Sunday, July 07, 2013


Since I had over 3 tons of leftover Chilton stone I decided to go ahead and make a pondless water feature. After searching different designs and examples, I found that building a wall of stone, with a waterfall spillway somewhere in the middle, would be the best approach.

A friend gave me an old water feature kit that included liners, a pump, filter and tubing so I started with that. I ended up only using the liner because the pump wasn't strong enough to push the water up 3 feet of the wall. I used a 2' Colorfalls spillway that I ordered online as well as a 3700 gallon per hour submersible pump. A filter isn't needed because the water passes through several inches of rock. 

The installation was pretty straight forward, but quite labor intensive.
I dug a 4' wide x 3' long x 2.5' deep hole. Of course nothing is easy and I had to slope the depth of the hole a bit because conduit for the garage electricity ran just under it. 

I then lined the hole with landscaping fabric, followed by an old blanket and finally the rubber pond liner. I used old crates to take up some of the space, and make room for the pump housing.

Above the crates I dumped 4-6" river rock, the 4-6" Mexican blue pebbles, then several more bags of 2-4" Mexican blue pebbles. The pebbles had to be smooth because sharp rock could puncture the liner. I had a little  neighbor helper assist me with cleaning off the stones before putting in.

The rock wall wasn't too hard since I had just honed my craft building the raised beds. I did end up purchasing new stone for the top row because I wanted chilton stone pavers. At around 3" thick they're much lighter and I figured I'd need access to the electricity and plumbing behind the wall itself. In the above picture, I was testing to see if the pump worked before putting in the spillway.

Just before completion, I realized I could buy a wifi enabled switch to turn the waterfall pump and included LED lights on and off (of set a timer) via my iPhone/iPad. The Belkin WeMo switch is a tad pricey, but so far pretty awesome. 

We also purchased some mosquito donuts that sit in the water to be sure all larva die. 

Maintenance during the warm months should be minimal. Just the occasional garden hose needed to raise the water level when evaporation or splashing drops the reservoir.  Here is the access I have to the pump in the winter, I will have to remove the pump, the water and take the spillway out of the rock wall.

A neighbor purchased all the leftover stone when I was done. So short of the 6 to 7 large pieces I stashed on the side of the house, I'm done with stone projects for the time being.


1 comment:

LAURA HOLT said...

Looks great! You guys have been busy!