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Installing A Pondless Waterfall Kit: Build A Disappearing Waterfall

Updated on June 20, 2017
Granite Fountain Pondess Waterfall
Granite Fountain Pondess Waterfall

Adding Interest to Your Landscape Design


A Pondless Waterfall Kit makes installing a pondless waterfall an easy DIY project.

Pondless waterfalls are unique focal points for any size yard or garden setting. They require a lot less maintenance than traditional ponds and water gardens yet still provide the sights and sounds of moving water. And watching the flowing water disappear down into the ground is a bonus that adds interest and intrigue.

The small footprint of a pondless waterfall enables you to create a water feature in areas that are not suitable for ponds including small yards, decks and patios, even rooftop gardens. A pondless waterfall consists of a catch basin to hold a reservoir of water, a submersible pump with tubing to pump the water from the catch basin to the top of the water feature, a grate with a gravel covering to disguise the catch basin, and a decorative element such a large urn or granite pillar. Here are a few tips for building pondless waterfalls.

Kits for pondless waterfalls are available at many garden centers and online, or purchase the components individually. Invest in a quality tub to bury in the ground and hold the water reservoir. Heavy-duty rubber livestock tubs work well, are reasonably priced and available at feed supply stores.

Do You Have A water Feature In Your Yard?

Do You Have A water Feature In Your Yard?

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Installing A Pondless Waterfall Kit

Dig In!

Mark out the location for the pondless waterfall. Measure the height and depth of the catch basin, and dig a hole slightly deeper and wider. Add a layer of sand to the bottom of the hole, and position the tub in the hole. Use a level to ensure that the rim of the basin is level in all directions. Once satisfied with the positioning, add sand around the edges of the tub to secure it in place, tamping the sand down into the bottom of the hole as you filling the gap around the rim.

Attach the tubing to the outflow of the pump, fill a bucket with water and test the submersible pump before installing it permanently in the catch basin. It is much easier to test the pump in a bucket than to disassemble the finished water feature to troubleshoot a finicky pump.

Place the submersible pump at the bottom of the basin. To prevent debris from fouling the pump, cover it with an inverted plastic flowerpot. Drill holes through the sides of the flowerpot to allow the water to flow freely to the pump.

Cover the catch basin with a heavy grate. The grate must be strong enough to support the design element that you are using to create the waterfall effect, yet the grating mesh must be small enough to prevent any of the river rocks surrounding the water feature from falling through.

Plastic faux rocks specially designed for pondless waterfalls are lightweight, inexpensive and easy to install. Granite pillars and ceramic urns look good, but the extra weight requires a study, well supported grate system

Get the Water Flowing

Run the tubing up through the grate and to the water feature. Arrange a pile of rock to form a waterfall, adjusting the tubing as the waterfall grows to avoid kinking the tubing.

If using an urn or other decorative element for the water feature, drill an entrance hole for the tubing at the bottom of the water element, and seal the opening with waterproof silicone caulking. Position the decorative element in place, reinforcing the grating as needed to support the weight of the water filled decorative element. Spread a layer of river rock around element to cover the grating and provide a finished look.

Fill the basin with water. Turn on the pump. Dirty water may flow initially, but will quickly dissipate as the soot and sand settles to the bottom of the pondless waterfall. Add plants around the pondless waterfall to soften the edges and blend the water feature into the existing landscape.

The Premium Pondless Waterfall Kit

This LiquidArt Pondless Waterfall & Fountain kit is perfect when space, or a budget, is limited. The kit includes a very realistic-looking, hand-made "faux" bubbler that was molded from a natural stone. It provides the durability, look, and texture of a rock bubbler, without the weight of natural stone! It only weighs approximately 25lbs, and is easy to position on the fountain base without having to use expensive equipment.

The "bird-bath" style bowl in the top of the rock, holds about an inch of water, which then gently cascades over the sides and back into the hidden water reservoir. The fountain base (reservoir) is completely self-contained. It holds approximately 12 gallons of water, and the submersible magnetic-drive pump can move 396 gallons per hour. The pump, water flow adjustment valve and hose are all included, pre-cut, pre-glued and ready to go.

Simply screw the connections together, fill the reservoir with water, plug your pump in, sit back and enjoy your fountain!

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Installing a Pondless Waterfall Kit

This video produced by Aquascape Inc shows the step-by-step installation of their Pondless Waterfall System.

Pondless Waterfalls: Tips & Warnings

Position the pondless waterfall near a ground fault electrical outlet. Contract with a licensed electrician if an outlet is needed to power the submersible pump.

Do not allow the water reservoir to run dry. Operating the submersible pump without water will quickly burn out and destroy the pump.

Tell Us About your Pondless Waterfall, Fountain or Water Garden

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    • Kelsey Farrell profile image

      Kelsey Elise Farrell 2 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Great article, I don't actually have the room for a pond, but I love listening to waterfalls. Not to mention I'd be worried about my dogs drinking from a pond that collected algae (which they would find a way to make happen).

