Pondless Waterfall Configuration Question


Old 06-23-14, 04:02 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: USA
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Question Pondless Waterfall Configuration Question

I am planning on making a pondless waterfall. I have excavated a 24' spillway / stream and it ends in a 3' deep basin. The widest point along the stream is 38" and there are 6 falls along the course ranging from 4"-8".

I have sculpted the land to fit the waterfall design and calculated the head and weir, it looks like I need a 4000+ GPH pump.

My question is 1) does anyone here have experience doing this from a kit or using retail parts and 2) if so can you please verify my pump calculations as I am not sure if I have done them correctly. 3)Horizontal or vertical pumps...any preference?

The height from the start of the fall to the top of the planned basin is 35". I assume though that I will measure it from the bottom of the basin. If that is the case my weir is 68". The stream runs between 2' and 3' for the entire length.

I will be using those milk carton like boxes to maintain my water volume in the basin without adding 1 ton of stones.

Thank you for any assistance you can offer!
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Old 06-23-14, 06:28 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
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My first concern is the size of your lower basin. Your 24' long 2-3' wide stream with only 35" of fall is going to hold a lot of water. For example, you fill the lower basin and turn on the pump. It will fill the piping and have to fill the stream before any water makes it back to the basin. All the while the pump is draining the catch basin.

So, the basin needs to be large enough that it does not run out of water before the stream water can complete it's round trip. It also needs to be big enough to hold all the water from the piping and stream when the pump is turned off otherwise the catch basin will overflow when you turn off the pump. Your catch basin is going to need a large tidal capacity.

You mentioned a lot of numbers but we can't double check your numbers in even the simplest form without knowing the width of your weir and the thickness of the water going over the edge.

You said you need a 4'000 gph pump. Try looking at it from the top. Calculate how much water you want gowing over your weir at the top. Then work from there adding in your head, piping size and fittings. This will tell you how much needs to leave the pump (gpm) at a particular head (pressure). Your head is low so your piping will be responsible for much of the head resistance so your pipe size and fittings will be important.

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