Water Structures has become the professional's choice because it solves a multitude of construction and liability problems.

Unlike poured-in-place concrete fountains that may literally require weeks or months to produce, Water Structures' units arrive ready for immediate on-site installation. All that is required is a level, stable surface for inground and above-ground installations. Plumbing connections can be installed at the factory for a simple hook-up.

DESIGN FLEXIBILITY

The Master mold makers at Water Structures have been building architecturally-specified products for fourteen years. We offer standard and custom-designed fountains, as well as technical consultation services. You may choose one of Water Structures' models, or your design your own. Water Structures is able to deliver to the job site a professional, prefabricated fountain.

LIABILITY REDUCTION

Liability reduction is a constant concern of product specifiers. Water Structures diminishes product liability in its mix of modern technology and tested traditional practices. Indeterminent leaks caused by surface disruption or hidden pipe damage, are serious problems for site-built fountains. Water Structures' fountains utilize a superior manufacturing process, the heart of which is a reinforced exterior fiberglass shell. Our fountains' piping connections are manifolded and sealed to the front and back of a watertight, ridged shell. It is easy for a contractor to troubleshoot and fix site damage because the piping connections are totally visible on our freestanding shells. Fountain specifiers and owners alike can share in the peace of mind that comes with a Water Structures' single-source, factory-produced and tested product.

SHELL CONSTRUCTION

Water Structures' shells are one-piece, factory built, installation-ready vessels, available with pre-plumbed through-wall fittings. Tile or natural stone can be installed at the factory or job site.

STRUCTURAL DURABILITY

The Water Structures' fountains have no steel reinforcement that can corrode over time, like Gunite. Water Structures' shell is construction tolerant with no plastic liner or copper panes that can be easily damaged during construction. Fiberglass has been proven to be one of the most durable products available for the containment of water.

FIELD TESTED

Water Structures has produced tile and natural stone custom fountains for fourteen years. Water Structures' products have performed well outside in diverse environments from the Rocky Mountains to the Florida Keys.

QUALITY CONTROL

Water Structures provides a factory-tested, finished product from one source. The experienced mold makers and stone and tile setters at Water Structures have years of experience. Water Structures' customers are guaranteed a fountain whose look and durability are unmatched in the industry.

STRUCTURAL COMPOSITION

The outer shell is constructed of polyester fiberglass with integral laminated supports. The interior of the fiberglass mold is chemically bonded to a fiber-cement inner wall. Tile or natural stone is adhered to the cement surface with conventional latex-enhanced thinset.

INTERIOR DURABILITY

The durability of the Water Structures' fountain interior is dependent on what surface product is chosen. Granites, some marbles and ceramic, porcelain or glass tiles have traditionally been some of the best interior surfaces.

PRODUCT LIFE CYCLE

Water Structures' fountains are designed so that the interior surfaces can be replaced using conventional methods without disrupting the fountain's watertight containment vessel. The piping in and around the Water Structures' containment shell, unlike site-produced Gunite, or plastic lined fountains, can be repaired or replaced without jack hammering the fountain apart. The Water Structures design will afford future generations the opportunity to repair or resurface the fountain without starting over.

 

FOUNTAIN PLANNING

When planning a fountain it is a good idea to first ask a few questions. What is the purpose of the fountain? How will people use it? Wading pool, public space backdrop, meditative or religious functions? Does the fountain have a supporting architectural purpose as a reflecting pool, an interactive environment for sculpture, a lobby entrance, park focal point, or traffic noise suppression?

FOUNTAIN BOWLS

A fountain bowl, or series of bowls, can be placed in a fountain pool, or in some cases used as a free-standing piece. Water usually is emitted from the top and cascades to the bottom. If there is no fountain pool, the bottom bowl usually ends up collecting the water. Water can pour over the lip of the bowls evenly or it can be emitted by spillways placed periodically in the fountain bowl lip. It usually takes much more water to get an even flow over a lip without spillways. The more water going over the spillways, the more sound. Spillways can be made of carved stone, cast stone, cast metals, brass plate or stainless steel.

LOW WATER FOUNTAINS

Almost any fountain can be made to be a low water fountain. This may be desirable for aesthetic, safety or functional reasons. Usually these fountains have very little water on their floors when they are running. In the off mode, a low water fountain can be made to have no exposed water.

