Disappearing pondless waterfalls installation – Part 2
Step 11 Fill the waterfalls basin with water
Begin to fill up the “pondless basin” with water. It is typically filled up to just below the decorative gravel.
Step 12 How to Build a Waterfall and Meandering Stream
You will need to do a little preparation work before building your dream waterfall. It is recommended that you read the section about Stream Construction that is if you plan on creating a stream. *
You can also refer to many different pond books for more ideas on Stream and Waterfall constructions.
You have two options when attaching the lip for the Filter:
Prior to installing the waterfall snout make sure the face of the filter and liner is clean, and free of dust and debris. Use a damp towel to clean both surfaces.
Hold the liner up against the face of the filter, covering the U-shape spillway opening. Be sure to leave slack at the base of the filter to avoid stretching the liner when rocks are stacked to build the waterfalls. NOTE: “Ignore this step if you are installing the waterfall snout outward and proceed to the next step.“
For inward installation you will need to cut two vertical slits into the liner along the left and right side of the opening. The flap of liner can simply fall into the inside of the filter unit when attaching the waterfall snout.
Temporarily install the waterfall snout and liner to the filter loosely with the two top corner screws and one center screw below the waterfall snout. Using an awl or nail, poke the first hole through the waterfall snout and liner penetrating into the corresponding threaded insert on the filter. Remove the awl or nail while holding the waterfall snout and liner in place, and begin threading one of the screws into the filter. Repeat this process for the screw on the opposite side. When installing the waterfall snout inward we recommend installing a third temporary screw at the center most screw hole along the bottom.
Now remove the waterfall snout trying to keep the screws still penetrating through the liner. These screws will serve as your guide when reinstalling it.
Apply a thick bead of fish-safe silicone sealant around the pondless waterfalls filter opening. The bead should follow the path of the threaded inserts (connect the dots).
Reattach the waterfall snout using the pre-installed screws as your guide. We recommend threading the lower center one first when installing the snout in the inward direction.
With all temporary screws secured back into position, you may now install. Punch the remaining screw holes with the awl or nail and thread in the remaining screws.
Outward waterfall snout position will require the liner to be trimmed back at this point. Let dry for at least 1 hour before introducing water.
Filter media is not included with the Aquascape Designs Pondless® Waterfall Kit. The aggregate in the basin provides a much larger surface area for bacteria to grow than the filter media do.
The pondless filter comes with an upper support rack that also serves as an easy way to help disguise the filter into the landscape using small boulders, aquatic plant, and gravel. Arrange the stones, gravel and plants in the rack in such a way as to hide the back and top of the filter. The rack sits in the upper portion of the waterfall filter unit.
How to build a “pondless” Waterfall
Place two larger boulders on either side of the waterfalls you are creating in order to frame the waterfalls. The water will be running between the two larger boulders you’ve set in place.
You can now begin to stack the rocks between the two larger boulders. These are the rocks that the water will be running over, so take your time and be creative. Start with the larger rocks on the bottom and work your way up to the smaller ones on top.
Small stones and gravel can be used to fill in the gaps between the larger waterfall’s stones.
The waterfall unit is designed with a plastic lip for the water to cascade off. You can use the plastic waterfall stone or even piece(s) of thin (no more than ¾ thick) natural slate. This stone can be attached to the waterfall filter using black waterfall foam. The black waterfall foam will come in handy when filling other gaps between the stones that water is flowing over. The foam keeps the water flowing over the top of the waterfall stones. Without the black waterfall foam, you may lose some of the impact of your waterfall as water travels beneath the rocks.
Place smaller rocks on the rock ledge inside the waterfall unit to help hide it in the landscape. The rock tray inside the filter will help disguise the rest of the unit into the landscape. Underwater waterfall Lights
After the boulders are in position, set your underwater waterfall accent lights. The Lights can be placed beneath the waterfalls shining upwards. See lighting system instructions for placement, positioning and installation of waterfall lights.
Building the Stream
Placing the pondless waterfall filter away from the edge of the pondless basin is always a good idea. This allows the creation of a meandering stream to add a touch of nature to your pondless waterfall.
We typically place the waterfall filter 6-10 feet from the edge of the pondless basin. Twisting and turning the stream makes it look more natural, and will require a minimum of 10’x15′ piece of liner. Excavation of the Stream
Lay out the stream from the waterfall filter to the pondless basin. The typical width of a stream should be between 2-4 feet wide (NOTE: the wider the stream, the less movement of water you will have). Vary the width of the stream throughout to mimic what would occur in nature.
Excavate the stream to a depth of 6 inches to 1 foot. Vary the depth in the corners and in smaller pools along the run of the stream to allow water to pool in those areas.
If your stream is being built on a slope, you will need to create a few waterfalls in it. To hold the water back when the pump is shut off, you need to build a check dam at each waterfall.
To make the stream look much more natural, you should place some larger boulders into it. To make this work properly, excavate the area where the rock will be placed a few inches deeper. This will allow the rock to sit into the bottom of the stream, not just on the streambed. Once you have the stream excavated, you can place the liner into it.
Installation of Liner and Rocks
Connect the liner to the waterfall unit filter as described above. Where the liner overlaps the pondless waterfall basin, you will not need to seam the liners together as long as you have a 6 inch waterfall or higher. Simply overlap the stream liner over the top of the pond liner.
Place rocks of varying sizes around the perimeter of the stream. During excavation of the stream, you dug a few areas where larger rocks will go. Put some of the Black Waterfall Foam into these divots and place the rocks on top. The foam will allow the water to be diverted around and over the rocks instead of underneath them.
Step 13 Bring in the Topsoil
Add topsoil to the berm and surrounding area in order to provide a good substrate for future landscape plantings.
The entire area may be mulched and any plant material installed if necessary.
Step 14 Build the Retaining Wall
Finish off the burm where the waterfall unit is buried by building a small retaining wall out of boulders. This step may or may not be needed, depending on the size of the bermand the transition into the existing landscape.
Step 15 Plug in and Tweak the Waterfalls
As soon as the “pondless basin” is filled and all of the black waterfalls foam is dry (if used on project), you may plug the pump in and test the waterfall.
You can tweak the waterfall by placing smaller stones and gravel on the waterfall cascades. This will change the appearance and sound of the water. Have fun playing with the water coming over the falls until you achieve the desired effect.
Step 16 Trim the Liner
With everything running, go around the perimeter of the pond with a pair of scissors and trim off any excess liner, always leaving several inches above the water level as a precaution. The remaining liner edges can be covered with gravel. Note: “Do not trim the liner until the waterfall is running and the pond is filled to the desired level. Prematurely trimming the liner may cause leaks.”
Step 17 Mulch the Burm
The entire area surrounding the pond can now be mulched and any surrounding plants added.
Step 18 Clean Up
You’re at the final stages of the project! All that is needed now is to clean up the mess you’ve made around the yard
Step 19 Owner’s Manual and Beneficial Bacteria
Refer to the following pages in the instruction booklet for care and maintenance of your new water feature.
The Signature Series Pondless® Waterfall kits include water treatments designed to reduce maintenance and keep the water crystal clear. Contact your installer or supplier for more information on the complete water treatment line available.
Step 20 Enjoy!
No further explanation needed for this step!