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7-13 farley video artBy Mike Farley

This is one of those cases where, from a design perspective, I said just about everything I wanted to say about rain-curtain effects in the video linked below.

They look great, they sound even better and my clients love them.  So what else is there to consider?  Well, maintenance.  That’s a huge factor in setting these systems up and for keeping them performing at peak efficiency for the long haul.

With these systems, you’re working with a large number of nozzles that are at the mercy of the water that flows through them.  If that water is too hard, for example, the nozzles will eventually become clogged by calcium build-up.  And if the water isn’t filtered at some point immediately upstream of the nozzles, even tiny debris such as seeds or leaf fragments can impair performance.  

And it’s not just individual nozzles that might need attention:  You also need to allow for removal and cleaning of the entire array in the event something goes more seriously wrong – although at this point I thankfully can’t think of what that might be.  It’s a precaution that can save lots of grief down the line, and it can (and should) be done without sacrificing on the way the system looks from below.

Long story short, maintenance of these features is important, and it pays to be prepared and set things up to be as serviceable as possible.  After all, this is a dominant, significant water effect – the heart of the composition – so downtime is not a desirable alternative.

To see one of my favorite water effects in a great application, click here.


Mike Farley is a landscape designer with more than 20 years of experience and is currently a designer/project manager for Claffey Pools in Southlake, Texas. A member of Genesis 3's Society of Watershape Designers since 2012, he holds a degree in landscape architecture from Texas Tech University and has worked as a watershaper in both California and Texas.

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  • Guest - B. Jackson

    This is the EXACT reason that builders should specify rain curtains that have removable and serviceable nozzles, instead of mere holes drilled into a manifold.
    These styles cost more, but they make maintenance a breeze and can be disassembled for decalcification, removal of debris in the nozzle and flushing of the manifold.

    from Mississippi, USA