WET WALL FOUNTAINS

A wet wall water display is one in which the water runs down the side of a wall. This creates water movement without a lot of spray. Wet wall fountains do well in the wind and use less water than jet or waterfall fountains. The subtle wet wall displays make little or no sound. Wet walls can be constructed of stone, cast stone, concrete, or metals.

A wet wall water display is one in which the water runs down the side of a wall. This creates water movement without a lot of spray. Wet wall fountains do well in the wind and use less water than jet or waterfall fountains. The subtle wet wall displays make little or no sound. Wet walls can be constructed of stone, cast stone or tile.

A wet wall can have a large or small fountain pool at its bottom. The purpose of the bottom pool is to chase the descending water and provide a decorative feature to the fountain. Wet walls can be made with no visible pool, but some water containment system must be designed into the bottom of the fountain. The top of the wet wall can have two different types of water dispersal systems. The first utilizes a smaller fountain pool which has a low "weir" at the edge on the top of the wall. The low edge disperses the water down the wet wall. The second way to get the water effect on the wall is to use a mechanical weir which shoots an even amount of water down the wall. The mechanical weir can be covered with the same material that the wall is made of.

The equipment for the wet wall can be located in a number of locations, depending on the project's needs. If there is an aboveground level pool, the equipment can be located behind the wall. If there is no fountain pool or the fountain pool is at ground level, the equipment can be in a remote sump box or, if a dry pump is used, in a designated room either on the same floor at the bottom of the fountain or underneath it in a basement. Some wet walls can be designed with a drain-down system. This system has a large sump box located below the wet wall. Wherever the equipment is located, access will be needed. Water Structures can help in choosing which system will best serve your project.

Wet walls can be covered in natural stone or tile, A smooth tile creates a subtle shimmering effect on the wall. Rough material produces more movement. Depending on the desired effect of the water feature, additional pools and waterfalls always make more noise and splashing than water that stays on the wall.

The effect the wall creates is altered by the texture of tile or natural stones used, its color, the lighting of the wall and volume of water used. The amount of water going down the fountain is adjustable. It is a good idea to know how much sound you want when planning your fountain. Lighting the wet wall with spots can be effective. It is sometimes possible to light the wall from the fountain pool if the pool is large enough. When planning wet walls, you should first consider what its purpose is. Is it to create a subtle mood in a lobby or possibly to block unsightly traffic and street noise from a building's entrance?

Water Structures' wet walls can be built in one or more parts. The fountain walls, pools and connections are water tested before shipping. In some cases, the pumps, filters and purifiers can be installed at the factory. Water Structures' wet walls have a thick, waterproof, fiberglass backing. Our rugged wet walls protect your project from leakage years after other systems have failed. Water Structures can help you plan you project, provide shop drawings and optional site equipment installations.

SCULPTURE FOUNTAINS

A fountain can add a new dimension to a sculptured piece. Water can come from the sculpture itself or it can have sprays come up around it. When empty, sculptural fountains look better than jet fountains. This is a consideration in colder climates were the fountains are closed for part of the year.

INTERACTIVE FOUNTAINS

Interactive fountains usually combine some of the fountain features already discussed with the addition of an optional participation feature. Considerations like safety and liability should be considered when designing these fountains. A low water fountain with a sculptural figure at play is one possibility. Note: If the fountain is to be used as a wading pool, it is essential that the water quality be monitored and treated like any other public pool. Your local health Department should be consulted for local requirements.

SURFACE MATERIAL

Fountain surfaces can be covered with natural stone like marble, granite, limestone or other natural stone. Ceramic, porcelain or glass tiles can also make an exciting surface. Tiles can be cut or placed in patterns for design excitement. When picking a tile it is important to make sure that the tile you pick is appropriate for underwater use. If the fountain is to be used as a wading pool, a slip resistant tile should be used.

LIGHTING

The professionals at Water Structures can make your vision a reality. Interior lights are available as adjustable floor light to highlight a water feature, sculpture or fountain bowl.

PERIMETER LIGHTING SYSTEMS

Fiber optic perimeter lighting is accomplished by installing a fiber optic tube and track in or around the fountain. The light tubing and track should be hidden or recessed so as not to diminish the daytime appeal. The usual place for this kind of system is under the coping. The fiber optic light chamber is located away from the fountain. The color of the light can be changed at the light chamber.

