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How to Build a Pondless Waterfall

One of the most underrated simple pleasures in life is being able to sit next to a cascading wall of water and listen to the therapeutic sound that it creates while feeling the stress of the workday melt away. Many property owners do not have space for a full-blown pond, creek, or pool but, by installing a pondless waterfall, it is possible to incorporate a natural looking water feature within a tight space. At Fontana Landscapes, we know the best methods to build a pondless waterfall and we have experience installing all types and sizes of water features.

How to Install a Pondless Waterfall

Pondless waterfalls are ideal for properties that need to be conservative with the amount of space being used. They also offer a solution to homes that have pets or children running around, as there is no standing water posing a safety hazard. The steps to follow to install a pondless waterfall are:

1.     Find an Ideal Location

The ideal location for a pondless waterfall is the side of an incline or hill. If this is not a possibility, any flat, open space will work, but the waterfall will need to be built up with rock, concrete, or brick.

2.     Design the Waterscape

The pondless waterfall design should be suited to your location and incorporate the landscape. If the waterfall cascades over a series of rocks, it will require a larger amount of ground space than if it is a straight vertical waterfall.

3.     Dig the Waterfall Reservoir

The reservoir will be at the bottom of the waterfall’s path, and it will house the pump. The reservoir should be large enough to hold double the volume of water needed to keep the waterfall flowing without breaks. If the waterfall flows over rocks, it is important to dig the reservoir far enough away from the source to make room for the flowing water’s path.

4.     Dig Out the Waterfall’s Path

If your pondless waterfall is completely vertical in structure, this step can be ignored. If it cascades over rocks, like a stream, then you will need to dig out the path that the waterfall will follow down the slope.

5.     Lay the Reservoir and Path Liner

The liner will keep the water from soaking into the ground. Lay the liner (which should be ordered to the specific size of your reservoir) in the reservoir. Do the same with the path liner.

6.     Install the Pump

Dig a trough for the pipes that will feed the water to your waterfall from the reservoir to the source. Install the pump in the bottom of the reservoir and run the pipes from the pump along the trough to the top of the waterfall.

7.     Lay Rocks in the Reservoir

Fill the pondless waterfall basin with drain rock. If a grate is being placed over the reservoir, make sure that it is installed according to local codes.

8.     Build up the Waterfall Structure

This step can involve a wide range of work, depending on the design of your pondless waterfall. If the waterfall structure is made of brick or stone, the pieces must be laid and secured in place. Make sure that the structure of the waterfall is sealed or caulked to prevent leaking and loss of water.

To learn more about how to build a pondless waterfall, or to find out more about our full suite of water feature design and installation services, contact Fontana Landscapes at 778-990-9773 or fill out a contact form on our website.


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