Pondless Water Features
Pondless water features are becoming increasingly popular in our region. They require less space, are typically less expensive to design and build, and deliver the sound and sight of water with very little maintenance. Because pondless water features are so low maintenance, they are the perfect solution for people who want to enjoy the sight and sound of water, but do not want the upkeep associated with a pond. Pondless waterfalls are also the perfect complement to rainwater harvesting systems. Any rainwater harvesting system reservoir can have a pondless water feature installed on top of it. This is a popular combination in our region where many people care about preventing storm water runoff into the Chesapeake Bay.
A pondless water feature may be a stream, a waterfall, an artful arrangement of basalt columns or large urns, or any combination thereof. There’s plenty of room for creativity when it comes to pondless water features!
Pondless waterfalls are, in essence, waterfalls that vanish into the ground or flow into a stream that vanishes into the ground. We achieve that vanishing water “magic” by digging and lining a hole that we then cover with special extra-strong, non-toxic plastic cages called Aquablox®, as well as rock & gravel. Aquablox® retain the walls of the hole so that water can collect and then be returned by a pump back to the top of the waterfall through hidden piping. Pondless waterfalls can be at any time converted into a complete water garden with a pond.
Streams & Waterfalls
Streams and waterfalls are great complement to any pond from both aesthetic and ecosystem point of view. They add visual and sound appeal to any outdoor space and also deliver plenty of oxygen to fish and plants in the pond. Streams and waterfalls construction require experience, good craftsmanship and an eye for design. Adding a stream between the waterfall and the pond costs $100 per linear foot.
When building streams and waterfalls we consider many things:
- How long is the stream?
- Can you see the stream or waterfall from your home or patio?
- What’s the point of building a stream or a waterfall in the part of the property that nobody sees most of the time?
- Does it run under trees or not? Will it be evaporating too much water if too long and exposed directly to the sun?
- What’s the elevation change? Different pumps are used for different purposes, e.g. overcoming elevation, high gallon volume per minute or both.
- What combination of stones will look natural in our area? For example, designs interweaving Delaware River Stone and Pennsylvania Mountain Stone look great while reddish slates typical for the southwest look out of place (and yet, many use them).
- Will lighting be used in the stream? If you like to spend summer evenings in you backyard the ambient, deflected light in streams and behind waterfalls creates cozy, upscale atmosphere you usually find in five star resorts.