Water features, like pools, can be a wonderful addition to any home, providing months of entertainment and relaxation for families and friends. But for those who don’t care to dive right in, there are also several ornamental water features that can create your very own personal oasis at home.
“It’s something that we call ‘vacationing in your own backyard,’” says Tom Smith of Garden State Koi and Aquatic of the effect of adding an ornamental water feature, like a pond, to any home. Not only does the water provide calmness, he says, but it also advances the natural beauty already found in many backyards.
Greg Galati, of Galati Pools & Spas in Newburgh, makes a similar point. He says the trend is moving toward having as much comfort outside the house as inside, while enjoying the aesthetics of the Hudson Valley. “Ten years ago it was all about bringing the outdoors in, and now it’s about bringing the indoors outside,” he points out. “You’re creating the indoor experience outside in your yard.”
Most backyard renovations today include not just a pool but also landscaping and the installation of grills and pool houses, says Bruce Bagin of B&B Pool and Spa Center in Chestnut Ridge. Also, current technology allows water features to be both environmentally-friendly and smooth functioning. “Great strides have been made in several areas of swimming pools,” Bagin says of the newest trends in filtration, lighting, and sanitation systems.
One option available to the public right now is Pentair’s Intelliflo pumps which are fully programmable and in tune with the needs of each individual pool, Bagin explains. “That translates into energy savings…up to 60 to 70 percent less power than a standard pump while giving sufficient water flow to maintain the pool.” The use of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and heat pumps, which draw heat from the surrounding air, are also ways to reduce operating costs and combat the energy crunch.
Another trend in pool sanitation is the use of food-grade salt in place of harsh chemicals such as chlorine, Bagin explains. Essentially, the salt is converted into its natural molecular components (sodium and chlorine), resulting in a safe method of sanitization and a saline level that is gentler on the eyes.
“Each year pools are becoming easier to maintain,” Galati says, adding that it can cost between $1,000 and $2,000 per year for upkeep.
But a pool is not the only way to enjoy your backyard this summer. “A pondless waterfall is a really low-maintenance water feature that can be turned on and turned off as needed,” says Smith. “It allows people to have the sights and sounds of water without having to really maintain anything.”
Starting with the smallest projects, Smith says the three water features people usually add to their homes are bubbling urns or other decorative features, the pondless waterfalls, and finally, an ornamental pond. “These are excavated areas that we put a liner in that has a recirculation system with a mechanical and biological filter,” he explains. “[It] is actually an ecosystem that has living organisms that all work together to keep the feature clear and clean.”
Ornamental features can also include animals and vegetation to enhance the experience of nature in your backyard. For instance, Garden State Koi and Aquatic in Warwick offers an array of different sized koi and goldfish, as well as perennial flowers like hardy water lilies and lotus in red, white, pink, and yellow. “Having a very nature-like feature in their backyard, for a lot of children it’s like a classroom to study,” adds Smith.
For someone sitting on the fence, Smith says that water features, be it pool or pond, can potentially add value to one’s home. But most importantly, one of the biggest incentives to build today would be the quality time one can spend enjoying these features. People are traveling less right now for a variety of reasons, says Bagin, but there are plenty of ways to recreate the fun and the beauty of nature right in your own backyard.
Resource List B & B Pool and Spa Center, Chestnut Ridge (845) 356-0837, (877) BNB-POOL; bbpoolandspa.com Bedford Poolscapes Inc., Bedford (914) 234-3732
Blue Haven Pools, Chester (845) 469-5226; bluehaven.com Coral Sea Pools, Briarcliff Manor (914) 762-1133; coralseapools.com Galati Pools & Spas, Newburgh (845) 564-0555; galatipools.com Garden State Koi and Aquatic LLC, Warwick (845) 651-4100; gardenstatekoi.com Hudson Valley Kayak Pools, Wappingers Falls (845) 831-7576; hvkayakpools.com Moloney Pools, White Plains (914) 761-8124; firstname.lastname@example.org NeJame Pool Specialists, Inc., Verbank (845) 677-7665; nejamepools.com Pioneer Natural Pools, Cold Spring (845) 227 7800; pioneernaturalpools.com
Prisco’s Better Quality Spas and Pools Yonkers (914) 237-0710; priscospas.com