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new pondless fountain for doulos ministries

Discussion in 'Water Features' started by alf500series, Oct 9, 2009.

  1. alf500series

    alf500series LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 256



    here are some pics from my second pondless waterfall. this is the biggest one i have done so far. i'm not real please with the rocks due to the size. it is for a non profit organization that helps out troubled teens. so they didn't have a whole lot of money to spend on this, so some of the kids helped out with the project--as well as carrying all of the rocks from around the newly constructed building. they basically paid for labor and the actual pump/ waterfall parts. i had a fogger that was going to be by the weir but it was burned in my truck when the truck was stolen. oh well lesson learned.

    i still have more rock to put in the bottom, and then i am basically done. more pics to follow soon.


  2. alf500series

    alf500series LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 256

    a couple of more pics




  3. Summit L & D

    Summit L & D LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 269

    For only a couple water features, you did a pretty nice job! Did you do anything to secure the rocks along the steps? To me it looks like a good amount of those rocks could come loose and wreck a lot of hard work. You might want to think about setting that edge course in mortar. How big was your catch basin?
  4. alf500series

    alf500series LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 256

    the rocks by the steps have expandable foam around them. plus there is a good rock/clay ledge they are sitting on. the catch basin is around 6'x3'x3'. the only problem i have is the waterfall is splashing water on the sidewalk, so I'm loosing a little water. i think i lost about 2" over the time of a day. does that sound feasible or do i have a leak somewhere?
  5. STL Ponds and Waterfalls

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

    You have a lot of splash and that is the biggest factor in your water loss. More than likely you DON'T have a leak, but look at your edges to see if you have any low spots to be on the safe side.

    Looks good by the way.
  6. pitrack

    pitrack LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,048

    I like it, looks good especially for only your second waterfall. I agree about the rock size, would be nice to have a few larger ones mixed in. Another thing you can also try is turn off the waterfall, fill the basin up and let it sit over night and see if the water level has gone down, if it has you may have a leak in the basin, if not then there may either be a leak on the fall itself or just losing water with splashing.
  7. alf500series

    alf500series LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 256

    thanks- the bottom holds water-i think it might be losing water on one of the waterfalls where it is spilling over the sides.
  8. granthartwig

    granthartwig LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    looks awesome to me
  9. mdvaden

    mdvaden LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,946

    Looks nice.

    If you gingerly tap the rock in some areas along the fall or where its spashing, you may be able to fine tune it more. I spend about an hour at least tweaking rocks and stone with the hammer.
  10. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,872

    Looks very nice! 2nd job? Wow. Impressive. You stay on this path you'll be one of the more talented waterfall builders around your area. Some people just don't have an eye for building water features at all. You obviously have some natural talent for it and that will improve as you do a lot more.

    I share Summit's concern about the free floating boulders that are just sitting on top other rocks near the steps. The 2nd photos shows that best. Aside from just looking a little odd (since they are just fully sitting on top of another rock, which isn't common) I think that's a big hazard. I would just take them off. Or if you keep them, figure out a way to put other smaller stones around them to make them look like they're not just sitting there on their own sticking out like soar thumbs. And mortar hidden under then and around the sides (with other smaller rocks hiding the mortar on the sides) would be in order.

    As for your leak - 2" per day? Well that's a little much. But it's not unheard of. It could just be splashing and evaporation. One thing most people don't realize is that every water feature loses water over time. I don't care how good or experienced the builder of it is - they all lose water. Once you understand that some water loss is totally natural (via splashing and evaporation) then it's just a matter of asking yourself whether the specific amount of water loss is natural or whether there's a leak. Having done dozens of water features over the years I can tell you from experience that often times it's a small leak. My guys are pretty good a building them. But we often have leaks we have to come back and fix later. It's just part of being a water feature installer. And factor that into your bid! If you're not factoring in some call-back time when you're bidding water features you're making a big mistake. I plan on possibly coming back once or twice to tweak stuff like this when I am bidding the job.

    2" per day is a decent amount of loss. At the same time, that water feature has a lot of big drops and a lot of room for splashing and just the sheer size means there's going to be a decent amount of evaporation. But just to be safe, I'd assume it's a leak and start looking for it. Most often, it's on the sides. There is just one tiny little area where the pond liner is just a tad lower than the wateflow line. Often, it's an area that doesn't get really HEAVY waterflow. It's just a tiny little leak. You just have to start looking along the sides and make sure that in every possible spot, the pond liner is totally above the area where any water could escape. If you're not 100% sure then you either raise that area under the pond liner a little higher and/or dry that area out and install more pond foam into that area so water can't even go that direction. I usually do both.

    If, after you check everywhere and do all that, you still have 2" of missing water each day then I guess you're fairly safe to consider it normal loss. Do they have a sprinkler system around? If so, install an auto-fill valve and let it automatically fill itself up whenever it gets low. Problem solved! We install autofill valves on every water feature we put in, as long as the customer has an irrigation system. It's freakin' easy.

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