee as a culinary ingredient.