Water has always held a fascination for people. Nothing provides a more soothing experience than to sit next to a gently flowing water fountain on a hot summer afternoon.

Water is a commodity that is bought and sold for its value as a life sustaining liquid. Water also has its basis in religious ceremonies such as baptisms, as well as Indian rituals in days of yore.

Like that gently flowing brook, a water fountain provides sounds that never seem to be the same from one time to the next. Each time you sit and listen it provides a unique and pleasing experience. Sound machines and recordings of nature help relax us but nothing can beat the relaxation of watching and listening to water cascade over or along rocks or other materials used in water fountain design.

Water fountains relieve stress and provide nearly instant relaxation. It is also believed that, when used indoors, they can help increase the humidity levels and decrease the amount of dust particles in the air. Thus having a beneficial effect on people with allergies. There is also no better home improvement project than the addition of a water fountain.

Many developers and architects recognize the visual and auditory effects water features have on people. Therefore, water fountains grace the plazas and vestibules of government and other buildings as well as the entrances to many unique commercial and residential developments. They are also used as noise mitigation to enhance areas where traffic or industrial noise is an issue.

Some believe water conservation should preclude the use of man-made water fountains. But for those that do not live near a beautiful free-flowing river or stream, a water fountain provides an auditory, as well as visual simulation of an experience only Mother Nature can produce. Also, most water fountains, especially those used in backyards and home gardens, simply recycle the water by recirculation utilizing a pump system.

To understand the importance of water fountains to man, one has to look no further than the Bible for understanding. Some quotes about fountains taken from the Bible:

"A river flowed out of Eden to water the garden as a fountain, and there it divided and became four rivers (an inspiration for the four rivers fountain of Italy) "
Genesis 2:10

"For with thee is the fountain of life; in thy light do we see light."
Psalms 36:9

"The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life, that one may avoid the snares of death "
Proverbs 13:14

Water fountains always make me think of the giant majestic fountains at the Bellagio Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas and of course the grand geyser Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. But, as these would be unwelcome additions to our tabletops or backyards, let's get back to discussing some more realistic ideas for these areas.

The design of a wet fountain is only limited by one's imagination. The mixture of water flowing mixed with art provides an attraction few people can resist. Of course, there are two parts to the water fountain and one must decide whether the main feature should be the water or the structural component. Also consider what will happen after dark. Nothing adds beauty to backyard fountains like outdoor lighting.

When considering what type of water fountain you will place in your garden, give some thought to what your pets may perceive the fountain to be. Rover will likely consider a vertical fountain as an excellent source of drinking water, or a pond with a fountain as his/her own personal swimming pool. You might consider some type of decorative fencing to keep Fido in his place.

Fountains can be placed indoors, outdoors, on floors, walls, on porches, patios, gardens, placed near a bed or outdoors near a bedroom window, on an end table as well as just about any area where a soothing atmosphere is desired. There are fountains of various styles, ranging from modern to more traditional. There are a nearly endless variety of water fountain types, colors and styles available. And yes, there is one available for you.