What to Know About Pool Scuppers and Other Water Features

Pool scuppers are a great and inexpensive way to incorporate a water feature into a pool design that will bring the auditory and visual benefits of moving water to your backyard. The word “scupper” was borrowed from nautical parlance where it describes the openings or slots on a boat deck that allow water to drain off. In a pool, they work much the same way but are designed to channel that draining effect back into the pool through mechanisms that manipulate the shape and speed of the falling water for varying effects. Most of our favorite pool designs incorporate scuppers in some form. Here are a few to give you an idea what they can do.

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The scuppers on this pool in Katy, Texas spreads the water out into broad streams and divides it into individual rays for a rain-like effect. This makes for a gentler sounding impact with the surface and as well as a relaxing and massage-like feature for swimmers to sit beneath.

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This Cypress, Texas project used scuppers to create a much more traditional and fountain-like effect. The small and round openings of these scuppers channel the water into a heavy and narrow flow that creates a low and pleasant noise. The in-pool bench seating directly underneath these scuppers is also designed to invite swimmers to feel the effect of the moving water, a great example of how interactive these water features can be.


Last but certainly not least we have the classic scupper design that creates wide sheets of rapidly cascading water. These particular scuppers are set  high above the pool’s surface for an extra-sensory experience both visually and audibly. This scupper design draws attention to the accent walls and the planter boxes above them that serve as a design flair for this unique project.

While these three examples by no means represent the breadth of scupper design options available today, we hope they will give you a good idea of what is possible. If you would like to take a look at more of our pool design project for inspiration, check out our online project portfolio.