My pondless waterfall build 10200

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hello
Wanted to post progress on my pondless waterfall build in hopes that if experience builder might help with eliminating costly mistakes you may see.
Thanks In advance

Specs
25’x50’ 45mil lifeguard liner and underpayment
2x 26” big Bahamas pro spillways
1 AP 12500gph submersible pump
1 pentair 3hp variable speed external pump (230v) 10200gph
3” pvc pipe 90’ total
40w UV sterilizer
20 eco boxes (sump)
1 sump vault
Sump size 4’x10’x3’

Rocks are huge. Set all with excavator and straps. Going to mortar all cracks and spillways to help with settling
Little worried about weight of rock on liner. Did use extra underlayment on bigger stone or sharp edge stones but not sure if shear weight will rip liner.
Also when setting stone. Some sections of liner would be pulled tight or create sags in liner. Tried to relive pressure by resetting stone but almost impossible to avoid.
 
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sissy

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are you sure that basin area is big enough and I don't ever remember seeing one with an external pump ,so that may be interesting to see .How much water are you planning on coming down this ..There may be a lot of splash out with to much water .Electric bill may really go up a lot also
 
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Meyer Jordan

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Although there will certainly be some settling of the rock, it should not affect the integrity of 45 mil EPDM membrane.
I would stay away from mortaring. With stone this size it will not prove to be strong enough to avoid cracks developing as the stone does settle not to mention that it is a real PITA to effectively apply once the stone has be placed. I would recommend the use of waterfall foam applied with a gun. You will then be able to reach deep in between any two rocks to apply the foam. Plan on using quite a bit of foam on this size project.
Your reservoir should be more than ample in capacity to service this size feature.
What is the height, width and overall run length of the water course?
 

sissy

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Question meyer even with 2 pumps running that size it is enough area for stored water with evaporation .I was thinking that amount of water splashing down would cause a lot of evaporation .The hoses by what I see have a long run also .Temperature outside and humidity levels may cause even more evaporation since he lives in San Diego
 

Meyer Jordan

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Question meyer even with 2 pumps running that size it is enough area for stored water with evaporation .I was thinking that amount of water splashing down would cause a lot of evaporation .The hoses by what I see have a long run also .Temperature outside and humidity levels may cause even more evaporation since he lives in San Diego
It should be, but this is why I asked about the height, width and run of the water course. From this, transit water can be estimated giving a better assessment.
Evaporation is a given regardless of location. A simple auto-fill solves that issue.
 

sissy

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First pic gave me the idea that it is around if not more than a 45 degree slope .I somewhat can tell because of my sloped front yard .Which in some spot is around a 33 degree slope .Not all of it just the side of the yard that at the time I built my pond I was considering a pondless waterfall with a pond at the bottom .But it was not feasible because of the septic tank vault and leach fields .So scrapped it
 
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If you have 20 large aquablox, (which is what they appear to be) you have over 600 gallons of water storage capability. Each large block holds 30 (or maybe it's 32) gallons.

I'm curious - what's the purpose of the second pump?
 
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are you sure that basin area is big enough and I don't ever remember seeing one with an external pump ,so that may be interesting to see .How much water are you planning on coming down this ..There may be a lot of splash out with to much water .Electric bill may really go up a lot also
Hi Sissy
Yes sump size is 900 gallons. My calculations is streams will hold 320 gallons total. It was recommended to have 3x the volume of stream bed. Made sense to me. Ill have sump ATO at 1/3. If falls are shut off 1/3 more will be added. That leaves me 1/3 left for over flow (when we get our 2 weeks of rain a year)
 
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Although there will certainly be some settling of the rock, it should not affect the integrity of 45 mil EPDM membrane.
I would stay away from mortaring. With stone this size it will not prove to be strong enough to avoid cracks developing as the stone does settle not to mention that it is a real PITA to effectively apply once the stone has be placed. I would recommend the use of waterfall foam applied with a gun. You will then be able to reach deep in between any two rocks to apply the foam. Plan on using quite a bit of foam on this size project.
Your reservoir should be more than ample in capacity to service this size feature.
What is the height, width and overall run length of the water course?
Hello Meyer
I was really wanting to mortar for stability. I’m not opposed to repairing occasional cracks. its More piece of mind and a way to fill some of the larger gaps. I do plan on foaming spillways and purchase 4 big cans (to start) and gun for application
The average width of spillways are 3’x2. The length is 30’x2 and it is 12’ high.
Slope is 2:1 (bank is actually 24’ long) I just figured 30’ cause it bends)
 
