Instructions for Building a Backyard Waterfall

Written by tracy morris
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Instructions for Building a Backyard Waterfall
A man-made waterfall often has its fountainhead hidden at the top of the fall. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

A backyard waterfall is a more natural take on the traditional backyard fountain. Waterfalls typically have their fountain head hidden or disguised by rocks and plants. The pool may also have aquatic plants and fish. A backyard waterfall may be as elaborate as a multi-tiered fall that extends down a hillside. Or it may be as simple as a basin with an overflow that allows water to plunge into your pond.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Garden hose
  • Shovel
  • Pre-formed PVC liner
  • Waterfall basin
  • PVC tubing
  • Tubing collar
  • Pump
  • Play sand
  • Landscaping rocks
  • Landscaping gravel
  • Landscaping plants
  • Aquatic plants

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  1. 1

    Lay out the floor plan for your pool and waterfall with a garden hose on the ground in the location where you have planned for the pool to be landscaped. Leave the hose in place and observe the location for a few days to see if you like it.

  2. 2

    Dig out the pool area with a shovel. The hole in the ground should be slightly larger than the pool, with sloping sides and raised shelves where the pool's shelves may rest.

  3. 3

    Wet play sand and spread it in a layer over the sides and bottom of the hole.

  4. 4

    Place the pool liner over the play sand.

  5. 5

    Fill the pool with water. As the water level rises, add more sand to the sides of the pool between the liner and the soil wall. Build up the wall as the water rises to support the pool.

  6. 6

    Dig out a depression in the ground next to the pool for the waterfall basin. Line the depression with sand. Put a piece of PVC hose into the side of the basin and stopper the hole where the tubing inserts into the basin with a tubing collar so that water cannot run out of the hole where the hose inserts. Place the basin in the ground so that the spout overlaps the lip of the pool. Fill in the hole in the ground around the basin with sand. Fill the basin with water.

  7. 7

    Select a waterfall pump that has enough power to lift water up into the basin and fill it. As the basin fills, water will spill over the spout in the side and fall into the pool. Hook PVC hose into the pump and place the pump into the pool.

  8. 8

    Place rocks around the sides of the pool to blend the liner into the landscape. Cover the basin with rocks so the water appears to bubble out of the rocks.

  9. 9

    Plant trailing landscaping plants around the edge of the pool. Place aquatic plants such as cattails or rushes in the pool to soften the edges of the pool.

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