Build a 3-Tier Wine Barrel Fountain Pond

Installing a wine barrel fountain in your pond can be an interesting project for anyone keen on woodworking and recycling formerly used goods such as wooden casks and barrels. Reclaiming wooden items for furniture and garden ornaments has a long tradition, and it has gained in popularity as recycling efforts step up. If you are more experienced, then you may be keen to install a more extravagant fountain, such as the 3-tier pond fountain, which has 2 levels of fountain with the pond at the bottom. This can look very attractive, and if you feel confident that you can cope with the demands, then this is worth the time and trouble to install.

The 3-Tier Fountain

Three-tier fountains work by pumping water up from the base to the first fountain, and then pumping this water into the second fountain, creating a gushing water effect. The main focus of the water needs to be the base, so this should be made out of the largest wine barrel available, probably the 65 gallon, if that is the largest you can obtain. You should fill this with water, and install your first pump. Cut the smaller barrels into two, and place one on top of the other, using brackets around the outside to keep them together. Take care not to puncture the wood of the barrels.

The Top Tier

The topmost tier will require a little bit more skill than the first tier. This is because the former must be tilted slightly so that water cascading into its base will run through to the pond, allowing the cycle to start again. If you are not sure about tilting the fountain, as it may affect the display of your device, then you can also cut a channel through the base, and add a short pipe like a spout, which will push the water into the next layer.

The Pumps

You will need a set of 2 pumps, each connected directly to the fountain. Install the first fountain as you would when adding any kind of fountain head to your pond, and then simply repeat the process for the second. You may need to install different strengths of pumps, with the top tier the weaker, in order to ensure that there is enough water in the system for both to be used at once.

The Platforms

You will need to stabilize your pumps on stone platforms in both the first tier and the second tier. You may also find that you need to keep the second pump fairly low in the water, with a longer pipe to compensate.


As an alternative to this method of using your fountains, you can install a pump in the second tier, and slightly tilt the base of both this and the first tier. This will allow the water to flow naturally back down to the pond, where it will be sucked back up to the second tier again. This is a popular method of fountain display for food carving, and you can add to the effect by putting pipes in your bases, making water spouts.