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Old 09-26-2013, 09:44 PM
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djlunchbox djlunchbox is offline
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anyone feel like helping with ideas?

Hi everyone,
I've been a lurker down here for a few years now, but never had a reason to post until tonight. I help run and manage our family's landscape and maintenance business. My brother and I do most of the heavy work and give our father's back a break. We have maintained this commercial property for the past 3 years, and finally they have gotten the go-ahead for a multi million dollar renovation. The area in the pics is for a memory care area of the facility. (Alzheimer's and dementia people) The water feature will help the patients and family relax together and enjoy the outside. Due to the nature of the patients, they are fenced in to prevent them from wandering off.

I am not new to landscaping, but I have not installed a water feature yet. I am licensed and insured for landscaping, so I am covered there. I own and am competent with a skid steer, so moving and placing larger rocks will be no problem. I will also be redoing the turf area's shortly - (the concrete contractor just finished up today), so access should be cake. I have enough manpower that can be called in when needed, so there is no issues there either. I also have a back-up contractor waiting in the wings should the work become more than I can handle. (I don't see why I couldn't, but I like having back up plans) I really have just needed an opportunity, and it's finally here.

I've been slowly redoing the landscaping at this property for the past 3 years, and finally I am getting a chance to bid to install a water feature (3 water features actually, 1 or 2 bubblers flanking the front door were mentioned) I plan on using kits from blue thumb for the front area for ease of install. The back doesn't look like it will be too much of a challenge. The property is level, and I don't think anything more than a 3-4' rise of the existing grade should be done. I'd like to have the water enter into a boggy type area at the top - as in not seeing the water flowing directly out of the weir box. I'd prefer not to see the weir box at all if possible. Almost like a slow moving "pond" like look at the top. The top pool area would drain into 1 or maybe 2 larger falls that are horizontally close to each other , and then split into 2 or 3 smaller falls of differing height, then each would run down smaller shorter stream beds and into the pump/vault area. (kind of hard to picture, but I hope you all get the idea. I'll post some pics below of the area. I plan on using the R.I.S.E. method since I've read the book a bunch of times over the past few years. (as best as I can anyway, not a long stream here)

questions....

will one weir box work to gently fill the top bog area I envision, or would I have to do some custom piping to run feeds in from multiple angles?

Having trouble calculating the GPH... the top falls would be 36-48" across if that helps. the total length I would imagine would be no more than 16 feet. No more than 6' of rise and 25' of hose from pump to weir.

I am hoping to get some sort of kit, unless you feel I would be better off buying separately. There appear to be some decent kits on amazon for under 1k. I don't have preference on brands at this point.

Where do you guys find that you keep going back to when ordering online? Should I avoid amazon? Is there somewhere cheaper for good quality?

Also, I am trying to ball park my stone tonnage. I plan on hand picking a certain amount of character stones from the supplier, and will just order a bunch of different sizes.

I'm looking for info or ideas. I know my chicken scratch paint shop artwork is ugly, but I wanted to get my vision put over the pic to help me visualize what it would look like. It came out looking too tall.... Any better ideas for main boulder layout?

The water feature area:



The viewing area: (you can see the edge of the water feature to the right of the pic)



Measurements and rough water flow ideas:



Super awesome rendering.....



I'm going for this kind of look:




Ideas? What do you all think of the project?
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Old 09-27-2013, 02:28 AM
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You have a lot of good ideas here and it sounds like you are preparing thoroughly.

When I buy online I use azponds.com. Huge selection and good service.

The space you are working with is fairly small- don't try to do too much. Don't push the height. Be conservative and then do it really well. If you try to push the height too much in that area you will end up making mistakes that lead to leaks. Create spaces in and around the feature for plantings. You can hide a lot of mistakes that way.

Have fun and let us know how it turns out- if you get it.
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Old 09-27-2013, 07:45 PM
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djlunchbox djlunchbox is offline
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Thank you for the link, i will check it out now. I sat with the property director tonight and he was ripping on me about giving him 200 choices of fountians to choose from. Lol. I suggested bubbling rocks over vases or columns, and he was receptive and told me to pick them for him. I'm going to pick a supplier tonight and hopefully get my pricing set. I'd like to not eat it on the profit if I can help it.
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Old 09-30-2013, 10:35 PM
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Just keeping the thread going. Had my meeting with upper management today. There were concerns with the water features being a drowning hazard ( sounds silly until you think of the patients that will be using it) I explained the "pondless" aspect of the water features, and the gentleman said that he was aware of that, and that was why he wasn't as worried as a normal pond. Got good vibes on the whole project, (major landscaping as well) and i should know more in a week.

So... Are their any concerns over building a pondless feature during freezing weather? Has anyone done it?
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Old 10-23-2013, 08:43 PM
ConcreteConnection ConcreteConnection is offline
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Some tips that may help you:
  • Keep it simple
  • Stay bellow budget to allow for unexpected costs
  • If in doubt... hire a professional

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Old 01-08-2014, 01:01 AM
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With a pondless you will have alot of spashing in the the bottom portion. I dont know how cold you get, but freezing is cold enough... the water will freeze on the rocks as it splashes into the basin which could cause the water to divert away from the basin. I have never had to worry about freezing temps but i would suggest making the basin a little bit larger... aka wider and deeper than normal to both hold more water and also contain the splashes.
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Old 01-08-2014, 06:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n2h20 View Post
With a pondless you will have alot of spashing in the the bottom portion. I dont know how cold you get, but freezing is cold enough... the water will freeze on the rocks as it splashes into the basin which could cause the water to divert away from the basin. I have never had to worry about freezing temps but i would suggest making the basin a little bit larger... aka wider and deeper than normal to both hold more water and also contain the splashes.
During the winter months I suspect the pond would be drained and winterized well before the first freeze. If you had read the earlier post you would would have discovered that the customer is worried about accidents due to drowning of the patients at this facility. Keeping this water feature as simple as possible and hiring a professional with a strong reputation and capabilities would resolve a lot of the challengs the OP is coping with now.
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Old 01-08-2014, 10:47 AM
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Making a pondless feature wider and deeper wouldn't increase the chances of a patient, visitor or animal drowning. Since there is no visible "pond" and some sort of grate over the basin.

If the pond was drained I wouldn't think there would be any worry of freezing since it is empty and has no water?
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Old 01-08-2014, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by n2h20 View Post
Making a pondless feature wider and deeper wouldn't increase the chances of a patient, visitor or animal drowning. Since there is no visible "pond" and some sort of grate over the basin.

If the pond was drained I wouldn't think there would be any worry of freezing since it is empty and has no water?
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Would you also want to remove as much or all of the water from any lines feeding the pond, or just let them freeze and possible rupture?, hence the term winterizing.
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Old 01-08-2014, 11:55 AM
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Good point...
I dont with winterizing so that is something I overlooked.
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