The R.I.S.E. Method, In Practice (Photos)

Discussion in 'Water Features' started by JimLewis, Mar 5, 2013.

  1. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,876

    So two years ago I bought this amazing book called The R.I.S.E. Method, by Rick Bartel. I'm sure it's been discussed here in this forum before. But we really didn't have much opportunity to put the methods I learned into place until recently. Water Feature sales have slowed for us in recent years since the recession, as I am sure it has for many of you. And mostly what we sell these days in terms of water features are less expensive rock column bubbler fountains. I don't think we've had an opportunity to really build a real waterfall in a good two years or more.

    So when the opportunity arose, I challenged our project manager and our installers to create the most natural looking water feature we have installed to date. I made each of them read through The R.I.S.E. Method right before we installed this water feature. It really helped a lot. What we ended up with was definitely the most natural looking waterfall/stream we've built to date. In fact, it makes our previous water features look amateurish, I have to sheepishly admit.

    One of the things you guys might really find interesting is the pump is on a remote control. The owner has a key fob that he can use to turn the pump up or down about 10 notches, all by remote. It's a feature I had never seen in a pump before. It allows him to turn up the flow if he wants more rushing water or turn it way down if he wants something more soothing.

    We included a lot of bends and turns; fallen logs; islands; a wide variety of rock accent boulders along the side and inside the stream; changed the height of the stream up and down to create different effects along the stream, added planting along the stream and even inside it; a bridge; and lighting.

    Now, the planting looks a little lame, I know. But we did this in January. So half the plants that are around the water feature you cannot see because they are perennials or groundcovers that are so small they blend in with the mulch right now. The planting portion will look a lot more impressive in 6-12 months.

    Anyway, what we ended up with is something I though you would all enjoy. If you want to see the rest of this project, you can do so here. But my main point was to show you the water feature, how it turned out, and to say that for any of you who haven't yet checked out Rick Bartel's book - do it! It will change the way you think about water features!

    Here are some of the photos from the job....









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  2. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,876

  3. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,876

    The water comes from 3 different sources near the top of the water feature. They're a little tricky to find. I didn't even realize my guys had built the 3rd one (on the left side of the photo below) until 3-4 weeks after we finished the water feature. They did a good job of hiding the source of the water. There are two biofalls units hidden near the top of the water feature and one big rock bubbler over to the right. Water comes from these three sources (marked in blue) and trickles down the water feature from each of these points.


  4. tadpole

    tadpole LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,221

    Really looks great, Jim.

    I am curious as to why you used bio-fall units. Since there will apparently be no fish, I would think the use of the more compact spillway units would have been more practical.
    What is the total max gph on this project?

    DLONGLANDSCAPING LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,418

    Love the work you guys did on this project. My only questions/request is to see where the water ends. My big problem with waterfalls and streams is where to end the stream without looking to un-natural.
  6. STL Ponds and Waterfalls

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

    That is where you have to get creative and use your imagination! If it's a pond you know how to end the stream and if it's a pondless you end it in any arrangement that will make it look as anatural as possible. We usually just end it into a gravel bed, buit I've seen some neat endings such as a rock formed sink hole etc etc.
  7. STL Ponds and Waterfalls

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

    Jim that looks nice! I just ordered the book after seeing this as a reminder. I wanted to get this book last winter but couldn't find it locally and just shelved the idea until now.

    My only concern on your stream is the mulch and such creating a maintenance headache with a pond setup. A pondless won't be so bad.
  8. Drakeslayer

    Drakeslayer LawnSite Member
    Messages: 135

    Looks Awesome! How steep is that slide coming from the tree house?
  9. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,876

    Thought I'd share an article I wrote for the current issue of Pond Trade Magazine, that had to do with this particular job. It goes into how we came about the job and more about the design, features, how long it took, etc.

    By the way, if you aren't already a subscriber, you should subscribe! If I remember right, the subscription is free to industry pros. It's a good magazine. Something to learn about the water feature industry in every issue!


    Attached Files:

  10. SRT8

    SRT8 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CA
    Messages: 1,318

    Work looks great! Good to see someone from the west coast on here!

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