Water Fountain Sound Levels: How to Hide Street Noise
Featured Image: Charlotte 2-Tier Fountain by Massarelli's

Updated October 14, 2023 to include even more guidance and examples.

Do you sometimes feel stressed and overstimulated by high levels of street noise?

The sound of traffic and people intruding into your garden space isn't just irritating, it's also bad for your health. There's a reason that street noise can feel so annoying. 

Besides assaulting your senses, street noise can impact your sleep quality, increase stress, and have marked negative health impacts. Researchers have established that traffic noise pollution is a serious environmental health concern

The only way to avoid street noise completely is to move. But, if you don't want to relocate to the middle of nowhere, there are other solutions. 

Enter water fountains. While they won’t fully eradicate unwanted street sounds, fountains can do a great job of masking unwanted noise

If this sounds like a viable solution for you, keep reading to learn more about combating street noise with fountains and the different levels of water sounds from the most popular fountain styles. 

Strong Sounds: The Best Fountains for Blocking Street Noise

Multi-Tiered and Scupper Style Water Fountains

Tranquility Sphere 3-Tier Fountain by Massarelli's

The Tranquility Sphere 3-Tier Fountain by Massarelli's features wide scuppers (i.e., slits in the concrete) that channel the water into a concentrated stream.

If you're looking to beat some strident street noise, the best option is a water fountain with scuppers, like the
Tranquility Sphere 3-Tier Concrete Fountain by Massarelli’s Fountains.  

➤ “Scupper” is an industry term simply referring to a
“slit” that channels the water into a concentrated stream


Fountains with scuppers allow water to flow from tier to tier through these dedicated channels, directing the water down with greater force than smooth surfaced fountains

Instead of flowing over the upper tier in sheets that divides into droplets, the water becomes concentrated into stronger streams. When the streams hit the water surface below, this creates a louder sound, which is ideal for—pardon the pun—drowning out street sounds. 

Don't believe a mere fountain can do anything against the sounds of traffic? Research has proven that introducing water sounds can be effective at mitigating the harmful effects of traffic noise on brain activity. 

The way in which water falls in a fountain is the primary factor that influences the level of water sound. 

Pro Tip: For optimum results in cancelling unwanted noise, place a fountain in the midst of a gathering place. Don't place it at a long distance at the back of a property if the patio is close to the house.

Calanthia 3-Tier Fountain by Giannini

Can you spot the scuppers on the Calanthia 3-Tier Fountain by Giannini? They're sculpted into flower petals! The abundance of scuppers and tall tiers make this fountain rated by the design team as good for masking other sounds. 


Note also that more tiers will produce a stronger ambient sound than fewer tiers. 

In short, the more tiers and scuppers – and the wider their width – the stronger volume of ambient water sounds you'll get. 

Tier & Scupper Fountains We Like

Plaza Style Fountains: Ultimate Noise Masking for the Larger Budget

Piazza Veneta Pond Fountain by Giannini

The Piazza Veneta w/Pond Fountain by Giannini moves an incredible amount of water at a time, with 4 jetted spouts in addition to the cascading water on the higher tiers. 

Due to the sheer volume of water that they move (i.e., one with a pool for its lowest tier), plaza style fountains are often prime candidates for drowning out ambient noise

Because of the amount of materials used and production labor involved, they carry a premium price tag over most other fountain styles.

More Plaza Style Fountains We Like

Medium Sounds: Smooth Surfaced Fountains

Fontana Grande 2-Tier Fountain by Giannini

The Fontana Grande 2-Tier Fountain by Giannini is inspired by classic European style with a pinecone finial and a smooth-surfaced top tier. 


If a strong water sound isn’t needed but you still want to create a calming environment, you can consider a smooth surfaced water fountain. 

Instead of the water flowing from tier to tier via the scupper channels discussed above, the water flows over a smooth rim and cascades down to the next tier in either sheets or larger droplets, depending on the specific style.

Smooth surface fountains generally produce softer ambient sounds than ones with scuppers, however, they are considerably louder than bubbler style fountains and can still create the desired atmosphere.

Other smooth surface fountains we like:

Gentle Sounds: Bubbler Style Fountains

Petal Point Fountain by Massarelli's

The Petal Point Fountain by Massarelli's is proof that modern style can be elegant. A beautiful bubbler-style fountain with a gentle cascade. 

Do you want a meditative backyard water fountain that produces subtler water sounds? If so, we'd recommend a bubbler-type outdoor fountain. 

Bubbler fountains, as their name suggests, gently bubble water up through a spout just above the fountain tier or design element. Instead of producing a sound of forceful, falling water, this creates a soft murmuring followed by a gentle cascade.

➤ A bubbler fountain
is ideal when low level ambient sounds are desired and for creating serenity in an outdoor space that only receives infrequent street noise. 

Bubbler fountains to consider:

Fountainettes for Nooks & Corners

Owl Fountainette with Tree Man

At 3.5 feet tall and with a gentle bubbling water spout, the Owl Concrete Fountainette with Tree Man Pedestal by Massarelli's will fit perfectly into your favorite corner.

With a petite style pioneered by Massarelli’s Fountains, fountainettes are bubbler style fountains on an even smaller scale. Many customers like to place them in their favorite reading nook, or in the corner of a covered patio where one or two people can sit and enjoy a snack together.  

See more in our Fountainette Collection

Combat Unwanted Street Noise with a Water Fountain from Fountainful

Sonoma 4-Tier Fountain by Massarelli's

The Sonoma 4-Tier Fountain by Massarelli's brings wine country charm to your garden and produces very strong ambient water sounds thanks to its scuppers and multiple tiers. 


If busy street noises are ruining the garden and backyard ambience you want to create, an outdoor water fountain may provide the solution you’re looking for – no to mention the added benefit of integrating a striking conversation piece into your landscape. 

Water fountains create a calming, natural sound that the human brain is hardwired to respond to. The sound of flowing water can have an immediate soothing effect on your wellbeing, and help to transmute noises that create sensory stress. 

You’ve come to the right place. Our mission at Fountainful is to connect people with unique water features that bring the therapeutic sounds of nature closer to home

Explore our entire collection of
exceptional water fountains today.

Questions about fountain sound levels? Contact us today!

Fountain sound levelsFountainsGardenLandscape design


Fountainful Staff

Fountainful Staff

Adela – we’re happy to help make recommendations. Reach out any time!

Adela Mason

Adela Mason

I need a water feature to block road noise while I’m outdoors.

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