Since Richard Nixon was in office, federal and state governments have recognized the harmful effects of noise pollution. According to experts, noise pollution can have a wide range of harmful health effects.
But more than the really loud booms that can damage eardrums, routine unpleasant noise, when frequently experienced, can cause hypertension, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
“One complaint people on Long Island experience around their homes is traffic noise,” says our own Dave Stockwell. “It’s one reason Deck and Patio clients love adding water features. Beyond beauty and their peaceful ambience, they also are a great way to eliminate traffic and other unwanted outdoor noises.”
Water features provide relaxing burbling sounds. Some have reported that the negative ions abundant in waterfalls actually increase serotonin levels which improve mood.
A closeup of one of our projects with stream and waterfalls (shown left) captures part of a Roslyn, NY, water feature. It is the main waterfall in a series that flow down over moss rocks in a very natural-looking way — if we do say so ourselves.
Our clients did not want a pond, so we created a “pondless” feature using Aquascpe Inc. equipment that captures the flowing water in an underground reservoir where it is filtered and recirculated — making it very eco-friendly.
“Here, Deck and Patio replaced an old double 4-foot wooden retaining wall and water slide with this 7-foot-high water feature.
“When we did this project, we actually removed an existing slide that went in to their old pool,” says Dave Stockwell. “Instead of adding a new slide, we used the space for a ‘pond-less’ waterfall system by Aquascape.
We even added a stepping stone path in front of the waterfall so they can stroll right past i.t You might say this lovely setting did more than block out noise — it created a beautiful spot reminiscent of a Caribbean vacation.
Blocking City Noise
But, you might ask, Long Island is one thing, but can waterfalls help block city noise. Such was the case for these Deck and Patio clients. Their home is tightly surrounded by apartment buildings, traffic and noise — in the very heart of a borough of New York City.
In addition to an exterior wall, which we softened with bamboo around its perimeter and a “living wall” that holds multiple-sized pots of plants, we added a sizable waterfall that offers up joyous splashing sounds as it falls into their pool.
“It is truly an oasis in the heart of the city,” says Dave.
Lots of Noise Barrier Options
“There is a wide choice of design options for your own backyard water feature,” says Dave.
Consider the following watery trail we created for Long Island clients. It meanders along a formerly unused slope in the clients’ backyard.
“Gravity is a very energy-efficient way to make the water move forward,” says Dave. “And during winter, the moss rock boulders become stunning ice sculptures that beautifully extend the seasonal enjoyment of it all.”
“You might wonder if waterfalls will really drown out traffic noise,” says Dave. “But the following video of a single Deck and Patio waterfall falling into a custom spa we built gives you an idea of how effective a waterfall can be to reduce noise.”