New owner of defunct Waterfall


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Hi folks!
I am the proud owner of a major project. The photo shows my waterfall/pond at a highpoint in their lives. Two owners later, and what I have looks more like a vertical series of rocks with a water-retaining mud hole at the bottom. The sides of the individual steps of the waterfall have failed and the water has undercut the rocks fairly dramatically in places. The edges where water once passed over are now higher then the sides of the individual steps. The pump is dead. The catch pond where the pump lives is sedimented nearly to the top.
On the good side, the ponds below the waterfall all hold water, there is alleged to be a drain at the base of the biggest one, and the submersible pump is able to be pulled out by lanyard. I fear I may need to start by digging a lot of earth out, installing some forms and pouring a lot of concrete, but the first order of business is removing broken mortar patches and debris, cleaning and assessing. I will likely be here a lot with questions and updates.
This will likely take a good long time.
 

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cas

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At least you have a picture of the beautiful stream, falls and pond before it became neglected. Gives you something to shoot for. You have some nice big rocks to work with. Can't wait to see your progress. Good luck!
 

sissy

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welcome so the pond is cement or is it a liner pond .Shame because the pic was impressive
 
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I missed the "pond at it's highpoint" part and thought "gee! That looks awfully nice!" It was beautiful and it will be again! One step at a time...
 
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I will get some pictures of the current condition in a few days. We are still moving in, with all that entails. I have no idea if there is a liner or not. The original owner had it built by 'professionals' for quite a bit of money, so I am hoping to discover good foundation work. At some point the waterfall clearly over-ran it's banks. My guess is that water got between the concrete and rock and froze, breaking the concrete away from the stone. Then the water did what water does. It is also possible that whatever prep you need to make to stick concrete to stone was done poorly or not at all.
No matter, what a man can do, another man can do. It will be awesome again. All it takes is time and money, right?
 

sissy

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If you find concrete under there it could always be broke up and a liner put there and then rock can be put back
 

addy1

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Welcome to our group!

Take great pictures of the current condition, there are a lot of experienced ponders here that may be able to give you some good suggestions to help you out.
 

tbendl

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Welcome! Ohh I just love new house projects. A lot of us have been there, that's actually how I got into ponding to begin with, inheriting a mess left behind. Honestly I think I've learned more and appreciate it more having rebuilt it myself versus inheriting a fully functional pond. Enjoy the creative process, it can be overwhelming and frustrating and back breaking but sitting at the edge of that pond when your done is so worth it, especially given what your can look like.
Anyway welcome!
 

morewater

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When you take your pictures (current), be sure to put someone in the picture so that we have some idea of scale.

It certainly was nice in its prime. Throw some dollars, sweat, blood and beer at it and it could look somewhat like that again.
 
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Hi folks,

Spring is happening and I am now starting to look at my pond project.
This is a before picture, so you know what I am aiming for.
The condition now is very poor. Pump not working, pools leaking and brokesn, pond and all pools full of mud and gunk. One picture is of a failed pool, another of what happened when a previous owner ran the pump with leaking pools and undercut the boulders and damaged the ground under the pool system. another is a picture of failed concrete sides...you can just pull it apart with your hands, and it's not sticking to the rock. I assume the first step is filling the voids under the ponds with a sand/dirt slurry and trying to fill them up again. I could pour concrete into them, but I have no way of knowing where it might exit.
before.jpg
now.jpg
IMG_0355.jpg
IMG_0356.jpg
IMG_0363.jpg
IMG_0357.jpg

before.jpg
 
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You have some glorious rock there to work with! One step at a time... you'll get there! What's the possibility of replacing the concrete with EPDM liner? It's so much easier to work with and will last 25 or more years without failing. You have the existing template - just a lot of elbow grease to get the concrete torn out (much easier if it's deteriorating like you say it is) and then re-line it. Maybe?
 

morewater

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Looks like you've certainly got your work cut out for you with this project as it would seem that there really isn't a stream course, per se, but rather that the water is channeled over the large stones by means of a concrete "berm" that's been constructed on top of the rocks.

I would start your project by first removing any and all plant material that's grown in the stream "course", then pressure wash the entire length of the stream. Take that pump out of the pool, take it apart and clean it up. Run a new line to the top of the watercourse, mark your pool water level. Plug each and every hole that you find with waterfall foam and give the foam about thirty minutes to set up (wear gloves). Repair the concrete "berm" using Top 'n Bond (concrete that will stick to concrete......wet the existing surface prior to putting the Top 'n Bond on top of it. Once it's cured, start up the pump. After an hour of continual use, check you pool water level and determine how much water you're losing (gallons per hour). Keep plugging away at it until you get to an "acceptable" water loss value.

Once you're satisfied with the fix, coat the concrete watercourse with Pond Shield or a similar product.

You didn't state where you live, so weather is definitely going to be a factor in the movement of this structure.
 
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Waterfall foam? Pond Shield? This is exactly why I came here. Thank you so much.
I have a lot to learn, and talking wth people that have done it before is sure a confidence builder.
Location is western Washington. Not a lot of sub-zero, but world-class rain.
 

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