If you are a contractor, architect or someone who is interested in the technical process of we do at Aqua Design Group, here is more information that will give you an insight into how are company handles each project.


Conceptual Design
  • Provides input as to the appropriate use of the water element in the space being considered for the feature/concept.
  • Provides images of different types of effects or water displays that could be used in the conceptual design.
  • Helps to determine the role of the feature in the overall arrangement of the space, taking into account environmental factors, spatial constraints and existing structures or artwork.
  • Assists in setting the feature basins to maximize the visual impact of the water feature while taking into consideration the use of the space and public interaction.
  • Provides complete conceptual design based on the requirements of the project.
  • Provides Schematic Design Drawings.
  • Provides components and narrative of each design.

Design Development
  • Further develops and delineates the water effects to provide some definition of size, quantity and scale for the purpose of sizing the equipment and hydraulic systems.
  • Determines the appropriate lighting methods for the water display elements.
  • Brings definition to the pool, basins and feature profiles in order to access the impact on the surrounding architecture or landscape.
  • Provides preliminary determination of the equipment space required to support the water display and pool volume, as well as its relationship to the pools.
  • Leads discussions pertaining to water quality and public health issues related to water features as well as maintenance burdens to be expected.
  • Provides discussion on maintenance as design progresses.
  • Discusses the operational constraints with respect to wind, splash and noise.
  • Begins discussions with other consultants whose work is affected by the water features, i.e., structural, civil, architectural, landscape, lighting and Mechanical Engineering & Plumbing (MEP).

Budget Analysis
  • Assists in providing budgetary guidelines based on the apparent size of the feature.
  • Provides cost estimate of all water feature components and equipment.
  • Further develops cost estimates based on the design.

Mock Ups
  • The mock-ups incorporate the materials being considered as possible finishes and characteristic of the feature is tested – from water flow to jet performance to lighting effects. The process helps steer the design development and importantly, allows our clients to visualize their feature and experience how it will work.

Construction Documents
  • Provides final piping plan coordinated with civil, MEP & landscape or architecture and showing point of connection for supporting utilities.
  • Finalizes details for all pool hardware and fittings, both in context with the installation and fabrication details.
  • Finalizes details for controls such as wind anemometers and water level sensors.
  • Completes details of the equipment spaces to scale and showing actual structural elements that affects the routing of the piping.
  • Provides hydraulic schematic showing pipe sizes and instrumentation (PID drawing).
  • Provides electrical plans and schematics for the lighting, equipment and controls.
  • Reviews other trades’ work to determine compatibility with the fountain work.
  • Provides specifications.

Coordination of Trades

One of the most important issues during design is the proper coordination of all disciplines as they relate to the fountain. Often these issues are overlooked and surface as RFI and/or change order requests by the contractors, leading to higher installation costs. Remember, someone has to organize and coordinate the following items with the other consultants, which may or may not be in their scope:


The structural engineer (or sometimes the civil) will have to detail the fountain basins, underground equipment vaults or slabs (if used), penetrations through footings, slabs and beams.

  • If the fountain is very large, the structural engineer has to detail expansion joints and consider the placement and specification of waterstops at all cold joints.
  • If the concrete is to be inherently waterproof, the structural engineer should write a Division 3 specification for waterproof concrete.


  • The civil engineer will be responsible for bringing the water, sewer storm water connections to the fountain or equipment vault if the entire project is outside. The points of connection to the fountain contractor’s work should be agreed upon and shown on the drawings.
  • Backflow prevention for the water supply has to be considered, as most municipalities will now allow a back flow preventer to be installed in an underground vault.

Landscape Architecture:

  • The landscape architect will be responsible for sighting the fountain if it is outside, as well as detailing the pools and finishes. This requires an understanding of materials to be used in submerged conditions.
  • The landscape architect should show waterstops on their drawings to make sure they are included.
  • The finishes are specified by the landscape architect and should be coordinated with the fountain hardware.
    Grading in and around the fountain has to be worked out so that the fountain can properly drain and so that storm events do not carry debris into the fountain.


  • If the fountain or equipment space is inside, the MEP engineer has to bring water, sewer and power to the fountain equipment.
  • Ventilation and heating of the equipment space will have to be considered by the MEP engineer.
  • Power supplies to the fountain equipment should be coordinated and points of connection shown on the drawings.


Waterproofing is always the one thing that gets left off or ignored by most disciplines, hoping that someone else is doing it. In the absence of a waterproofing consultant, waterproofing of a fountain can be accomplished in a number of ways.

  • Integral to the concrete: With admixtures and higher compressive strength pours, concrete can be made waterproof. This would put the scope within the structural engineer’s work.
  • Topical application: Depending on which kind of product is used, the concrete is coated with material to make it watertight. The product can be either fluid-applied or cementitious. If fluid-applied material is used, its compatibility with the methods of attachment for the finishes must be considered. This scope is usually under the architect, landscape architect or structural engineer.
  • Topical application, part of grouting system: Some manufacturers have complete systems to waterproof basins that work with a waterproofing material, a leveling bed and a mortar and grout system for the finishes. This scope is under the architect or landscape architect responsible for the finishes.

Overseeing Construction/Installation

One of the items that is most overlooked is construction observation by the feature consultant during the process of building the project. We encourage our continued involvement during construction to determine that the work is proceeding as designed and is of the quality required for the longevity of the fountain. We suggest visits to the site for critical phase inspections including the following:

  • Piping and hardware inspection prior to backfilling or pouring concrete.
  • Inspection of equipment space layout during construction.
  • Inspection of finishes.
  • Final commissioning.
  • Coordination of various trades involved.

Important Information About Our Features

Efficiency and Reduction of Costs

All of our features are custom made and self-contained. They incorporate all the necessary mechanical and electrical components and connections. Our water features are designed in a way to reduce the cost of onsite labor and coordination meetings. All the various trades involved are minimized for efficiency. The design approach we use eliminates scheduling confusion associated with coordinating multiple trades on conventional water feature construction. Water features that are built this way are more reliable, faster to install, easier to maintain and have less liability.

Pre-Fabricated and Shop Tested

Aqua Design Group pre-fabricates and pre-tests features in our factory before shipment. The features are made using engineering principals and various materials, such as stainless steel, copper and glass with various desired finishes. All of the vessels are welded to be water tight and undergo a 24 hour hydro-test.

ADG designs and manufactures UL listed mechanical operating systems which come pre-plumbed, pre-wired, and pre-tested from our factory to reduce the probability of job site problems and installation delays. Each system can be configured to custom fit your installation requirements such as mechanical equipment rooms, underground vaults, or submersible applications.