3-Rock Column Bubbler Water Feature

Discussion in 'Water Features' started by JimLewis, Jun 17, 2008.

  1. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,890

    Around the Northwest, these 3-Rock Column Bubblers are pretty popular. I've seen them in different parts of the country too but I don't know how popular they are in all areas.

    Anyway, as my guys were installing this feature, I decided to stop by the jobsite and take some "during" photos. They may be of interest to some of you who haven't done these before. This is how we do them.....

    (Before you reply, give me a few minutes to post all the photos)

    These first photos just show the hole we dug, the valve box at the bottom that holds the pump, and the first column. I had requested a 4' column, a 3' column, and a 2' column. But what I ended up with was 2 4' columns and one just under 2'. The customer distinctly wanted 3 different heights. So we had to improvise. We ended up just buring the first 4' column 1' deep - then it became a 3' column. That's what you see here in these first few photos.




  2. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,890

    This is phase 2 - installation of the second column.



  3. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,890

    Phase 3 - installation of the 3rd column and the piping.



  4. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,890

    Here is a close-up of one of the rock columns...


  5. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,890


    The finished product.......





  6. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,890

    So, hope you all enjoy the photos. Not often that you all get this many photos from me. But I had some free time today. So there you go. Hope someone can benefit from them.
  7. Venturewest

    Venturewest LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 516

    Thanks for posting the sequence. It turned out really nice. I think a lot of customers who want the presence of water without the hastle would like those. Who makes those particular columns?

    I know Aquascapes offers them now. I had always figured I would use real stone and have them core drilled, but I haven't pursued it much.
  8. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,890

    A local company here in Beaverton makes those.
  9. Dripit good

    Dripit good LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,081

    Very cool, looks great Jim. :weightlifter:

    I don't see any underlayment though.......is it just the liner touching the soil?

    Couple other questions if you don't mind. How do you check the water level in this since it's pond less? Is it the homeowners responsibility to fill the pond manually(either through a hose or possibly irrigation) or do you have some sort of automatic fill to it? Are the feature rocks touching the bottom of the liner or do you have something between them? Is it just the smaller rock firming and holding the feature rocks in place? Are you concerned that they may either fall over or lean using a more rounded stone? What is the gpm/gph of the pump you used?

    Pardon the multiple questions..........just curious. :)
  10. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,890

    There is definitely underlayment there. It's just covered by the liner. We don't stretch out the underlayment 5' around in all directions, like we did the liner. We just use as much underlayment as needed to fill the whole. So you just can't see it. But it's there. Always.

    There is an autofill valve (Hudson Valve) hooked up to the system via the main line of the irrigation system. We do that on every water feature we install. We install it a few inches below the rock line. So whenever the water falls below that line, the hudson valve fills it back up. Gotta always put a pressure regulator before the hudson valve, though. Learned that one the hard way.

    The rocks are just sitting on top of the large river rock. They don't touch the liner. Only thing touching the liner is large round river rock.

    They are heavy enough that once they are set in place, they don't really move. I mean, you could move them if you tried to tackle them or something. But just normal activity (kids playing around it, people working around it, etc.) isn't going to budge them. They rest pretty firmly.

    The whole thing was built with large (2"-8") river rock. So after setting the columns down, we just fill the area in between and around them with more river rock. But that's not what stabilizes them. It's their weight mostly that keeps them set in place.

    The pump we used there is a WGP 65 by Little Giant. I am not sure the GPM. But you can look it up. I've used the next size up (WGP 95) pump before too on these, but we had to valve them WAY down because the lift above each column was like 2' in the air. So I went back to using the WGP65 instead. I wish there was an in-between pump. I would have liked to have just a tad more lift on these bubblers. But it turned out well and the customer was happy. So I didn't bother trying to change the pump out.

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