Water flows from the tallest metal leaf down to the middle lowest and finally to the rock-covered basin. In the basin the water recirculates with help from the submersible electric pump. No pluming is required all you have to do is assemble the fountain fill and plug it into a standard indoor electrical outlet. *Color can vary slightly on each fountain. Lighting can be different indoors and out as well as differences in computer monitor lighting. Some fountains may appear darker because of the lighting in the room. Therefore slight color variation is not a cause for return. Fountain takes a few minutes to fully start once the rock covered basin is covered with water there will be soft/no water sounds which are perfect for those that enjoy the beauty of a fountain but don't want the pronounced water sounds.