1. Missed the live Ask the Expert event?
    Catch up on the conversation about fertilization strategies for success with the experts at Koch Turf & Ornamental in the Fertilizer Application forum.

    Dismiss Notice

3 water falls

Discussion in 'Water Features' started by ripple, May 17, 2006.

  1. ripple

    ripple LawnSite Member
    Messages: 205

    I am bidding on a job to do 3 water falls for a customer. Each pool is about 8' by 6' wide and at least 3-5' deep. All 3 pools run into a big pool....one continuos stream. but the bottom pool gets pumped back up to the top.... property is on a hill so gravity is on my side. Question is what kind of pump do I need to pump water back up to the top? He wants a highflow "sewer" type pump that can handle leaves and junk.
  2. BSDeality

    BSDeality LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,849

    have you ever done any aquascaping before? what is the purpose of these falls? what does the HO want?

    How long of a run of stream?
    height of stream (head)?
    width of stream?
    drop heights for the falls.?
    fish as a primary or secondary thought?

    a 8x6 pond will get real small real quick if properly constructed to make it safe to maintain. A long stream means you need to have a big pond to hold that water if the system gets turned off or you will have a overflow situation.
    There are too many variables to tell you what you need from the little info you provided. but it will be a start. If you've never done any pond's I would consider passing this off to someone to has done them. Learn in a seminar and do the small jobs first.
  3. ripple

    ripple LawnSite Member
    Messages: 205

    Ok thanks alot....
    The excavating is already done by the customers brother with a backhoe. To answer some of your questions...
    Total length stream is 60'
    Head of stream is 10' higher than the bottom.
    width is 7' at widest
    Drops of falls are 3-5 feet
    Fish have not been discussed.
    The bottom pond is huge with 7-9 foot depth...

    I have only done small temp ponds above grounds like for trade shows...
    I was hoping to use this job to get my feet wet...:weightlifter:
  4. BSDeality

    BSDeality LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,849

    60 run over 10' is very do-able.

    7' wide you say?! thats not a stream, thats a river. This is going to take SERIOUS water flow to make it look good. Somewhere in the neighborhood of a 10,500 gph overall which will probably have to be achieved with dual or triple pumps (to account for head pressure).

    drops of 3-5' are going to need serious liner accomodations (5-8' up the sides) to contain the splash (aka LEAK). This will take careful planning, you will have to layout how you want the character rocks, build the soil to hold those rocks, then remove the rocks and then put the liner down and re-rock it.

    @7' deep that is a pool (anything over 24" is). This sounds more like it could be a hell of a koi pond. Perhaps Victor (resident Koi Pond expert) will chime in with some thoughts.
  5. ripple

    ripple LawnSite Member
    Messages: 205

    Thanks again....
    Might be a cool job to do...House is on a mountain top with 7 acres surrounding.
    I will keep doing research....Downloading pictures now....and I will upload them here soon...In a day or two...
  6. Victor

    Victor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,430

    I'm thinking you must be a good guy. I've gotta tell you though Buddy. The phrase "jumping in with both feet" doesn't do this project you want to take on any justice!
    Just like BSD recommended, I would HIGHLY recommend that you pass this job onto another company with more pond-building experience. There are so many factors influencing this project that are above and beyond what you'd learn by reading your average "Pond Building" book, that it's not even funny.
    If you absolutely must take on this job however, maybe BSD and I can point you in the right direction.
    The pictures you mentioned posting will help tremendously. I'm hesitant to make many recommendations without seeing the layout of your site. There are some considerations I will tell you about up front, that will help you though.
    You mentioned that you're going to to have 3 waterfall pools, that the water will have to make it's way through on it's way down to the main pool. Well... For maintenance sake. I'd HIGHLY recommend that you install ISOLATED drains at the lowest spot of each of the 3 waterfall pools. By saying "isolated drain," I'm telling you to install a drain in each pool, that when opened, will NOT lead the drained water back into the pond. You'll want that water kept away from your pond, because 3, to 5 foot deep waterfall pools, have a tendency of collecting waste. If you installed a 3" "isolated drain" in each waterfall pool, you could drain the pools periodically and hose them down to clean them out.
    The next considerations I'd like to talk about, are flow and friction-loss. Like BSD told you. Without the proper amount of water flowing down that stream and over those waterfalls, it just won't look right. Since we're talking about a 7' wide stream, that begins 10' higher (serious head pressure) and 60' away (serious frictional losses) from the main pool, you're going to be looking at some SERIOUS pumping needs!
    I can do a calculation for you to determine how many gallons per hour of water flow you'll need to fill your stream to what ever depth you want, if you can give me an idea of how deep you want the water to be in your stream. Do you want an average depth of 1"? More? Less? I can tell you, even to send a run of water down that stream that's only 1" thick, would take a whole lot more flow than you're probably thinking of right now. Remember, after we know how much flow it will require. We still have to oversize our pumps to compensate for the head pressure and frictional losses present in this system.
    Get back with me and give me an idea on what you think about the run of water down your stream (average thickness of water). I'd also like to see those pics you mentioned.
    By the way BSD. You cracked me up with that "resident koi expert" comment. :) That was funny. As you know, I'm far from it, but like I've said before, I really do enjoy this stuff.

  7. jd boy

    jd boy LawnSite Member
    from nw ohio
    Messages: 173

    If using aquascape stuff, I'll tell you right now you're gonna need 2 7500 pumps!

    That will equate to an avg. monthly electril bill of around $160.00! But, don't get me wrong I would build this thing in a heart beat. I would love to tackle this.
  8. ripple

    ripple LawnSite Member
    Messages: 205

    Well here are some pictures...I will go back and take measurements. My original estimates of stream width were wrong.

    smallWaterfall 001.jpg


  9. ripple

    ripple LawnSite Member
    Messages: 205

    First picture shows bottom 2 areas..
    Second picture shows bottom pond close up
    Third picture shows 2nd pond close up
  10. Victor

    Victor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,430

    That looks a lot different than I had pictured it. That stream excavation looks closer to 3 feet, if that. When you build this thing, be sure to mount the pump as close to the stream as possible.


Share This Page