How Much Does a Backyard Water Feature Cost? From Ponds to Fountains

The sound of water makes everything better.

Boss driving you crazy, moving up deadlines? Kids bickering over the fudge pops again? Brother-in-law still sleeping on the couch? 

Head outside to your patio, where your bubbling fountain is an automatic stress reliever. Take a stroll out to your gurgling garden pond teeming with koi. Plop down next to your flowing stream and listen to the birds twitter.

Noisy neighbors? What noisy neighbors?

Enough daydreaming. Time to get serious if you want this magic to actually happen. 

What’s the cost of a water feature in your backyard?

Let’s take a look.

Backyard Water Feature Cost: Go Pondless

Not every water feature has to be a sprawling pond with two waterfalls. (Although that sounds cool, right?)

Fountains offer the tranquil sound of flowing water in a small footprint. Pondless water features are perfect for patios and small backyards, nestled into sitting areas or tucked away into the smallest corners of your property.

Fountains come in a huge array of sizes and styles, including options crafted from natural materials that blend right into your landscape. 

large boulder pondless water featre

Imagine natural boulders or basalt columns drilled out and plumbed with water lines so flowing or gurgling water bubbles right out of them. It’s like nature added a bubbling spring on your patio. 

The cost of pondless backyard fountains begins at $5,000 and increases as you add complexity.

What kind of complexity? Maybe a larger tri-column drilled fountain with auto-fill valves to regulate water levels. You never have to worry about keeping it filled. Expect to pay $8,000 to $14,000 for these higher-end water features.

Cost of a Backyard Water Feature: Small or Medium Pond

Ponds are a peaceful, serene addition to your landscaping. 

Plan one that’s visible from your house but located away from trees so falling leaves don’t contaminate the water.

Sure, it’s manmade, but a skillfully designed pond will blend right into your landscape with natural rocks of various sizes around the edges and plants to add color and interest. 

patio and fire pit with large water feature

Go bigger with additions like a stream or waterfall. A waterfall adds natural aeration to prevent stagnant water while adding the soothing sound of running water. Bye, stress. 

The cost of small to medium sized ponds with a waterfall, ranging in size from 50 to 5000 gallons, ranges from $15,500-$35,000 depending on the size of the pond.

Backyard Water Feature Cost: Large Specialty Pond

Larger specialty ponds add huge drama and impact to your property. But they’re a bit more complicated, involving filtration, water turnover, and additional pumps and electronic equipment to make sure the pond is easy to clean and maintain. 

Add elegance and interest with fish if you don’t mind some extra maintenance and expense. 

Fish ponds need to be treated with different chemicals and require special mechanical filters that allow backwashing of the pond. 

large water feature with waterfall and flagstone patio

They require more care and upkeep, too, as they need to be deeper for the fish to overwinter.  A deeper pond will also require an aeration system or a waterfall to keep enough oxygen in the water for the fish to survive.

They also require a heater to maintain an open hole to allow the exchange of gasses between the water and air during the winter months, as well as a UV light to prevent excessive algae from growing.  
The cost of larger specialty backyard ponds made specifically for fish, ranging in size from 6,500 to 20,000 gallons, typically starts at around $60,000 and increases in price as they increase in width and depth.

Cost of a Water Feature in Your Backyard: What’s Included?

Pondless water features or waterfalls include the plumbing, hoses, pumps, electronics and other components to allow the water to flow and filter.

water feature at sign

An average small to medium sized pond without a waterfall will include these components:

  • Skimmer: keeps the surface clean and houses the pump and a filter
  • Pump: installed in the skimmer or externally depending on the pond.
  • Flexible rubber liner: contains the water
  • Two layers of pond underlayment: protects the pond liner from sharp rocks and other damages. It includes one layer below and one above the liner.

For medium to large sized ponds, we install a bottom drain in the lower end of the pond. An external pump sucks water from this bottom drain. This does two things:

  1. Keeps the pond cleaner and allows it to be emptied completely using the existing pump if needed.
  2. Protects the pump from burning out if the skimmer becomes plugged with debris or the water level drops —  the pump will still be drawing water from the bottom of the pond.

Also, pond pricing includes excavation, which increases the cost of a pond as it gets deeper and requires more liner and underlayment.

Ready for Your Backyard Water Wonderland? Call Outback in Idaho Falls

Sssshhhhhh — listen. You can hear your bubbling oasis already, right?

If you’re not sure what type of water feature suits your yard, we’ll explain the different types and let you know the costs associated with each option. 

We blend beautiful water features into your landscape with natural rocks and pretty plants.

Want more drama? Outback designers can help you incorporate a stream or waterfall. Waterfalls are great to aerate the water and provide that amazing soothing sound of running water.

And to extend the enjoyment of your water feature after the sun sets, we can add LED or fiber optic lighting to any size waterfall or pond.

Need somebody to drop by to check on your pond, keep your filters clear of debris, maintain the water quality, and winterize it for you in the fall?

Count us in. 

Outback Landscape is a full-service landscaping company offering landscape design and installation in Idaho Falls, ID and throughout Southeast Idaho and Wyoming. 

We install beautiful, functional landscapes. But our work doesn’t stop there. We’ll stay with you for the long haul, taking care of your property through all four seasons.

We serve residential and commercial properties in Idaho Falls, Rexburg and Pocatello, Idaho, as well as Bonneville, Madison and Bannock counties.

Call us at 208-656-3220. Or fill out the contact form to schedule a no-obligation meeting with one of our team members.

We can’t wait to hear from you.

Get Started Today