Large Waterfall Construction
Building a Large Waterfall
Imagine the soothing sound of rushing water in the waterfall you’re visiting…… then realize that the relaxation washing over you is coming from your very own cascading waterfall.
Truly exceptional water features require carefull attention to detail and the appropriate components to realize the desired results.
Constructing a large waterfall or stream can be a daunting (but exceptionally rewarding) task. It is not simply a scaled up version of an out-of-the-box waterfall kit. Special consideration must be given to appropriate pump sizing, underlayment, waterproofing, detailed design, plumbing, long term stability, and skimmer or water basin installation. Often in large applications, products typically used in a garden pond or waterfall are simply not available in an appropriate size.
In this case, it can be necessary to create custom products based on the individual application at hand. For example, a recent project required nearly 40,000 gallons-per-hour of flow over a waterfall and through a stream. Complicating the issue was over 45 feet of hydraulic head to overcome. Specialized pumps originally designed for heavy-duty applications were used to provide the required flow. The pumps were larger than any standard pond skimmer structure and required a custom pump housing and skimmer be constructed in the pond before the pumps could be installed.
In larger applications it is important to consider the pipe friction loss (decreased flow) resulting from longer pipe runs and additional pipe fittings and flow direction changes. A design professional can calculate the pipe friction loss and design a system to minimize the loss as well as match the pump to the flow requirements of the application. One simple way to reduce friction losses is to design pipe runs as straight as possible. Using flexible PVC pipe where appropriate allows long gradual bends which cause less friction loss than sharp bends.
Now – (deep breath) this may all seem like a daunting task. However, with a qualified professional to assist with the process, this is actually quite routine.
The bottom line is that every ounce of energy put into a large waterfall is paid back 1000 times when you sit and gaze at the falls.
Large waterfalls and streams are stunning additions to commercial landscapes. Outdoor seating areas and reception areas are enhanced by moving water. In addition, moving water is a great eye catcher and can be used to accent commercial signage and road front landscaping to draw more traffic to your location.