How to Make a Slate Water Feature

Updated February 21, 2017

A water feature in your garden or backyard adds a soothing element to your property. Slate is a naturally decorative stone that adapts easily to homemade water features. Slate stacks easily for stair-stepped waterfalls or simple fountain designs. Local landscape supply stores and home improvement centres will have the materials necessary to make a slate water feature. Make sure that you select fountain pumps with enough power to send the water to the top of the slate wall you create.

Dig a hole in the ground with a shovel, large enough to fit the rectangular pond liner. The hole must be level and free from rocks, roots and other debris. Remove any obstacles from the sides as well as the bottom of the excavated area.

Place the plastic liner in the hole. Mix the mortar according to the package directions. Spread a thin layer of mortar around the rim of the pond liner, using your trowel.

Lay the first row of slate in the mortar around the pond liner. Place the largest stones available on one of the longest sides of the liner. Extend the stones over the rim of the pond just enough to camouflage the plastic.

Spread a thin layer of mortar on top of the largest stones along one of the long sides of the rectangle. Stack another row of slate on top of the row. Set the second layer of slate back a bit from the edge of the first row.

Continue spreading mortar and stacking the slate stones to form a slate wall. Make the wall as high as you like. Do not secure the slate stones on either end of the top row.

Measure a length of plastic tubing that's long enough run from each submersible pump on the bottom of the pond liner to the top of the slate wall. Cut the tubing to length with scissors. Attach the tubing to the spout on each pump.

Place one pump inside the pond liner on the left and one on the right. Run each of the tubes behind the slate wall to the top. Insert the plastic tubing between the first stone on either end -- the ones you did not attach. Secure the tubing with a strip of duct tape, if necessary. Camouflage the duct tape with the slate.

Position the electrical cords of the pumps over the edge of the liner, where they will be out of sight. Fill the pond liner with water. Plug in the pumps to test the fountain's operation.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Rectangular plastic pond liner
  • Level
  • Mortar mix
  • Trowel
  • Plastic tubing
  • Scissors
  • 2 submersible fountain pumps
  • Duct tape
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About the Author

Katherine Kally is a freelance writer specializing in eco-friendly home-improvement projects, practical craft ideas and cost-effective decorating solutions. Kally's work has been featured on sites across the Web. She holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology from the University of South Carolina and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.