Building natural waterfall wiers???

Discussion in 'Water Features' started by STL Ponds and Waterfalls, Nov 25, 2007.

  1. STL Ponds and Waterfalls

    STL Ponds and Waterfalls LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,174

    Who builds thier waterfalls out of natural stone not using a biofalls or waterfall box. I saw one the other day that looked like they just built it without a box and it looked like a perfect spring outlet. I couldn't determine how they built it without tearing it apart.

    I want to learn how to do this but I'm not sure how to without having a leaky waterfall. I assume you line it with liner and install the piping with a pipe boot. Any pointers would be great.
  2. LTL

    LTL LawnSite Member
    from Tulsa
    Messages: 98

    Build it like you would build a bog filter. Dig your hole with the correct dimensions and lay the underlayment and liner. You can either use a pump vault (centipede and snorkel) or I've heard of guys cutting a hole in the liner and attaching the bulkhead fitting directly to the liner and attaching the pipe in that. Then just carve your waterfall and have the start of it be the low point of your bog. Let me know if you have any other questions.
  3. n2h20

    n2h20 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 503

    I use a liner under all my waterfalls.
    I ususally run the plumbing "up and over" the liner.
    I start off digging a few levels into the pile of dirt to create the levels of the waterfall. Lay the liner and then start placing rocks. the liner usually ends up sandwiched between 2 rocks. one rock being on the inside of the water fall or the side which you will see and the other being on the outer part. I will grout the two rocks together and camouflage with a ground cover,

    I hate using the biofalls, they are ugly and in a few years they are always visible,.
  4. STL Ponds and Waterfalls

    STL Ponds and Waterfalls LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,174

    Ok, that was a few different ways I was thinking about. I'll have to swing by and get a pic of the project I mentioned. This has really gotten my design ideas going crazy. This is why I love waterscapes.
  5. Waterscapes By Design

    Waterscapes By Design LawnSite Member
    Messages: 237

    When customers are wanting to be as cheap as possible (I dont mean that in a negative way towards them either), I always build them without those.

    I usually wont build a typical box either. Instead of building a containment type box I basically build a set of stairs. The outlet I bring straight up the back of the wall and depending on how wide the waterfall is or how I feel the waterflow needs to look I will put 2-3 outlets coming off the main one.

    Now I know a lot of people can poke many holes in that plan, especially when they hear that I use 2-3 outlets.....which means I have to reduce the outlet size and risk having them spray like jets. To combat that I usually just add a couple tiny ball valves along the back of the wall as well that can be surronded by rock and not noticed, or put them right at the top before the outlet and stack the cap rocks right in place with them. In perfect moments I can put a rock in front of it and on each side and let it spray into the rock and flow pretty nice....but the rock gods must be smiling at that precise moment!

    I use a liner for the pond, and a seperate liner that basically over laps enough. I also "sandwich" the liner between the sides of the fall and the actual face so it keeps a small lip for containment of the waterflow area.

    This is a very very cheap way I have found to do waterfalls and although it will probably be quite frowned upon I have had to do this to keep in line with customers budgets and still trying to make a profit all while just trying to do what I genuinely enjoy doing in life.....I try to work with what I have, its not so much as trying to cut corners or be cheap.
  6. n2h20

    n2h20 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 503

    sounds good..
    one thing i have noticed... is that when you build a "pool" for the outlet line to fill up, the waterfall has a more natural look. If the water comes straight out the pipe and down the waterfall it in my opinion has to much force. By creating the pool for it to fill up and then over flow down the fall it has a more natural look and better sound...

    not rippin on anyone.. just offering my tips...
  7. Waterscapes By Design

    Waterscapes By Design LawnSite Member
    Messages: 237

    The first few pond/waterfalls I ever built were like that in a sense. I would build a standard containment type box and then I would make a type of pouch out of the liner and let it overflow out onto a nice ledge type rock
  8. Fishwhiz

    Fishwhiz LawnSite Member
    from Oregon
    Messages: 112

    N2 that's very good thinking. Liners may last just 20 years but you never hear anyone talking about how long a liner lasts that is severly stretched for a pipe fitting. You are giving your customers more seal for the deal over the relative long term. Relative since plastics are only going to seal for a couple decades.
  9. n2h20

    n2h20 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 503

    this is just for the waterfall.,.. as for a bottom drain i do penetrate the liner,. haven't had a problem yet.....knock on wood.

    TRBIGCREEK LawnSite Member
    Messages: 168

    This is a very simple modification. All you do is dig into your compacted dirt from the excavated pond. Be sure to dig wide and deep enough to avoid splash from your pump flow. For example you can dig a 24 by 24 by 24 square hole and notch out a top and vertical run for your pipe to go into the bottom. The front side opposite where your pipe enters should be about 6-8 inches lower so your water will flow out of your liner made waterfall box. I typically put round creek rock all around my pipe at the bottom, leave the pipe a couple inches from the bottom of the liner. Then I cut filter media to size of my box and top it off with 3 or 4 bags of lava rock. By the time you do all that you've got 3-4 inches left to dress out at the top with stone. After this box I usually have the water flow into a header pool that's about 4 by 4 and 8 inches deep then from the header pool I start my first real noticeable fall.

    When I use an actual bio filter box I start with the header pool but go about 24-36 inches deep in the back center and just have the whole box in the liner covered with stone never to be seen. Takes more time once per year to change the media but sure beats having to look at the ugly thing.


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