From the picturesque view to the sound of water babbling or crashing over rocks, it is no wonder many people plan trips to visit the waterfalls that Mother Nature has to offer. Recreating the tranquil scene in your own backyard is easier than it may seem. Follow these steps and soon you can be relaxing in your personal oasis.
Step 1 – Plan & Size Your Equipment
Whether you are starting with an existing pond or using a Kit to start from scratch, start by thinking about the size and shape of your feature will be. This will allow you to make calculations for the materials you need. When planning, think about what type of design you want. If you are aiming for a more natural look, keep your feature scaled to the landscape. A 10' tall waterfall may be perfect if you are surrounded by mountains, but it will likely look out of place if you home abuts prairie. Here are some of the materials you will need:
- Liner & Underlayment: You will need to know the length, width, and depth of your stream in order to calculate which size liner and underlayment is needed for your project. Use the article Calculate Liner Size to help with your equations.
- Pump: A pump needs to be strong enough to move the water without being too powerful that it splashes everywhere. Not sure how to choose your pump? Check out this article so you will know the head pressure and flow rate of your feature.
- Plumbing: Once you pick out your pump, make sure you get the right size tubing and fittings to match it. Don't forget to grab a check valve, like the Universal Check-Valve Assembly, to keep your pump protected from water flowing back towards the pump.
- Waterfall Box: This will help you create a beautiful flowing look. Waterfall Boxes are sized based on your maximum flow rate of your pump. If you are looking for some extra filtration, consider using the ClearSpring Mini Waterfall Filter. This will provide biological filtration from a pond up to 1,000 gallons and work with pumps up to 1,800 GPH.
Step 2 – Grab Your Tools and Start Digging
Use a rope or garden hose to help you envision what your feature will look like when it is done. Avoid tight turns as it can become a location for water to spill out of your feature. Next start adding fill to build up your waterfall and carve out your stream.
Step 3 – Place Your Gear
Place your waterfall box so that it is level side to side, but tipped about 1" forward. Next layout the tubing and attach the fittings. If you are using a skimmer box or pump canyon, you will want to stabilize those at this time.
Step 4 – Line It Up
Lay the underlayment across the stream and work it into all the corners of your excavated areas. Start from the middle and work your way out, leaving it loose so it can settle in the future. Repeat the process for installing your liner. Attach the waterfall box to the liner using
Fish Safe Silicone to create a watertight seal.
Pro Tip: If you are installing your waterfall into an existing feature, you do not need to seam the streamliner to the pond liner. Simply place the streamliner over the pond liner so water can flow properly.
Step 5 – Rock Solid
Add larger rocks or boulders first then fill in with your smaller gravel. Get creative and rework the area a few times to get the design you want. Use Waterfall Foam to fill in the gaps between rocks. Not only will this secure the rocks, but it will also keep your water flowing over them. If desired, add some lights, like the LEDPro 3-Watt Submersible Lights, so you can enjoy your stream at night.
Step 6 – Finishing Touches
Trim the liner and underlayment. Leave about 6-8" so you can roll the edge under the liner. Finish the edge and secure the liner by covering with gravel. Fill up your basin and get ready to plug in the pump. Now kick back, relax, and enjoy your new stream!