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How to Build a Waterfall For Your Backyard Pond
Back Yard Waterfalls or DIY Waterfalls and Ponds can imitate the streams and cascades found in nature, or they can be formal in design. I prefer natural looking streams and use rocks of various sizes from small river rock to larger stones. To create a cascading effect, place smaller stones and pebbles in the watercourse itself as you can see in my other pond pages. For formal ponds, you can incorporate timbers, poured concrete slabs (I used these for my step downs in the stream), masonry blocks or bricks. In both formal and informal ponds, waterfalls usually consist of a series of small pools, ponds, or catch basins linked by low cascades. If space is limited, you can install a single raised catch basin above the pond, connected by a single fall or you can have the multi tiered falls. If space permits, you could include a meandering stream between the falls or between ponds if you have more than one.
Design your back yard pond or waterfall so all water drops
directly into the pool or catch pool or large amounts of water will be
lost if water is allowed to splash outside catch basins or the pond. I
have had this problem and literally lost "gallons" of water because of
this and unless you have automatic fill on your pond, you don't want to
run the hose out there more than you have too. Some evaporation is
normal and expected though. Keeping your falls low and the
stream relatively short will minimize water loss through
evaporation or evaporation in backyard ponds in general. Smaller, deep basins are preferable to larger, shallow
ones, too, for keeping evaporation to a minimum. Also, you must build
the watercourse carefully to avoid leaks between rocks along the bank
and behind the falls. Make sure you have sufficient liner under
these areas because you will be amazed at how fast you can loose water
this way too.
To provide water to your waterfall, you will be re-circulating water from the pond.
This is accomplished by a small or large electric pump depending your waterfall size and a length of properly sized hose or tubing for your pump (I use 1" in my case). I choose to bury this for effect but yo can cover it with other methods also. A variety of pumps made specifically for ponds are available from watergarden suppliers and local swimming-pool dealers. Make sure you select a size that will provide enough flow to operate the waterfall in the way you desire. Believe me when I tell you that there is a large difference between 1200 GPH and 4800 GPH (gallons per hour) when it comes to effect. Above all use your imagination when building these and think about other water features you've seen that you like. DIY backyard waterfalls and ponds are a lot of fun and not that hard to do so give it a try and enjoy!
Written by WM8C, July 3, 2006 - not for
use without permission
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