Add some Life to your Property with Yard Waterfalls
Yard Waterfalls are an excellent way to add a little pizzazz to your yard! A thoughtfully built waterfall can quickly transform a dull corner of your yard into a vibrant water ecosystem that is full of life and activity. When building a waterfall, you have the choice of either building a connected pond for the water to collect, or you could build a pondless waterfall, which is a type of water feature that centers on a self-circulating waterfall without an attached pond. Either way, yard waterfalls are an excellent landscaping feature that can add some nice visual appeal to your yard.
Not only are yard waterfalls nice to look at, but the sounds they create contributes nicely to the overall ambiance of your yard. Most pond owners agree that there is nothing more soothing than the sounds of a gentle waterfall falling down some rocks into your pond. As well, if you live in the city, a waterfall can help to cut out some of the background noise present in your neighborhood.
Benefits of Waterfalls to Existing or New Ponds
Apart from the above-mentioned visual and audible advantages of yard waterfalls, another advantage is the water aeration a waterfall provides to a pond's water. Through the process of the water falling and splashing into the pond water beneath the falls, air is introduced into the water, which in turn raises the oxygen level of the water. High oxygen levels help in a number of ways to keep your pond ecosystem healthy. One important way oxygen helps is by keeping pesky algae under control since algae doesn't grow as well in highly oxygenated water. Fish, plants and other water dwelling creatures also thrive in water that is high in oxygen.
Pumps and Equipment
Most pond owners choose to install pond pumps to pump the pond water through various filters to help keep the pond water clean. If you're building a pond and are already going to the work of adding a pumping system, why not take the extra step of returning the pumped water back into the pond via a waterfall?
Designing your Yard Waterfall
A yard waterfall landscape usually looks its best when the waterfall is built to look as natural as possible while blending in to the overall size, theme and design of your pond, or yard. This comes down to building the waterfall as part of the pond, rather than like something stuck on the side as an afterthought. A propper waterfall should look like it's been there for a hundred years! An easy way to do this is to build the 'pedestal' of the waterfall out of natural rock. When choosing rocks for your waterfall, bigger rocks usually look more natural than smaller rocks. If you can, build your waterfall out of a few big rocks arranged in a creative manner, rather than 20 smaller rocks.
Check back soon for real waterfall plans as well as more information on how to better design the perfect yard waterfall.
Supplies for Yard Waterfalls
Before you set out to build the next Niagara Falls in your back yard, be sure to consider what materials and equipment you will need to achieve your desired goals. For instance, the lager the waterfall you plan to build, the larger the pump you'll need to pump all that water. Please read our page on pond pumps for more information on pond and waterfall pumping requirements.
From a design standpoint, an important consideration is the waterfall catch basin. A waterfall catch basin is an area where the water from you waterfall will land or be 'caught' by the pond. A waterfall catch basin has a couple purposes. The first is to reduce the amount of splash by providing a sufficiently deep area for the water to fall. Reducing the amount of splash helps keep more water in your pond, and off of surrounding features like rocks, soil and plants. This in turn reduces water lost by evaporation and soil absorption. A second reason for a catch basin is to deepen and enhance the sound of your yard waterfall. A waterfall that falls into shallow water, or directly on to rocks tends to have a shallow sound made mostly of treble sound waves. To get the deeper sound that people associate with a healthy waterfall, a catch basin is used to help amplify the mids and bass, which in turn creates a full bodied, more pleasing sound. For more information on how to design and build a catch basin, please see our guide entitled 'Building a Pond' (Coming soon).
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