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A fountain that does NOT run on electricity Answered

I know it is possible to build a fountain that runs on gravity and water pressure, but I'm not sure how to go about making one. I understand that you can't get something from nothing, and I'm not looking for a fountain that would run endlessly. If someone could show me the basics of how such a font might work, I would greatly appreciate it. 


Try installing a bell siphon in line between the tank and the fountain intake.

You can use a cistern, easy to build and also an excellent water filtration/collection system. (gives you a magnificent soft water source) You should filter via gravel, sand and lastly, charcoal but the charcoal is not absolutely necessary. As a child our family water came from 2 cisterns. A cistern only need be 1 foot high to generate .43 PSI, which is more than enough to feed a small to medium size garden fountain. Cisterns work very similarly to modern-day water towers except they are fed from the top instead of the bottom. The higher your water source, the more water pressure you will get. You can also look into gravitational pumps from undergrounds streams; it is not necessary for you to have a downhill sloping water source if you want your fountain on flat ground. The ancient Roman fountains and public baths were fed by labyrinthine tunnels of aqueducts and would require entirely too much space, water, and manpower to operate. If you managed to build one (not an aqueduct) please post it as I am very interested in doing this myself with modern fountains that no longer work and my own sculptures so I do not have to run them on electricity! :). (To the girl who thought toilets ran on electricity when she was a kid: don't feel bad, I thought fountains or hooked up to the garden hose until I bought one!)

You want water at altitude above the fountain, e.g. a stream up a hill. Pipe it downhill. If you have a tall house you might be able to collect rainwater in the roof?


You could use a simple siphon. So long as the level in the water storage tank is higher than the spout of the fountain, it will run continuously. With a tank large compared to the fountain's flow rate, you might get it to work for hours or a day without recharging.

You might also look at Heron's fountain, which is a more complex siphon system which also uses air pressure to get the fountain to "jet", rather than simply flow out of the siphon pipe.

As you say, you can't get something for nothing. Either you throw away the water in the fountain, and keep the tank filled from your municipal mains, or you have a pump system which collects the water from the fountain's outlet reservoir and moves it back up into the tank.

I think this is what I'm looking for. Thank you very much!