Backyard Water Feature

Back in February, we received a postcard alerting us that our city heavy trash pickup would be in April. Chad handed the postcard to me so I could also be aware of the impending date, and with a look of sadness in his eyes he said, “I think it’s time to upgrade the waterfall.” The pond-less waterfall was something that Chad had designed and built all on his own the first summer we lived in the house. He was very proud of his waterfall.

Over the previous summer, Chad had been making a few comments about the waterfall. It bothered him that you could see the exposed backing from the side. He hated the metal trim that he had put in place to keep the wood from rotting. It annoyed both of us how quickly the well/bucket would run out of water.

With the thought in mind that Chad was ready to move on from Backyard Water Feature #1, I set about drawing up what I thought Water Feature #2 would look like. As is the case with all of my ideas, it involved a lot of heavy lifting for Chad and a lot of standing in the backyard with opinions for me. In the meantime Chad and his dad tore down the old water wall and it went with the heavy trash leaving a sad and lonely hole in the ground.

Since the grasses we had planted the previous few years were taking over the yard, I decided that they would be contained in planters from now on. Chad dug those out and I ordered several planters from Home Depot in varying heights. Then those sat on the patio until we were ready to move them into place.

Chad spent a few weekends watching youtube videos before determining what he would need to make the new water feature.

Red Rock Water Feature Supply List

  • 15’ x 15’ Firestone 45 Mil EPDM Pond Liner – $192 (amazon)
  • Aquascape AquaBlox Water Storage Module Block System for Pondless Waterfall, 32-gallons 29492 – 4 @ $58 each (amazon)
  • VIVOSUN 4500GPH Submersible Water Pump 220W Ultra Quiet Pump with 20.3ft Power Cord High Lift for Pond Waterfall Fish Tank Statuary Hydroponic – $115 (amazon)
  • PacificHydroStar 2150 Replace With PH2150 2500 gph – $120 (wholesale pumps)
  • Atlantic® Fountain Basin Plumbing Kit 110584, 3pc Kit – $125 (the pond guy)
  • Patriot Steel Elegance 24″ Color Changing Lighted Stainless Steel Spillway STE24CC – $180 (amazon)
  • Bubble Boulder x 2, Flat Red Rock Slab x 3, Red Rock Stone Blocks x 9 – $900 delivered (American Stone)
  • 3” Sunset Cobblestone, 2 yards – $200 delivered (Landscape Supply of Utah)
  • 6″ x 8″ x 16″ Concrete Block or Cinder Blocks – 8 @ $2.20 each (Home Depot)
  • 6″ x 24″ PVC Pipe – 3 @ $9 each (Home Depot)
  • 4′ Rebar – 4 @ $5 each (Home Depot)
  • 1.5” Male Threaded Elbow (Home Depot)
  • PVC Reducer to 3/4″ (Home Depot)

Once everything was delivered, Chad got to work.

First, there needed to be a MUCH larger hole. We learned, from several hours of youtube research, that for the size of water feature we were building that we needed to hold a little more water than what we had done previously. Which explained why after a couple of hours running our old water wall, it would run out of water. This was probably the part of the project that took the longest: Chad digging out the hole and sloping it.

We also found some really fun treasures while Chad was digging up the yard.

I helped put together the above aquablox, which was another youtube research find. These babies hold up the large rocks and leave a lot of open space for water to collect which keeps us from running out of water.

Once we had the aquablox in the hole, and the manifold situated it was time for the heavy lifting. Chad and his dad (and briefly, our very kind neighbor) used a giant dolly to get the bubble rocks from the front yard to their new home. Then they threaded the piping, and hooked up the pumps. I very helpfully used the hose to fill up the well so we could see if everything would work.

Once we knew things were working, we were able to move the slab rocks into place and hook up the old spillway into the slab rock with a hole cut specifically for that purpose. Then we moved the planters into place, moved the smaller rocks to cover the pond liner and aquablox, and added in some smaller plants around the perimeter. It took several weekends to complete, but it was so worth it.

Chad made a video so you can enjoy the water wall, even while social distancing.

Does this inspire you to create your own backyard water feature? Or just come over and enjoy ours? Both are absolutely acceptable. Bring your mask, I’ll make margs.

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