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How to Build Slate Waterfalls

Updated February 21, 2017

Waterfalls add dimension to a landscape not possible with any other outdoor features. A waterfall complements the landscape as it moves through a mulched area with shrubs, and it sings a song of a slow-flowing stream as its water plays with the tops of the rocks. The stronger the pump you use, the faster the water will flow. Determine the "feel" you desire the slate waterfall to have and purchase your pump and hose accordingly. The secret to creating the best waterfall effect is to hide its parts as best you can.

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  1. Mark the ground where you are placing the landscape pool. Dig the hole according to the manufacturer's instructions and place the pool in the hole.

  2. Map out the hose and water pump so you can place slate around it. Keep in mind the hose must work its way up through the slate to create a waterfall when the pump is on.

  3. Stack enough slate around the hose to build a foundation for the faux mountainside. Continue stacking slate on top of the foundation, making the next row smaller than the one before it. Be certain to work the hose up the through the slate as you lay the rows.

  4. Turn the hose toward to the pool without kinking it and lay it on top of the row where you want the waterfall to begin. Stack more slate around the hose, hiding the end of it.

  5. Continue stacking slate until you reach your desired height. Place some slate inside the pool to hide the hose and pump.

  6. Route the electrical cord from the pump out of the pool toward the outlet. Fill the pool with water, plug the pump in, and turn it on.

  7. Tip

    Strike the slate with the edge of a mortar knife to break it, if needed. Keep the slate as level as possible.


    Do not work with live electricity around water. Do not block the intake on the pump.

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Things You'll Need

  • Landscape pool
  • Shovel
  • Water pump w/hose
  • Slate

About the Author

Michael Straessle has written professionally about the construction industry since 1988. He authored “What a Strange Little Man,” among other books, and his work has appeared in various online publications. Straessle earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in professional/technical writing.

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