    • profile image

      LadyDuck 4 years ago

      I like this pondless waterfall ideas, I have a medium size pond in my garden, but algaes are a problem, I would prefer a waterfall.

    • RetroMom profile image

      RetroMom 4 years ago

      I have seen some pondless waterfalls and they seem like a great idea and they look lovely too.

    • profile image

      Oosquid 4 years ago

      I'd never heard of these, what a clever idea. Having no pond certainly means that space is much less of a problem.

    • squidoopets profile image

      Darcie French 5 years ago from Abbotsford, BC

      My folks have installed a pondless waterfall in their backyard as part of their garden landscape, and they love it. It's very beautiful and tranquil.

    • Craftypicks profile image

      Lori Green 5 years ago from Las Vegas

      I don't have a water feature yet. I am in the middle of building one. I had several at my old house.

    • Redneck Lady Luck profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 5 years ago from Canada

      My sister installed a garden pond a couple years ago and it really does add an exotic twist to her yard décor. Water fountains and ponds are so very relaxing.

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 5 years ago from Colorado

      I absolutely love water features. I had quite a few in the nature sanctuary I created when living in Texas. I'd love to construct some type of waterfall or fountain feature here at my mountain home. I think the only reason I have not done so is because it is so windy and arid here. Also, I haul my own water from an artesian spring. I do have a solar pump, which would be necessary given my off grid power system. A pondless waterfall could be in my future. Thanks for the excellent resources here. Really well presented.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      A disappearing pondless waterfall just has a special magic to it that I love the idea of, I enjoy water features in all their forms.

    • bjslapidary profile image

      bjslapidary 5 years ago

      Great info. Need to come back to this. So want a pondless waterfall.

    • profile image

      pawpaw911 5 years ago

      Great idea. Wish we had more room, so I could implement some of the ideas in your great how to lenses.

    • Rangoon House profile image

      AJ 5 years ago from Australia

      I love this type of water feature. I have two water features either side of my front gate. Imported from Bali and just beautiful. It is so peaceful and welcoming.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 5 years ago from Canada

      I love the new fountains and you can now even get solar powered ones which is great. Our old property had a creek running around it so we didn't need fountains but our new yard could sure use a pond or fountain. We get lots of birds and I am sure that they would enjoy a little water out there to bathe in.

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 5 years ago

      We bought a pond kit, but there's really no room for it in our garden. The neighborhood raccoons would make a mess of it anyway. I like your ideas for urn bubblers, and they would hold up with the night critters.

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 5 years ago

      My next door neighbor has a water fall decorative unit that is very pleasant to listen to whilst I swing on my hammock, in the backyard, between raking up bags of leaves. I'd love to put one in too!

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 5 years ago from Southampton, UK

      These look great, I wish we had a garden where we could spend more time. We would have to run water and electricity out there too. Great descriptions and tips on creating a water feature, blessed.

    • jptanabe profile image

      Jennifer P Tanabe 5 years ago from Red Hook, NY

      I'd love one of these in our backyard!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      It is my pleasure to return to cast some fresh angel dust over your pondless waterfalls...you have me dreaming again...

    • profile image

      ThomasJ4 LM 5 years ago

      When I buy my own house I want to do all kinds of stuff like this, thanks for sharing!!

    • profile image

      JoshK47 5 years ago

      This would be very nice in my house or backyard. Great lens.

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 5 years ago from New Zealand

      Nice lens, enjoyed reading it. I love anything to do with ponds and waterfalls, very peaceful.Thanks for sharing.

    • whoisbid lm profile image

      whoisbid lm 5 years ago

      I guess you could write manuals pretty well too

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Beautiful design. Our landlord in Maldives had one in his living room. The sound of the water is very soothing.

    • LisaAuch1 profile image

      Lisa Auch 5 years ago from Scotland

      ...love it! I will be showing my husband this page as i would love one of these in my garden!

    • mariaamoroso profile image

      irenemaria 5 years ago from Sweden

      Wish you added more photos to help me make one.

    • ViJuvenate profile image

      ViJuvenate 5 years ago

      Fun project. I love when people share what they know how to do. Thank you!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Awesome lens and a wonderful lens idea! :)Password below: delightful

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 5 years ago from United States

      What a beautiful addition this would be to my backyard!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Very beautiful.

    • mrducksmrnot profile image

      mrducksmrnot 5 years ago

      Another Great lens. I like DIY(do it yourself) projects. I found a huge rock weight of about 250 lbs. and drilled a hole down through it 3/4 of the way then drill into the side to hit the same newly drilled hole, put the stone in a pond and added water and tubing and the pump. It looks like a natural spring coming out of the rock. Love your ideas here. Thanks for sharing.

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 5 years ago from Central Florida

      Very attractive water feature. I like it.

    • profile image

      Donnette Davis 5 years ago from South Africa

      I'm fascinated - thank you for sharing

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      A disappearing water fall, how cool! I love water features!

    • littlelotus profile image

      littlelotus 6 years ago

      this is interesting, we're looking for a garden feature and this might be it :)thanks for sharing this

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