Found a Great water feature from the 80s! Now what?


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Recently acquired some farmland at mountain lake and an abandoned house came with it.

I found this right outside the front door while weed eating! See photo

I love it and have hooked up a pump to current piping just to try it. The top and bottom pools seem to hold at a certain level but looses water pretty quickly when running. From this I would assume loss from plumbing and or “stream”.

I am going to bypass plumbing and see how it goes.

Worried I may have to rip it out and put liner under the creek run....at the least!

Any less invasive suggestions? :)
(Newbie alert, post may contain lack of detail)
 

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JBtheExplorer

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That's a pretty cool find! Hopefully some of the members here will be able to help you. Hope to see how it turns out!
 
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Unfortunately i would be willing to bet there is no liner under all the rock it looks like a masonry creation. Concrete is generally not water proof and the mortar to rock over the years expansion and contraction create fractures between dissimilar products/ rock to concrete. a good washing and a good water sealer could do the job . if you see any cracks hydrolic cement or clear silicone could fix those areas but everything has to be solid no flaky or dusty areas.

If you watch enough you tube videos on pondless waterfalls you may see it could be easier to start over and build with today's methods at least for the stream / section
 
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Thanks for the replies.
Figured no liner due to age. I tried a quick fix if Bentonite expanding clay to give it a try in all the nooks between rocks but basically cleaned all that out.
Thought about masonry patching it but worried it may be a constant battle every year.
If I get to a certain point of destruction in repairing, I may go ahead and dig out the cascade area and rebuild with a liner underneath .... keeping the top pool for sure and Marne the bottom.
Also considering only keeping 2 or 3 cascade levels and making a little larger pond like feature at the bottom rathe that what’s there now.
Guess cleaning and using hydronic cement , as suggested, would be the best starting point.....and dig it out if it comes to it.

The attached pic shows the upper area. It was warm two days ago when I took this and it was full of Wood Frogs (making chucking noises like chickens...they really do!). Snow the next day and they went back to hibernation I guess I have a pond and stream on the property but those particular frogs like this spot exclusively.

Sorry for the novel but its helping me to think it through.

Thanks again for the ideas
 

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The first pics didn't show it's beauty the builder took their time and looks nice i can see why salvaging could be and option. Well heres a couple more options and the second is where i would probably try myself.
1. they do have water proof paints/ coating for masonry but as you said if there are that many cracks and voids then it is probably a ever ending battle and the life span is probably over.

2. how ever if you are handy you could use a grinder or a demo saw and cut ABOVE the water line a slot into the rocks and mortar to make a slot to slip in rubber epdm to water proof the areas below water level. but that is not going to be a quick fix by any means.

This is what you could do with that magnificent slope that you have and the direction i would head. save up for and don't waste time and energy on the end of life falls that you have. sorry just being honest i would kill for a slope like that in the woods the falls the moss could be magnificent.


 
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It works but everything needs to be clean, solid and dry that may never be the case DRY IN THAT AREA.
 

addy1

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Welcome to our group! Love the rock work, hope you save some of it!
 

sissy

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WOW what a find and a treasure .Someone built that with love and are smiling now that you found it and brought it back to life
 
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OOPPS I forgot fiberglass it is also a viable pond liner one that would fill in cracks and voids a lot better then any paint liner
 
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Thanks again for the ideas.
I will try to post follow up when it’s done.
Probably should finish house renovation first... but this is hard to resist!
Wood Frogs were back in action yesterday and lots of eggs from an earlier warm day.
Won’t get much above freezing today but had lots of tadpoles last summer so I guess they know what they are doing.
The “Chicken cluck” sounding call gets me every time though! :-D
 
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Are all those stones cemented together? If possible, remove as many perimeter stones as you can. If you can't remove the stones in the middle, pour sand on top of them to fill it in. Then place underlayment and EPDM liner over the sand. Then put your perimeter stones back (on top of the excess liner).
 
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That’s similar to what I was thinking originally.
The small pools in the cascade are very shallow though. The hybrid here.....
I am settling into the idea of removing top stones (In the cascades), as you suggested, but also breaking out the old concrete in the cascade pools to make them deeper....then going with sand, underpayment of some sort, and the liner as you said.

So far, the cascade pools hold. As long as it’s not running anyway. If I find that the top and bottom pools/holding tanks have any problem, I might try the “Saw a grove” method to place the liner ad suggested in an earlier post.

Bottom “tank/pool” seems undersized. I have also considered ripping out the last two cascades and having more of a pond there, creating a larger drop into a larger “Pond”
If I’m tearing things up a bit anyway why not. Humm?!
Most reasonable people would suggest ripping it all out and starting over I guess! :).

The house and grounds were obviously a true “Park like setting” at one time. I am drawn to keeping things The same, but updating drastically, and up cycling great features where possible.
I even want to save the 4 foot Jenn-aire cooktop/grill/griddle in the kitchen. Also has a double stove could have been on the Brady Bunch, and a working trash compactor! (Sorry for the off topic.)
All the advice is much appreciated.
 
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addy1

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It is your thread go off topic anytime you want to!

Sounds like one neat place, post pictures of the house and gardens also if you want to.
I had a jenn-aire cooktop grill in my AZ house, cut into a granite counter top. It broke while the place was rented, (I had to rent it waiting for the market to recover to be able to sale the place) had to retro fit another top, no repair pieces around.
 
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Here are some pics of the “project” property and “house that. And with it. Photos show relationship of water feature to the front side of the house, mountain lake view on other side, pasture and pond to one side, and trail into steep woods on the other.
Foundation excavation/repair, roof, skylights. rebuilt sun room taken out walls and pulled up floors ... pretty much every system need work. These were in process pics so we’ve moved along a bit since then.
Would love to get the water flowing but there’s a lot in the mix here.
This is a long term project that we are pecking away at, when money and time allows
.1581781074257.jpeg
 

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Sorry, I had some extra photos attach and don’t know how to edit the post to get rid of them.
At least they are just rainbows. That could have been worse! :-D
 
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j.w

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Nice pictures of your whole place. Looks like you are building your dream place and what a pretty piece of property you have!
 

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