Q: What is the difference between a waterfall filter and a waterfall spillway?
Ashley – Forest Grove, OR
A: Waterfall filters and waterfall spillways both generate a flowing waterfall in your pond or water feature – but they have different designs and purposes. Here’s what you need to know about including them in your waterscape.
A Waterfall Filter
A waterfall filter, like The Pond Guy® ClearSpring™ Waterfall Filters, serves two purposes: it generates a waterfall, and it houses your biological filtration system. The waterfall filter provides a starting point for the waterfall itself as the water fills its deep basin and pours evenly over the spillway. That basin is also spacious enough to hold filter media, which houses countless beneficial bacteria – a.k.a. your biological filtration system.
These two-in-one units work well for hobbyists who are building a new pond or are in need of additional filtration. Once you install one, be sure to seed the filter media with PL Gel, a bacterial inoculant that contains beneficial microorganisms and naturally occurring biopolymers that reduce filter startup time.
A Waterfall Spillway
A waterfall spillway, like the PondBuilder™ Elite Cascade Spillways, also provides a starting point for an evenly pouring waterfall, but the basin itself is smaller and provides no room for filter media.
But because it creates the environment-enhancing movement and sound of flowing water, a waterfall spillway makes an excellent addition to a pond that’s already filtered. It also works well for pondless waterfalls and in ponds in areas with little room to work.
Customizing Your Flow
Whether you install a waterfall filter or waterfall spillway, they can both be used in conjunction with a skimmer. You can also easily blend them into your landscape with rock covers or aquatic plants while still allowing you to access the unit. Some models even offer a planting shelf or basket to house additional aquatic plants. Check out our entire selection of Waterfall Filters & Waterfall Spillways.
Pond Talk: What type of waterfall does your pond or water feature have?