Should You Incorporate Water Features Into Your Commercial Landscape?

When thinking about the landscaping for your commercial property, water features will likely come to mind. Whether a Zen-like trickling waterfall, a Koi pond, or a fountain, water features can certainly add an enjoyable ambience to your environment. But is the inclusion of a water feature right for your project? Today, we’re going to talk all the pros and cons to help you decide! 

Create an Ambience With Water Features

Arguably the most compelling reason to invest in this element of a commercial landscape is the impact it can have for your visitors. Water features appeal to various senses, with their visual beauty and delicate sound. They can also thoughtfully contribute to an aesthetic. Take one of our current projects as an example: 

For the revitalization of a historic courtyard, our clients want to create a New Orleans sort of feel. We’ve recently finished the planning phase, and one of the standout elements we utilized to build the look they desire is a fountain. Designed in the style of an old sugar kettle, the fountain will serve as a central, style-defining feature between two urban buildings. Seating plazas nearby will invite passersby to rest and enjoy the calming sound and sight of the fountain.  

Regulate the Conditions of an Environment—Naturally

A bonus of our sugar kettle fountain is that we also designed it to assist with temperature attenuation. The humidity and mist generated by the water circulation will cool the surrounding air. Since this project is located in Pensacola, the ability to keep a people-friendly area cool is a core benefit. In addition, designs like this can contribute to a reduction in the heat island effect … win!

For Water Features, Maintenance Is Key 

Now that we’ve talked about two ways water features are boons to your design, let’s talk about one of the challenges. Whenever water is involved, maintenance is going to be a core factor. That is because water brings with it the potential for the build-up of algae and bacteria that can both ruin the aesthetic and prove a health risk for people and wildlife alike. Needless to say—but we’re going to say it for emphasis—proper maintenance of your water feature is essential. From cleaning up any debris that might get dropped in (accidentally or otherwise) to maintaining pH levels, pumps, and filtration systems, it can be a big job! 

The good news is that there are plenty of fantastic landscape maintenance companies that make it their mission to perfect water feature upkeep. You just want to keep the expense of doing so top of mind before committing to a water feature in your design. 

Nature’s Water Feature Counts Too!

If the idea of worrying about all of that maintenance is giving you pause, take a moment to consider the other opportunities your property provides. Depending on where you are located, it might make sense to treat a natural pond, lake, inlet, or stretch of ocean as your own personal water feature. By this we just mean: highlight it! 

Position benches and picnic tables near a quaint pond. Frame an ocean view with plant life. Build a dock to create a spot for fishing and photographs on a lake. There are plenty of creative ways to make a natural body of water feel like an intentional feature of your landscape architecture. 


Whether you build them from scratch or make the most of those already present in your landscape, water features are a key component in an elegant, enjoyable environment. 

If you’d like to learn more about the different water features we have created here at Jerry Pate Design, explore our projects or get in touch. We’d love to chat about it! 

Steve Dana
Steve Dana
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