We have recently been working on some great water features so I thought I would write up a little info on how we do them explaining the details of how we like creating some real works of art.

When we install a water feature we always include the following items for a complete installed feature:

  • Auto filler to keep the water filled to the proper level.

  • Clean out valve.
  • Overflow drain.
  • Flex hose, fittings, bulkheads, foam.
  • Proper skimmer and filter system.
  • Properly sized 3 year warranty pump.
  • 60 mil rubber liner and underlayment.
  • Flow adjustment valves.
  • Rocks of various size and textures.
  • Plant materials and mulch.
  • 5 year warranty on all workmanship and a 3 year manufacturer pump warranty.

I personally design and vision all of the features, managing a very talented installation crew.

We always start by completely digging out the entire feature forming the pond, skimmer areas, mounds and shaping, form fitting the skimmer, pipes, sumps and other components before the liner is placed.

Next we place the under liner and liner using sand to buffer the low areas and corners of round areas so that the liner will not stretch when water is added, working carefully around the liner as to not puncture or damage the liner.

The rest of the feature is artwork that a very talented crew creates over a period of days or weeks depending on how large the feature is, taking their time using concrete, dirt and sand, placing every rock at the right angle and degree so that the water flows exactly off of each rock to create the masterpiece.

I always purchase and place plant materials myself to highlight and accent the feature according to the style and tastes of the client.

It takes some real experience and creativity to install a nice water feature and when finished I have never seen two features that are the same.

My advice is to hire us to do your project, if you care to take on this yourself make sure that you have all of the materials on site before you start and be prepared to spend at least 3x as much time and effort that you originally planned on spending.

Some things to ponder when building:

  • Make sure a splash area is inside of the edge of the liner or the feature will leak, creating problems over time.
  • Be sure to let concrete set for at least 2 days before running water.
  • Place all components that need to be accessed, valves, pump, electrical fittings, etcetera in boxes for easy access and cleaning.
  • Test all bulkheads for seal before burying these areas, most problems I see are at these locations.
  • Size the right pump, always use a pump that has slightly more capability than you need, you can always turn water down if not needed.
  • Make sure that the pump recirculates all of the water 4 to 5 times per hour or more to keep the feature clean.
  • Use a licensed electrician and secure a dedicated circuit for your pump to operate from.

There are a lot more details and tricks of the trade that I can share with you, if you are installing a pump and need help just e-mail me and I will answer your questions the best I can. You can use our "Contact Us" form located HERE.

Good luck!

Tim Barnes


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