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Old 06-01-2011, 03:56 AM
andyslawncare andyslawncare is offline
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has anyone done a pondless system that functions for drainage?

Hey Everyone!

We do a lot of drainage and dry creek beds, and I'm wanting to do a 'Wet creek bed' one of these days. I'm interested in photos or information containing anything like this. Usually my creek beds have a drain box-opposite start, meaning that all of the under ground drainage, including drain boxes, downspout drainage, etc enters the bed at some point by pressure on a grated drain exit. There is also natural drainage into these via slope of the property.

I was thinking that some of our clients would like our creek beds to function in more than 2 ways.. right now, they function for drainage and for beauty; I want them to also function as constant waterfalls. Does anyone have experience in this?

Currently my rate is around $800 per 35' dry creek bed at 3' wide. Would 50% more with a start up cost of $1500 make sense to make a dry creek bed into a 'wet creek bed'?

Lets hear ideas for the potential!

Attached is an example of a recent dry creek bed that we did.
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Last edited by andyslawncare; 06-01-2011 at 04:04 AM.
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Old 06-01-2011, 12:57 PM
turner_landscaping turner_landscaping is offline
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Where is the pic? Lol.. Have u ever built a pondless waterfall before? If you have the concept is easy just remember that you have to have an outlet discharge in the pit of the waterfall. I have built several of these over the years. I will be starting one actually n about a month or so I can post pics when completed.. The price though is all in how creative you want to be, here 1500 is a very small one though..
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Old 06-01-2011, 02:56 PM
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tadpole tadpole is offline
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Yep, need picture, more than one pic would be great. Hard to tell from your description exactly how your present systems are configured, but would probably require substantial modification to support a decent size waterfall & handle drainage.
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Old 06-01-2011, 06:08 PM
Mr. Vern Mr. Vern is offline
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What you are describing is "rainwater harvesting'. It's not real practical in these parts because we get all of our rain in the winter, then nothing for 6-8 months. The basin would just fill up in Nov. and stay full through Apr./May then would go empty for the rest of the year. In climates with regular rain, folks will dig a very large basin and collect all of the runoff and use it for irrigation. The waterfeature keeps the water clean so it doesn't get stagnant. Kind of a cool idea.
Like was mentioned earlier, if you dump runoff into the water feature, it will overflow and need to be drained off. As far as pricing goes, your price sounds way too low. The materials for the job you describe will be close to the $1500 mark. A pump is ~$300, vault is the same, you need a falls which is a couple hundred and liner for close to a hundred. Add in your gravel, pipe and labor and you will need a lot more than that. Our pondless systems start at $5,000 and go up from there. Sometimes we will offer a special with 10% off, but that is a long ways from the $1500 you mentioned. Water features are a luxury item and if you can do them properly and make them beautiful you can get good margins on them so don't ruin the market where you are by giving them away and remember that there are always hidden costs you don't think of at first - not to mention tools you will need.
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Old 06-01-2011, 06:23 PM
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STL Ponds and Waterfalls STL Ponds and Waterfalls is offline
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Check Aquascapes site RAINXCHANGE.COM for some ideas. The rain harvesting system that Mr. Vern was talking about is a neat concept, but it will take awhile to catch on around here. As far as irrigation goes it is only feasible to do a very small yard or just some landscape beds.
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Old 06-01-2011, 06:45 PM
Mr. Vern Mr. Vern is offline
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STL - I agree on the small area. Although, I have considered if a guy could tie all of the runoff from irrigating into a large enough basin (perhaps under a driveway using the permeable pavers), then one could conceivably reduce water use by as much as 60% or more. The problem is the cost of such a system and the potential for maintenance issues, not to mention the contamination potential from washing vehicles, etc... Neat to think about though.
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Old 06-01-2011, 11:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Vern View Post
STL - I agree on the small area. Although, I have considered if a guy could tie all of the runoff from irrigating into a large enough basin (perhaps under a driveway using the permeable pavers), then one could conceivably reduce water use by as much as 60% or more. The problem is the cost of such a system and the potential for maintenance issues, not to mention the contamination potential from washing vehicles, etc... Neat to think about though.
I can't wait to do a permeablr driveway with a Rainwater system. Contamination might not be what you think with the benefits of the filtration that a permeable system has. Think about the parking lot systems that runoff into creeks and sewer systems, they are suppose to be great filters.
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Old 06-01-2011, 11:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andyslawncare View Post
I think you guys misunderstood my price idea... attached is a photo of how most of my creek beds look. It would be the current charge of 800 per 35' for the creek bed, then 50% added to it, and $1500 to get the basin and pump set up. This way I could do 35' for 2700; a 70' long for 3900. I guess a high volume pump may drive the cost up a little in materials. The only other labor would mainly be to construct the basin, use pond liner instead of fabric, and run the plumbing. I guess an option to use it if its dry or rainy would be to install a water line and a float valve.

Most waterfalls I see around are more complex and require greater elevation drop. My pricing estimate here would include no water fall foam or large drops, etc...
If you are using fabric as a base for your creek beds, it would have to be replaced with liner and, I agree, reduce the amount of cobble used and replace it with medium and large gravel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by STL Ponds and Waterfalls View Post
I can't wait to do a permeablr driveway with a Rainwater system. Contamination might not be what you think with the benefits of the filtration that a permeable system has. Think about the parking lot systems that runoff into creeks and sewer systems, they are suppose to be great filters.
I question the claim that permeable pavings are good filters. If they were, they would clog up the same as would any other filter and they also have no capacity to break down Hydrocarbons which are a parking areas primary pollutant. This is the primary advantage to the environment that permeable pavings contribute. Most, if not all, pollutants are allowed to 'permeate' through the pavings directly into the ground, INSTEAD of being carried away in run-off to contaminate streams and other natural water ways.
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Old 06-02-2011, 01:25 AM
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I havent any test but that is what I was told when we did a permeable parking lot that was connected to a stream. Problem is without independant testing how can you really determine the filtering realities.
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Old 06-02-2011, 01:48 AM
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I havent any test but that is what I was told when we did a permeable parking lot that was connected to a stream. Problem is without independant testing how can you really determine the filtering realities.
This is absolutely true of ANY manufacturer's claim of product performance. Common sense will tell you that if a product 'filters' it removes and holds whatever substance(s) may have been in solution. Over time these removed substances build up and the said product will clog. In this case, the permeable paving would become impermeable and no different than any other paving material.
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