How to build a “Pond-Less” Water Fall

by Kerri Bailey, The Pond Pad

1. Select your site, somewhere you can enjoy it.  Avoid installing a pond on the low side of the yard or where water collects (water can get under the liner and cause problems). Be mindful of the surrounding landscape-leaves from trees and shrubs that may collect in your pond in the fall or evergreens that may shed year round.

2. Mark out your basin with a garden hose or landscape paint.  Dig your hole 2-3 feet deep.  Build a berm using the excavated soil and add more if needed. Compact your berm area well, it will sink over time.


3. Add an underlayment or some other protection down prior to adding your basin liner piece.  To figure out your liner:  Length=Length  (Depth x 2) + 2  Width=Width (Depth x 2)+2  Place your pump vault / canyon in the lowest end of your basin.  Insert your pump inside the vault and connect your plumbing and hose.  The hose then goes to the top of the berm to be connected to the weir or biological filter.


4. Fill the basin with larger cobble stones graduating to smaller gravel near the top.  Hide your pipe along the outer edge, burying it with soil, then cover with liner.  Stair step your berm with a curve to it for multiple views and for a more natural look.

5. Install the waterfall / stream liner piece and over lap it with the basin.  You should have at least a 6 inch rise to avoid the water wicking under the liner creating a leak. Install the weir or biological filter inside the top of the berm. Attach the liner to the weir, use silicone to seal the faceplate. Place larger rocks or boulders along the curves of the waterfall.

6. Place the rest of your rocks along the sides and edges of your waterfall and basin area. Start to fill your basin with water. Finish building your waterfall and use waterfall foam sealing around the rocks.  This allows the water to go over the rocks for more sound and better water flow.  

7. Adding decorative rocks along the edges and on top of the gravel in the basin- large stones add character and break up the look of the of small rock. When the basin is full, plug in your pump and continue to fill with water until it is entirely full.

8. Add soil to your berm and install plants along the edges. Use plants with staggered bloom times for year round enjoyment.







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