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How would you do this?

Discussion in 'Water Features' started by SmartWaterApps, Sep 22, 2010.

  1. Hi everyone,

    Attached is a crude image (sorry, I just wanted to get something visual done up..!) showing a pond and waterfall project I am starting soon.

    I have built several ponds, several pondless and regular waterfalls, but this one is throwing me for a little bit of a loop due to never having worked on something quite like this..

    You can see from the image that the water level will be approximately 18 - 24" above lawn grade.. I have always had my liner just come up onto final grade in the past, but on this one I need to have it contain the water level just below the tops of the boulders that will be surrounding it.

    My question, as shown in the picture, is about that specific area... How would you finish that section off nicely and securely?

    A couple notes about the "flavor" of the pond, to provide some framework:

    -Natural as can be

    -River rock covering the liner as much as possible. I may slope the grade more gradually than shown to allow river rock on the sides as well

    -I have control over most things, but the water level and the boulders over the lawn grade is not something I can change on this project.

    I have thought of a few solutions, but most of them seem pretty mickey mouse.. and I know that there is likely something nice and tidy and secure that I can do there, and likely right in front of my nose, but for whatever reason it beats me!!

    Anyways, thank you in advance for any and all input on it!


    Last edited: Sep 22, 2010
  2. wurkn with amish

    wurkn with amish LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 662

    If you can pick boulders that would have flat "backs" to the falls you could put a termination bar just above water level all the way across. Downside is you will see the bar and some liner til it weathers some.
  3. Hi thanks for the reply. I agree, and the bar being visible wouldn't be the end of the world I suppose. My only concern with the bar is that I was under the impression they need to have continuous pressure, so the areas between each rock, or any slight undulations might cause an issue.

    But I think you are bang on with that, and some variation will likely be the answer.

    Thanks again for the reply.
  4. tadpole

    tadpole LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,216

    No one else will ask, so I will. Why does the water level need to be that high?

    Looks like blocks behind the liner supporting the boulders, do you really need them?

    If you can construct a concrete fill behind (liner side of) the boulders, you would then have a solid continuous foundation for mounting the term bars. BTW, term bars can be used below the water line. You must use an anchor in every hole in the term bar and lay a heavy bead of Firestone Lap cement behind the liner before it is permanently anchored. Fireston Lap cement must be used, no subs, as it is the only approved adhesive for bonding EPDM to concrete. As for the concrete fill to be used as your attachment base, it can be dyed or stained to match the rock. It is going to be hard to get a 'natural' look to the backside of the boulders, but will this be in the general line of view?

  5. Thanks for your great points. Regarding the water level... who knows. I provided pretty much every argument for why we would go any other level than way up over the lawn grade, especially when the pond would already be 3 feet or so below lawn grade as is. ..

    But anyways, this gentleman is ready to give me authority to change everything on and around the project, but this aspect will need to stay I guess.

    I agree that it will be tough to get a natural look, and you're right, that side of the pond is not in much of a line of sight, so not a huge issue.

    Thanks again, I'll go back over your post in detail again to be sure I have got all your good points.


    SWPONDBLDR LawnSite Member
    Posts: 8

    We do this alot i the southwest. You have a couple of options here. Lay a footing and build the front up with block or simply use Kestone blocks. The keystones should have enough weight to hold back the water. We often time use keystones or even just cinder block for indoor above ground indoor pionds
  7. jp14

    jp14 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 24

    Are you permitted to install the boulders more than one deep? For example, could you install the boulders in two "rows" and bring the liner up between the courses of boulders? You could even grow aquatic plants in between the boulders since they could root down into the water? Another idea is to bring the liner up on the backside of the boulders and slope the grade up to the middle of the boulders and then landscape this sloped area to differentiate it from the lawn grade.
  8. Thanks to everyone for your great pointers and comments! Unfortunately, this client actually got really ill shortly after we started the planning process for this part of the project, and everything is now on hold - indefinitely.

    So I likely won't be moving forward with any of it for a while, if at all. But I greatly appreciate the great feedback and will be equipped the next time something like this comes up!

    With thanks.

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