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Question meyer even with 2 pumps running that size it is enough area for stored water with evaporation .I was thinking that amount of water splashing down would cause a lot of evaporation .The hoses by what I see have a long run also .Temperature outside and humidity levels may cause even more evaporation since he lives in San Diego
Hi sissy
Fall will have a ATO. In the 6th picture. The 1/2” pvc line in front of sump is the water supply for the ATO
 

Meyer Jordan

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Have you considered filling the larger rock voids with pea gravel. It will actually lock large stones as well as, if not better than, mortar. Large stone should not be placed just resting on top of the soil. but up to 1/3 should be below the soil line. This is what imparts the required stability and it also re-creates the natural appearance.
But I doubt that you want to reset all of these large rock again. Oh well!
 
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If you have 20 large aquablox, (which is what they appear to be) you have over 600 gallons of water storage capability. Each large block holds 30 (or maybe it's 32) gallons.

I'm curious - what's the purpose of the second pump?
Hi Lisak
So I’m using 2 pumps for efficiency and show
The external pump will be 24/7 pump. It is variable speed. So I can run al low rpm’s for low flow at night. I can speed up during day or evening when Home. Pump has 8 programmable settings so I can program to run how I like and even have different settings for weekends. It’s a 3hp pump(oversized) so even at high flow rates pump is only at half power. Easier on wallet
The second pump is strictly for show. The external pump (main pump) is only capable of 10200 gallons
The second pump(submersible) is capable of adding 8000 gallons (with calculated head pressure adjustment) that would give me a total of 18k per hour just for fun
I have no desire to run like that for any length of time but I’m building a monster fall so I want to see what it can do
I’m also keep a 250 gallon saltwater reef tanks and you learn real fast that you should always have a back up for your pumps. May not be critical for a waterfall but if I kept koi..... I would have a spare in the garage.
 
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Have you considered filling the larger rock voids with pea gravel. It will actually lock large stones as well as, if not better than, mortar. Large stone should not be placed just resting on top of the soil. but up to 1/3 should be below the soil line. This is what imparts the required stability and it also re-creates the natural appearance.
But I doubt that you want to reset all of these large rock again. Oh well!
I kid you not. I actually did fill a lot of the gaps with pea gravel TODAY :). I purchased it to fill around my wiers and plumbing along with the valve boxes and decide to try that.
I actually did dig out for some of the large stones prior to setting and I build the edges of bank up so fall appears to be cut into bank. I dug until I hit clay. The exception is dead center where the larges rock is. Although everything is locked together tight, it does just sit on top of soil. My original plan was to have dirt ther for planting but is was suggested (by local pond builder) that it all be covered with liner so I wouldn’t have dirt washing down into fall. Made sense to me. So I really didn’t have a plan for this section and that’s how it end up with huge rocks to cover the area. The cool thing is I can now put water plants in that crack. I’m going to gravity feed water along the crack
 
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Can anyone recommend quality submersible lighting that can be spliced into my existing transformer?
 
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I guess I'm still confused why you felt the second pump was necessary? Why not one variable speed pump? It's really none of my business - just curious about the thought process.
 

sissy

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Plus the energy savings you would have with it Lisak .Every one like a lower electric bill .Even though my rates went up my bill went down after all the updates .
 
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I guess I'm still confused why you felt the second pump was necessary? Why not one variable speed pump? It's really none of my business - just curious about the thought process.
The variable speed will be run 100% of the time
The second pump is back up if variable speed pump goes down or needs service. I may also use occasionally if I wanted additional flow just for show.
 
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Liner is buried :). All the Little Rock’s up top are not staying. I just set them up there for easy access when I fine tune water flow.
Picking up beach rock tomorrow so I’m hoping i will have it up and running this weekend!
 
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