CUSTOM WATER FEATURES

Water Structures also offers a wide array of Water Effects Hardware. Our pumping systems can recreate water effects from a trickle up to a 3600 G.P.M. stream. Hardware systems can be tailored for extra-quiet operation, as in the case of an indoor setting, or made to recreate a waterfall effect to mask traffic noise. Water Structures' experienced staff will help you create a fountain with just the right sound effect.

OPTIONAL COPINGS

Natural copings are available in materials like granite, marble, limestone, blue stone or sandstone to name a few. Natural material can be rough-sawn or split, flamed, sandblasted or polished among other finishes. The edges of the coping can be square edge or any of a number of architectural edge treatments. Exciting options to natural coping include handsome Cast Stone Coping Sets in "French Limestone", "Sandstone", "Solo II Monte", and "Italian Gray". This coping is specially designed to fit onto the deck of each Fountain/Reflection Pool. No cutting is required. All pieces are sized exactly and shipped installation-ready.

WATERFALLS AND SPILLWAYS

The aesthetic appeal of a fountain or fountain area can be enhanced by incorporating a waterfall or spillway into the design.

WATERFALLS

A waterfall effect can be created in two ways. The first is to have water pumped into a fountain or collector that has a weir or spillway exiting it. Water is pumped from the lower fountain into the upper fountain or collector. The waterfall or spillway effect is created as the water cascades over the spillway lip back into the lower fountain. The spillway collector method demands that a significant amount of water be pumped in order for the system to work properly. When water cascades over a waterfall lip, there is a tendency to have some water hug the underside of the waterfall lip. The offending water then travels down the outside wall of the upper fountain or collector. This can cause water problems if not planned for.

The second method for creating a waterfall effect is by the use of a waterfall fixture. Waterfall fixtures are usually installed in a wall on site. The water throw of the waterfall can be regulated at the pump. Of the two types of waterfall methods, the fixture type is the simplest, most efficient, and least likely to cause problems.

FOUNTAIN WATER JETS

Fountains have a wide variety of water jet fixtures to choose from. The effect of these fixtures can be dramatic. The equipment must be carefully sized when designing a fountain jet system. Outdoor sprays should not be too fine or shot too high, due to the danger of having the water spray out of the fountain during high winds.

MEDITATIVE FOUNTAINS

Meditative fountains can have a number of water effects that reflect their traditional function. The noises created by these effects should be considered when designing a system, so as not to create unnecessary noise.

FOUNTAIN EQUIPMENT

IN-FOUNTAIN EQUIPMENT

Fountains can be constructed with no connecting pipes. The disadvantage of installing a unit this way is that a hose must be used to fill and drain the fountain. The pump in this type of fountain is located in a recessed sump well that has a protective grate on it. An electrical feed will be needed to power the pump.

EXTERNAL FOUNTAIN EQUIPMENT

In some cases it is not possible or desirable to locate the fountain equipment in the fountain. An area must be found for the equipment. Preferably the equipment will be mounted at or below the level of the fountain water. Easy access is needed for this under-deck equipment. Automatic disinfecting and filtration equipment are available but they must be protected. The area needed is dependent on the amount of equipment specified. This equipment does need an electrical supply. Your local Water Structures' representative can help you design an equipment area.
Note: In some cases, mounting the equipment overflows can be used on fountains. However, local authorities should be consulted. Overflows are mandatory if an auto fill system is to be used. The fill rate of the auto fill system should be well below the ability of the overflow to dispense the water.

AUTO FILL SYSTEMS

There are two types of auto fill systems, mechanical and electronic. Both systems are subject to failure over time. The damage they can do can far exceed their short-term convenience. If the systems are to be used, it is essential that their fill rate be well below the overflows ability to dispense the water if they fail. Local codes regulate direct portable water connections to the fountains.

Fountains can be equipped with odorless disinfecting systems that operate when the filter pump is on. Fountains without automatic disinfection systems should be chemically treated.

PIPING

The piping for a fountain or fountain can vary greatly. Schedule 40 PVC or better is usually used. See your Water Structures representative for details.

OVERFLOW

Overflows can be fitted to fountains. Sometimes overflows are not used for aesthetic or practical purposes.

