Help me fix this old waterfall/pond

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  #1  
Old 05-27-13, 08:44 PM
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Help me fix this old waterfall/pond

I bought my house about a year or so ago. And in the backyard was this big mound of dirt - which was a waterfall and pond that has been filled in. I dug alot of it out, and found it was a very well constructed watefall. The rocks are cemented together, but there is no basin and the liner was worn completely.

So my question... how do I fix this?

The problem is that I cant move any of these rocks, so the traditional way of laying a liner and then putting rocks on top of it - wont work.

One thing that may help - is that I plan on making a "pondless" waterfall. Which essentially means that I recess the pump in the ground a little, cover it with a grate and then fill the pond pit with small stones. So setting in the liner on the bottom pond will be easier because the edges can get covered by the gravel.

But what do I do about that middle tier above the stacked stone wall. One thing is - because I dont ever want standing water (which is why I'm going "pondless" I'm thinking I'd want to angle that so its just a slight but steady slope that will drain completely when the pump stops. I cannot imagine how to lay a liner in that spot though. Perhaps concrete? (I have no experience with laying concrete - so please let me know which specific products I should look for if you suggest it).

Images attached. It definitely looks much nicer in person than these photos appear.

Also - I'm in New York (for those who might ask about freeze/thaw and those sort of issues)
 
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  #2  
Old 05-28-13, 06:03 AM
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Water Fall

Tear everything out and start over to get the best result.
 
  #3  
Old 05-28-13, 06:06 AM
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I suspect that the pond and waterfall do not hold water which is why it was abandoned. If you just want the lower pond I'd line it and put a small fountain in the center spraying up or bubbling. I don't know a good way to seal the upper pond or waterfall that would look good and work. You can try it but I imagine you'd loose a lot of water and be constantly refilling it.
 
  #4  
Old 05-28-13, 06:27 AM
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I'm not so passionate about waterfalls and ponds that I'd go thru ripping out and starting over. I'd sooner just bury it. I was kinda hoping I could do something (relatively) inexpensive to just get the thing going since someone already did most of the work. If the rocks were all loose, I'd rip it out and just rebuild - but they're cemented together - and frankly some (such as that big vertical rectanglular one on the) are VERY large, its close to a foot thick and easily several hundred pounds if not more.

I dont know that it was abandoned because it wouldnt hold water - some people just dont like the maintenance of a pond - previous owners had children also so safety could have been a concern - and it only takes one failed pump you gotta shell out a few hundred bucks for to make you realize its easier to dump soil in the hole.

You guys really dont think it's viable to repair? My real challenge is the top 'shelf' portion. I can figure out a way to work a liner into the bottom "pond" - but I cant really engineer the top section.
 
  #5  
Old 05-28-13, 07:17 AM
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Try filling it and see if it holds water. Judging by the pictures I doubt it will but you could get lucky.

Unfortunately many people think that cementing/mortaring rocks together will be waterproof. All it takes is one spot with a poor joint or a crack and you've got a leak. Leaks are especially common if someone just dug a hole and mortared rocks together where there could be settling and movement.
 
  #6  
Old 05-28-13, 07:23 AM
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Wish I could but I cant just fill it because right now there is no liner - only the border and waterfall-wall rocks are cemented together. There is no cement basin - it appears that they used a liner that has since disintegrated. Even if I just laid one in the top and bottom to test it, I wouldnt be able to tell if there is a leak in the waterfall-wall. I can patch cracks though, no?
 
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