How do I build a water falls?

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  #1  
Old 02-03-10, 06:06 AM
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How do I build a water falls?

Okay so there is 8" of snow on the ground but that doesn't stop me from wondering how to build a water falls. I have a rater steep hill that I want to turn into a water falls with a pond at the bottom. I have all the rocks in the world (a blessing and a curse) and I would like to use them to build a water falls with several small catch ponds. My question is if I simply put a flat stone down and expect the water to flow over it I don't think that will happen. I assume that I somehow have to dig and then lay the stone flat but the hill is pretty steep. Also what about the plastic liner, won't it rip if I start dropping bolders on to it?
 
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  #2  
Old 02-03-10, 06:43 AM
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Water Fall

Use a rubber liner.
Dig a channel for the liner and rocks.
Pack the soil behind the liner on each side of the rocks so the water will flow over the rocks and not around them.
Install the liners beginning at the bottom of the hill and working up the hill. If you cannot us a one-piece liner, lap the joints enough to prevent leakage.
A high capacity pump in the bottom pool will be necessary for adequate water flow.
Just a few observations I saw as mine was built by a local garden center.
 
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Old 02-03-10, 07:15 AM
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Pretty much what WirePuller said...

I would start with a plan. Figure out how big you want the pond at the bottom, how high up your hill you want to go, how many waterfalls and how tall/wide you want the falls to be, and how much water you want to see going over your waterfall. Obviously bigger gets more expensive because you will need more liner material and if you go taller (further up the hill) you will need a bigger, more powerfull pump.

Yes, obviously just dropping big boulders on the liner can puncture it. The liner is pretty tough but you do need to use some common sense. There are protective layers you can put underneath the liner to prevent sharp rocks in the ground from puncturing the liner, but old carpet also works pretty well. You need to place rocks onto the liner and try not to place sharp or pointed edges down onto the liner. Small pieces of old carped or scraps of liner can be used under large or sharp rocks to help protect the liner.
 
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Old 02-04-10, 08:14 AM
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Thanks, in my mind I know what I want it to look like but when I look at the hill I can't seem to figure out how to carve the dirt out. I know I need to terrace it but it would seem that I need to add dirt instead of take it away. Oh well I have at least 5 more months to think about it. I'll be sure to post pictures as I move along.
 
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Old 02-04-10, 08:49 AM
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Water is always at the low spot in nature and a stream will naturally cut down into the landscape. Artificial ponds and streams look rather odd sitting above or on top of the surrounding landscape. So, you will have to dig down to create your pond and stream. This will leave you with dirt if you want to berm or add some hills.

As for "...how to carve the dirtout." There is nothing like hard work with a shovel. This is where knowing what you want to do before you start will save a lot of work. If it is planned you can dig only where needed and as you dig you can throw the dirt directly where you will need it (create hills, fill in low spots...).
 
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Old 02-04-10, 02:05 PM
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By carving the dirt out I meant making the waterfalls out of the hill side. If I use a flat rock say 2 feet deep I would have to dig a flat area almost 2 feet back . The problem is that now I don't have any area for a small pool behind the rock unless I were to build that area up with dirt. Because of the steepness of the hill the area above the rock won't be flat. It's difficult to explain what I mean.
 
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Old 02-05-10, 07:20 PM
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.40 mil EPDM liner

step your water falls. You can mortar the rocks in place. great stuff to waterproof, they make one that is greyish color.

fred
 
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Old 02-06-10, 06:56 AM
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By stepping do you mean digging out like steps would look ? This is what I'm having trouble visualizing. I know I can flatten a spot out but then the ground directly above will be at an angle still and I won't have room for a pooling area only a stream. Or if I'm using say a 2 foot deep flat stone for the falls would I dig another three feet (total of 5 feet flat area) out for the pooling spot?
 
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Old 02-06-10, 07:09 AM
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If you're planning on a larger POND at the bottom of the falls, you really don't need a pooling area behind any of the falls steps.
You'll have enough trouble keeping the algae out of the stream.
Just create one ponding area at the top where the water is pumped to. You can put a few plants up there.
If your drop is going to be four/five ft or more you are going to need a substantial pump. ( my rise is only about three ft and I use a Pondmaster 3600)
Also think about and google the following: skippy filter, skimmer, plant ledges in pond.
plan well,

(one of these pond pics shows skimmer, plumbing, skippy, wf area):
http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v3...the-making.jpg

fred
 

Last edited by fewalt; 02-06-10 at 07:17 AM. Reason: add a link
  #10  
Old 02-06-10, 01:04 PM
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The pictures helped thanks. I would like to start about 10 feet up the hill with the first pool at about 5 feet and another one right before it empties into the pond. The pond I'm guessing will be about 12 x8 feet and maybe 3 feet deep in the middle. I have no idea what to do about a pump, filter or anything else. I'm thinking that I should do the waterfall first and then the pond.
 
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Old 02-06-10, 02:07 PM
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waterfall

Good for you for looking past the snow! I'm trying to do the same. Most gardening centers have pumps you can put into a water feature so you keep the water flowing. Then it's a matter of laying out the stones so the water will naturally fall or follow the push of the pump.
 
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Old 02-06-10, 02:25 PM
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Ah, another thing the OP needs to consider.

ELECTRICITY: bury a GFCI line to the pond area!!!

fred

btw, most big box garden centers won't have a sufficient pump.
 
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Old 02-07-10, 11:46 AM
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Pump

Buy a good pump. Ours has been running continuously for 15 years and is still going strong. That's right; 24/7/365/15; or something like that. I think because the pump is under water it stays cooler and has less tendency to burn out.
 
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Old 02-08-10, 06:10 AM
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Which pump would be a good one? I understand that some can be real energy hogs. Somewhere I saw something about 100 watt pumps. I haven't done any research yet.
 
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Old 02-22-10, 04:42 AM
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Before picking a pump you need to figure out what filtration you want and how much flow you would like over the waterfalls. This will tell you how much flow (gpm) and pressure (head) your pump will have to produce. You will have to look at both numbers when choosing a pump since two pumps, both rated to use 100 watts, can operate differently. One could pump less water but do it at a higher pressure which is good for some types of filtration, while the other pump could flow more water but generates less pressure which might be better for putting more water over the waterfalls.
 
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Old 02-24-10, 04:58 AM
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Okay thanks. I'll do a web search and see what I can come up with.
 
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