DIY Water Fountains

Written by james j. siegel
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DIY Water Fountains
Use garden rocks and stones to create the base of a fountain. (rocks image by Alex Kazeitchev from

Installing a water fountain may appear complicated because you have to deal with a water pump, electricity and constructing a fountain base; however, you can build a fountain in your backyard in a day with materials you may have around your house. One of the least complicated fountains is a small rock fountain.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Water pump with discharge pipe
  • Shovel
  • Plastic basin
  • Brick or concrete block
  • Metal screen
  • Metal cutting shears
  • Garden stones and rocks

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  1. 1

    Find a location for your fountain and dig a hole. The hole must be wide and deep enough for a plastic basin that will serve as an underground reservoir.

  2. 2

    Place the basin into the hole and weigh it down with a concrete block or brick. Then place your submersible water pump in the centre of the basin.

  3. 3

    Take a piece of metal screening and fit it to cover the top of the basin. Don’t worry if the screening is too wide for the basin. It is more important that the basin is completely covered. Then cut a hole in the centre of the screen with a pair of metal cutting shears. The hole must be large enough for the water pump’s power cord and discharge pipe.

  4. 4

    Attach the discharge pipe to the water pump. Then place the screen over the basin, making sure that the discharge pipe goes through the hole in the centre. Then pull the power cord from the pump through the hole. Drag the power cord to an outdoor GFCI outlet.

  5. 5

    Pour water though the metal screen into the basin below. Fill the basin to the top.

  6. 6

    Hide the metal screen by adding rocks and garden stones. Also, create a stone structure that will surround the discharge pipe sticking out of the centre of the metal screen. Make sure that the discharge pipe is hidden from view. Arrange the rocks in any way you want, as long as the pipe and screen are hidden.

  7. 7

    Plug the power cord in and wait for the flow of water. Water will spurt from the top of the discharge pipe and hit the rocks. The water will then trickle down and back to the underground basin.

Tips and warnings

  • Find rocks and garden stones at garden stores or local quarries. Choose different size rocks and colours suited to your outdoor environment.
  • Clean the fountain once every month or two to avoid algae growth. Change the water in the underground reservoir. Also, disconnect the water pump and clean inside the water tube with vinegar or another cleaning agent.
  • You do not need to secure the metal screen to the ground. The rocks will weigh the screen down. When purchasing a metal screen for the job, find a light gauge that is still sturdy enough for the rocks you want to use, but thin enough to cut through for the water pump's tube and power cord.
  • When powering a pump for a fountain, always plug the pump into a ground fault circuit interrupter outlet. These outlets will shut off power in the event of a short.

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