Dreaded waterfall leak


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Hi all, been awhile since I’ve posted here my pond is about 3 years old now but I’ve just re designed the waterfalls.. it has two feeds now, the original main one and one coming in from the side. (This new one bypasses the garbage can (filter) but still feeds into the big garden. The problem is that now the main waterfall leaks. I had never sealed it up or secured the rocks using waterfall foam but now with the rebuild I did but now it leaks. It started off pooling in new places that soon overflowed out the back.. I got that fixed by cutting and reshaping the foam but then it started coming from somewhere I can’t see. I now have a flat flagstone shelf forming the top tier or the falls i.e the outlet from the garbage can filter flows out into it I’m not sure but I’m thinking maybe some of the water is travelling back along the underside of this slab rock and finding its way Out the back (the leak is definitely out the back it’s just that the way it’s travelling I’m having trouble isolating where it’s coming from) Does this sound likely? If it is that, will making the slab tilt forward more so the water drops off faster stop it from clinging to the bottom of the slab and travelling backwards or does anyone else have a better suggestion? The top slab is foamed in place and to be honest it’s the only place that the foam really stuck a rock in place well (of course) so if I don’t have to pull it up again that would be preferable but If tilting that rock is the easiest fix I’ll do it.. any thoughts anyone? Oh, I’ll try to attach a picture of i can remember how to do it.. as you can see.. if the picture worked.. I have the main falls shut off right now.. and there is no leaking with only the side falls on. The falls emanate from in amongst the ferns on top and I just put the piece of pond liner on top to see if that stopped the leak by forcing the flow further out on the rock.. it helped a bit but there’s still a leak.. I lose enough to have my skimmer go dry about every 8 - 12 hrs. image.jpg
 
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Don't have much experience with waterfalls yet, but a leak in a waterfall can really only be caused by a hole in the liner, a spillway that is too high, or a liner edge that is too low. If it's not a hole, then it's the spillway too high or liner edge too low.

That can't be fixed by waterfall foam as it is not waterproof material—it just redirects most of the water. Tilting a spillway probably won't help either unless doing so will also lower the top edge of the spillway which the water has to travel over. Have to lower that edge so that pooling water is below the top of the liner.

Maybe post a quick video on youtube walking around the whole falls and pointing out where you think the issue is and we can help troubleshoot better.
 
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Is there a liner under your waterfall? I hope so.

The way I build them is form a pretty deep concave shape in the soil where the falls will be. And of course it's also well pitched toward the pond.

I create shelves in it to later hold the stones.

Then I cover it with an underlayment and then a liner. This is the basis and most import part of the build.
Any and all water can now only return to the pond. It can flow around or under the stones, but it will always return to the pond.
The liner is the actual falls and the stones are there to make it look good.

Now the stones can be stacked on top of the liner on the shelves and stacked upon each other.

That pond foam is not for holding rocks together. It's only meant to redirect water. If you build it right, you won't need to do any redirecting.
I never use it. Never had to.

You probably won't get it perfect the first time, I didn't. I think I messed with it 3 or 4 times until I got it the way I liked it.
 
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Hi thanks to both of you.. unfortunately there is no soil or earth to make the waterfall in.. it ”falls” from the spillway that I made in the top of the filter (garbage can) and yes, the whole falls is made on liner that is one continuous sheet from one end of the pond to the other side of the falls. The only part of the system that is outside the liner is the feed pipe and the garbage can itself. I suspected that first but there doesn’t seem to be any leaking there. The liner is just draped over the back side though so maybe it’s under the falls and trickling out along the liner edge. Maybe I should work harder at finding a way to get the liner to come halfway up the back of the falls rocks. I just turned the pump on again and I played around with that little piece of old liner that I put on top to extend the spill way. I think it’s down to a dribble now. I think the water coming out of the spillway was hitting a little “lumpy” spot in the foam stuff and some water was getting forced backwards towards the garbage can filter and following the liner edge out onto the ground. We’ll see in a few minutes if it’s dried up back there. I’ll let you all know. And by the way @poconojoe that’s actually the reason I decided to try the foam was to just redirect the flow to get more volume over the falls. The original falls has been working for 2 years with no foam. I just stacked the rocks too and it worked great after a little trick and error .. should have left well enough alone lol. Thanks again
 
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Hi thanks to both of you.. unfortunately there is no soil or earth to make the waterfall in.. it ”falls” from the spillway that I made in the top of the filter (garbage can) and yes, the whole falls is made on liner that is one continuous sheet from one end of the pond to the other side of the falls. The only part of the system that is outside the liner is the feed pipe and the garbage can itself. I suspected that first but there doesn’t seem to be any leaking there. The liner is just draped over the back side though so maybe it’s pooling one the falls and trickling out along the liner edge. Maybe I should work harder at finding a way to hold the liner up to the bed
 
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been wishing a duck would find my pond.. to have a pair here is awesome !!
I here by Christen this place Puddle Duck Falls .. they overlook Lake Missy Moo. (Missy was our Golden Retriever that used to love to splash about in the pond on hot days ) now if only some turtles would show up :D
 
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I don't think I would want ducks in my pond. I would think they would dirty up the water with their waste and carry other (possibly not so good) organisms that may adversely infect the fish.

Now, if that's the purpose of your pond, that's another thing... go for it.
 
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I'm with you @poconojoe . We lost a bunch of fish to a parasitic infection that we believe may have been introduced to the pond by a pair of ducks that we allowed to stay one spring. Not anymore... we move them on quickly when they show up.
 

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