WATER SUPPLY

Fountains need to be filled frequently due to evaporation and water changes. Direct connection made to the plumbing should not be done unless a back flow preventer is used and the local plumbing inspector is consulted.

DRAINAGE

Fountains can be drained or pumped out. The local plumbing inspector should be consulted before any hookups are made.
Note: Churches may want fountain water to be drained into a separate dry well.

PIPING REQUIREMENTS, SEPARATE EQUIPMENT

If the recirculation and water effects equipment is to be separate from the fountain or fountain, piping should be run and tested before the floor is poured. Pipe sizes vary greatly from job to job, but even a small fountain and fountain should have a minimum of two 1½ " PVC schedule 80 or better pipes. Equipment can be placed under the fountain or fountain decking, which would negate the need for recirculation piping, but would necessitate an electrical feed. Copper pipes do not usually last as long as PVC.

DECK SHELL INTERFACE

SHELL INSTALLATION

The piping that surrounds the outside of the fountain makes it almost impossible to "drop in" a shell. The shell should be set in place and leveled before the deck is built. If a platform is being poured before the shell is on site, a call should be made to Water Structures to get the exact height of the unit. Remember, it is much easier to bring the fountain or fountain shell up than to lower it.

SHELL TOP LIP, UNFINISHED

The top of the untiled Water Structures shell has a fibercement lip which usually measures 3 ½" in width from the inside of the unfinished shell to the outside of the lip. Tile or slab stone can be directly set on this lip. The rough lip can interface with the deck in a number of ways. See your Water Structures representative for details. Dimensional tolerance should be allowed for in the shell deck interface. The shell should be set, leveled, plumbed and tested before decking is built.

DISCUSSION OF SITE-BUILT PRODUCTS

Custom built fountains have often been constructed using protective pans made of copper, metal sheet or plastic liner. Even with these protective pans, water would eventually work its way past the interior surfaces, causing a major leak. There are some historical problems with metal and liner pans which are discussed below.

HIDDEN LEAKAGE

Copper, vinyl, or metal sheet liners are easily damaged during the construction process. These liners are made of thin material with weak joints. Hidden damage can occur well after a liner and its piping are tested. Liner pans are labor intensive to install with many different contractors working on the unit. Damage occurring to the pan is not usually visible so it is impossible to tell which sub-contractor was working on the unit when the damage was done. A leak in a liner or pan does not appear until the water migrates past the surface, a process that usually take 6 months or more, long after the sub-contractors have been paid. These liners are impossible to repair without destroying the bath, spa, or fountain and starting over!

PIPING

The weakest point in a metal pan or liner is the place where a pipe passes through it. These pipes can be drains or recirculation fittings. The more through-wall connections the more likely a leak. Through-wall connections can be easily damaged during construction. Piping connection leaks are usually hidden and can not be fixed without destroying the unit which surrounds them.

LONG TERM

Copper and vinyl can be damaged over time due to the caustic environments they occupy. Copper liners can be eaten by the chemicals in cement. Plastic liners can be stretched due to the heat and chemicals in the water.

WATER STRUCTURES FIBERGLASS/FIBERCEMENT SHELL

Water Structures manufactures a uni-bodied fiberglass/fibercement shell which is far superior to any site-built product. The Water Structures' shell is made from reinforced fiberglass. The exterior is chemically bonded to a fibercement interior surface in the molding process. Because the interior of this uni-boded product is Portland fibercement, it will accept tile adhesive easily. The exterior of the shell is made of fiberglass which is both durable, waterproof and allows for the double manifolding of through-wall pipe fitting.

WATER STRUCTURES PROVEN DEPENDABILITY

Water Structures' staff has thirteen years of experience building custom fountains and other water features. Each Water Structures' fountain is handcrafted by our experienced craftsman. When you order a Water Structures' fountain, you get the advantage of a single-source product from an experienced manufacturer. Each shell come with a Water Structures' Limited Ten-Year No-Leak Warranty.

LIABILITY REDUCTION

The labor and material that go into making a custom tile or natural stone fountain can be substantial. The cost to remove a custom fountain and replace it is even higher than the original cost. Water Structures' fountains provide you with the best protection possible from indeterminate leakage.

 

 

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