The Science Behind the Right Fountain Pattern

By: Paul Amos, Southeast Territory Manager | April 14, 2023
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From sky-scraping geysers to multi-tiered cascades, Kasco offers a wide selection of fountain display patterns. It’s tempting to make your selection based on looks, but there are other factors, maybe even more important than beauty, that can make or break your viewing experience. Learn more about those factors here.

Kasco fountain patterns come in all shapes and sizes, from the high-reaching Redwood to the cascading Balsam, there’s a pattern for everyone. So which pattern is right for you? Or more importantly, which one is right for your pond? Most often, the answer is driven by initial visual appeal and size of the pattern. Selecting the right spray pattern, however, involves more than you think.

 

Why’d You Buy a Fountain Anyway?

It’s important to really know what you want from your fountain in the first place. Are you looking for an elegant focal point? Do you need to clean up your water quality? Just looking for a 30 ft. geyser that’s screaming for attention? Knowing the goal of your fountain will help you select the right pattern (or patterns) and achieve your intended results.

 

Three Factors to Consider

Pattern size is most often the driving force behind pattern selection. This makes sense, of course, because you’re likely buying the fountain to beautify your pond, and for many, bigger means better.  However, there is a relationship between 3 operational factors that should be considered when choosing a fountain pattern. These factors are flow, pattern size, and power consumption and the relationship between these factors is give and take.

 

A Closer Look at Each Factor

1. Flow

Flow is the amount of water going through the opening in the fountain. This is usually expressed in gallons per minute (GPM) and is directly related to the oxygen transfer rate (OTR) achieved.  Dissolved oxygen (DO) is a primary ingredient in pond/lake health. The biological nature of a pond will demand DO for plants, decomposition of organics, as well as fish and microorganisms functioning within the ecosystem.

2. Pattern Size

Pattern size is the “wow” factor that attracts people to floating fountains. Nice patterns will attract attention, distract from eyesores, and create white noise to blanket daily clatter from roads, parking lots, equipment operation, etc. Many ponds utilizing fountains are detention ponds with excess freeboard (landscaped buffer or shoreline) to handle rain events. With a 5 ft. freeboard, a 10 ft. high pattern will only appear 5 ft. above the crest of the shoreline and might not provide the desired display. Although not always the case, it is typical to choose a pattern in which you look up to see the apex. But be careful, if you get a high pattern with little flow, you will have just a thin spray that easily gets blown over in heavy winds and falls short of adequate OTR.

3. Power Consumption

Power consumption tells a very important story. Amp draw indicates how hard a motor is working and since volts x amps = watts, this directly relates to what it costs to operate the fountain. You can find an electric cost calculator on Kasco’s website at https://kascomarine.wpenginepowered.com/calculators/. The more flow and pattern you desire, the bigger the motor and greater the cost, both initial and operational.

 

How Do They All Work Together?

Kasco VFX Fountains

To get bigger patterns you need more pressure, but this will result in less flow. If you want more flow and the ensuing oxygen-transfer benefits, you will sacrifice some pattern size. Both are directly affected by the size (horsepower) of the motor, how hard the motor is working (amp draw), and subsequently what it costs to get the desired flow and pattern.

Selecting the right fountain pattern requires an understanding of these 3 factors so you can maximize your pattern, maximize flow, and minimize power consumption. A balance of all three will help you achieve the results you’re looking for.


 

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