Pool Waterfall Maintenance

A waterfall flowing into a pool.
  • 1-2 hours
  • Beginner
  • 20-100

Pool waterfalls are a beautiful backyard addition. There's something soothing about being near a running source of water, especially if it drowns out the noises of traffic and neighbors. This backyard addition will transform your pool area, but how difficult is it to maintain? Here are some points to consider before you install a waterfall around your pool.

Start With a Good Pump

The amount of maintenance you need to perform on your pool waterfall depends on how it's built it in the first place. Start by getting a good pump. If you're going to splurge on any part of this feature, do it with the pump, which needs to be able to handle the volume of water going through it. Choose a waterfall pump with a strong motor that can push the water up and out. This will result in less time spent changing filters, cleaning the pump, and cursing the heavens.

Remove Calcium Buildup

One thing you'll notice about your waterfall feature is the calcium buildup. Clean your waterfall area regularly to get rid of the buildup and keep everything flowing smoothly (literally!). You want to perform this maintenance every one to three months, depending on how much calcium buildup you notice. To do so, turn off the pump and completely drain the water from the waterfall. Remove any rocks around the waterfall feature and place them out flat on your lawn somewhere. Mix a few drops of ordinary dish soap with warm water, and scrub down all these rocks with the cleaning solution and a scrub brush. After the rocks are clean, rinse them thoroughly several times with a hose.

For larger rocks, you may need to use a pressure washer to completely remove calcium buildup. If you still have calcium stains after using the pressure washer, pour white vinegar directly onto the stained areas and scrub them again. For the most stubborn stains, mix your vinegar with baking soda.

Maintenance Checks

Removing leaves from a pool with a sweep.

Choose a day of the week for a routine maintenance check and be consistent about it. Check your waterfall filters and pumps weekly for clogs, which can create big problems. Remove any debris you find. If there are any plants nearby, trim them back regularly so they don't leave a lot of plant matter that will clog up your waterfall.


Someone removing a pool filter.

When fall arrives and the weather becomes too chilly for swimming, it's time to shut down your waterfall for the season. Disconnect the filter and pump completely and allow them to drain until no water remains. Store them indoors until the weather warms up again. Before you put all your waterfall equipment back in late spring or early summer, clean it thoroughly to remove any dust or grime that may have accumulated in the interim.


Top off your waterfall as needed. When you notice a drop in the amount of water, add fresh water with your garden hose. You'll notice more evaporation if your waterfall faces direct sunlight for most of the day so, if possible, place your waterfall in the shade to decrease your regular maintenance tasks. Lots of wind can also create evaporation.

Moss and Algae

Moss grows in wet places, so you may notice rocks around your pool waterfall turning green. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, and in fact, some waterfall features are intentionally built with mossy rocks for the pretty, natural look. But if you don't like it, remove it. Turn off the waterfall pump and scrape the rocks gently to remove the moss.

Algae may also grow on the rocks around your waterfall. This can be removed simply with a scrub brush. Just scrub the rocks, and the algae should come right off.

The Waterfall Way

Having a pool waterfall actually decreases some of your pool maintenance. The constant moving water will prevent algae growth and filter the water naturally. A pool waterfall will also help keep the water cool, even on hot days. Don't let the maintenance of a waterfall frighten you away from adding this feature. If you perform maintenance tasks regularly, you'll end up performing much less maintenance overall to keep your waterfall looking beautiful and flowing well.