A fountain, whatever the type, shape or size, brings a fluidic dimension to the environment in which it is situated, and gives an added value to any project, by modifying the entire aspect of the landscape.

Fountains are diversified and include a wide range of forms, which vary from water basins, to waterfalls, dancing fountains, cascades, water ponds, etc. each having its own specifications and characteristics. The design and implementation of a fountain is a complex task, a mixture of art and engineering. Therefore, no general standards can be defined. Here below are general guidelines related to several types of fountains:
Water basins equipped with nozzles
There is a wide variety of nozzle types. The selection of the nozzle depends on the desired effect, the location of the water basin, and the technical constraints. However, regardless of the selected model, there are a few basic requirements to be taken into consideration:
Size and shape
The size and shape of the basin may be determined by the fountain effect. The water depth should be no less than 18” for easy installation of the equipment.
Filtration and sterilization
Pool filter maintains water quality. The filter size is based on the required turn-over (between ½ hour and 2 hours, depending on the location and characteristics of the fountain). A sterilization system is also necessary; chlorination and ionization are generally used to disinfect water.
Pumping system
In general, two independent pumping systems should be installed. The first one is for the filtration (its flow rate is based on the turn-over), and the second one is selected according to the flow rate and pressure requirements of the desired nozzle effect
Fountain effect
There is a wide variety of nozzle characteristics and effects (flow rate, height, spread, etc.). As a general rule of thumb, the minimum basin diameter should be twice the spray height. For example, if the basin diameter is 3 m, the nozzle height should not exceed 1.5 m.
A good lighting system modifies the entire aspect of a fountain. It enhances greatly the aesthetic of the pond or basin, especially during the evening and nighttime hours.
Type of nozzles:
There are two types of nozzles; water level dependent and water level independent.
A sensing head mounted up-wind from the fountain with the control mechanism in the control panel can reduce the height of the fountain jet in moderate winds by opening a by-pass valve or shut down the jets pump completely in heavy winds.
Water level controls
Electronic water level sensors monitoring water make up valves and low water shut down will replenish the water lost due to evaporation.
Properly designed waterfalls are among the most exciting water features. A waterfall occurs when water falls over an edge or surface known as a “weir”, which can be of different shapes. The most important parameter to consider when designing a waterfall is the amount of water required to produce the desired effect.

Free fall can be created by a variety of different configurations: tapered weir, flat weir and metal edge weir. The required flow rate depends on the height of the waterfall, the weir type and the wind conditions.
click here to download the chart “types of waterfalls”
Let’s consider the below waterfall parameters, and values with reference to the chart “metal edge weir”:
Parameters   VALUES (refer to the row 6 of the chart)
Type of the waterfall Metal edge weir Depth (d) of the water 11/4”
Height of the waterfall 11’ Width (w) of the wall 9”-11”
Length of the waterfall 45’ Length of the weir (l) 3”
With reference to the chart “Waterfall performance data”, the required flow rate is deducted.
With a water depth of 11/4”(column 2 of the chart), the necessary water flow is 55 gpm/ft.
The required flow rate is thereby 55 gpm x 45 feet = 2,475 gpm.

Aerated waterfalls
Aerated waterfalls are best created using the “three-step” method. Three steps will produce a frothy, foamy flow of water. The first step produces a smooth sheet, the second will distort the water, and the third will produce aerated water. The use of additional steps will not result in a corresponding increase of aeration, while fewer steps will not produce enough aeration. The size of the steps and the amount of water required in an aerated waterfall are interdependent.

Normally, the water depth flowing over the first step should be one-eighth of the step height. Minimum water depth should be at least 1/2”. Step lengths or runs may vary from 75% to 200% of step heights. The optimum step length for best results is 100% to 125% of step heights.

Let's consider the below aerated waterfall parameters, and values with reference to the chart "aerated waterfalls":
Type of waterfall effect flat weir Height of each step 4”
Length of the waterfall effect 10’ Length (l) of each step 4” to 8” (4” to 5” is the best option, since the optimum step length for better result is 100 % to 125 % of step height).
Desired depth of water ½”

With reference to the chart “Waterfall performance data”, the required flow rate is deducted.
With a water depth of ½ “, the necessary water flow is approximately 28 gpm/ft.
The required flow rate is thereby 28 gpm x 10 feet = 280 gpm.
More about fountains
Lazy rivers, jumping jets, water ponds, etc. There are multiple types of features and water effects. The electro-mechanical design of a fountain is complex; the technical requirements and the desired effect should be compatible, taking into consideration the fountain characteristics as well.

Therefore, it is impossible to talk about general standards for fountains; it is simply an interesting world to explore.
Jumping jets fountain
Fish pond
Spherical fountain
Stream effect