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How to Build a Natural Looking Stream

Water Feature Design, Water Features | February 12, 2019

Sitting and listening to the peaceful sounds of a stream as it babbles along is a therapeutic way to end a hard day. At Fontana Landscapes, we know that it is not possible for everyone to hike into the woods after they get off work. In order to help our clients enjoy the beauty and serenity of nature in their own backyards, we have developed a variety of services in water feature design and installation, and we offer advice on how to build a natural looking stream.

Building a Stream for Your Backyard

Although building a stream is hard work with a lot of heavy lifting involved, the reward is worth the effort. To build a natural looking stream in your backyard, you will need the following materials:

  • Liner material
  • Big and small rocks
  • A pump
  • A sump basin

To get started on building your pondless stream, take note of the following steps:

1.     Select and Mark the Stream’s Location

Find a starting point for your backyard stream that will has a higher elevation than the end point. For every 10 feet of stream, a 2-inch drop is required. Mark out the path that the stream will follow to the end point.

2.     Dig out the Path for the Stream

Starting at the ending point of the stream, dig out the ground along the path that the stream will follow. The catch basin at the end of the stream’s path should be deep enough and wide enough to hold the full volume of water for the stream. Following that, dig a trough that extends from the catch basin to the pondless stream’s origin point

3.     Order Boulders and Gravel for Your Stream

After establishing the desired colours for the rock that is to be used alongside your pondless stream, place an order with your local quarry or landscaping materials company. Once the stone is delivered, use the larger boulders to line the edges of the trough for your natural looking stream.

4.     Line the Basin of Your Stream

Line the catch basin of your backyard stream with a water feature liner. This liner prevents the water in your stream from soaking into the earth.

5.     Install Your Stream’s Sump Basin and Pump

Place your sump basin and pump at the bottom of the catch basin. Line the basin with gravel and rock and bring the water line from the pump to the top of the stream.

6.     Lay the Liner for the Rest of the Stream Bed

Lay down the liner for the rest of the stream bed along the path that the water feature will follow. Weigh down the edges and be careful not to tear the liner.

7.     Install the Stream Stones

Place the larger stones along the path of the stream and use a waterproof adhesive or foam sealant to hold them in place. Use gravel to cover any liner that is still showing.

For more tips on how to build a natural looking stream, or to learn more about our water feature design and installation services, contact Fontana Landscapes at 778-990-9773.


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