Stream design - controlling waterfalls and plumbing placement


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Hello, I am installing a 25' stream between by bog and pond. The drop is about 4' and I hope to incorporate 2 small water features. I had the bed dug with an excavator which left me with a half circle shaped bed. See attached. Couple of questions; I am considering using that huge boulder on the top left as a waterfall by running it across the stream and digging it into the side of the hill so it does not create a huge pool above it. Is this a bad idea? I am not sure if I am going to be able to keep the water running straight over it? Also, I was considering running the plumbing up the bed on top of the liner but am not sure I want to put it under that big of a rock. Any thoughts on this or general design suggestions like how big of a berm I need on the sides? This is my first stream (and bog and pond). I appreciate it!
 

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Hello, I am installing a 25' stream between by bog and pond. The drop is about 4' and I hope to incorporate 2 small water features. I had the bed dug with an excavator which left me with a half circle shaped bed. See attached. Couple of questions; I am considering using that huge boulder on the top left as a waterfall by running it across the stream and digging it into the side of the hill so it does not create a huge pool above it. Is this a bad idea? I am not sure if I am going to be able to keep the water running straight over it? Also, I was considering running the plumbing up the bed on top of the liner but am not sure I want to put it under that big of a rock. Any thoughts on this or general design suggestions like how big of a berm I need on the sides? This is my first stream (and bog and pond). I appreciate it!

This has so much potential to be an amazing pond build. I don't see an issue with what your talking about, but its going to take additional rocks flanking the boulder and waterfall foam to make it flow over how you want it. I would also consider the thought of bringing in dirt to make a another shelf inside the pond at the half way mark for stacking boulders/rocks. Right now your pond wall looks like it has a decent amount of height to it. It would be hard to fill that space without some really big boulders.
 

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This has so much potential to be an amazing pond build. I don't see an issue with what your talking about, but its going to take additional rocks flanking the boulder and waterfall foam to make it flow over how you want it. I would also consider the thought of bringing in dirt to make a another shelf inside the pond at the half way mark for stacking boulders/rocks. Right now your pond wall looks like it has a decent amount of height to it. It would be hard to fill that space without some really big boulders.

↑This↑​

 
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The most natural looking falls have what's referred to as character stones these are usually the biggest at each drop / falls it's far easier and eye appealing to have the big boulders off to each side and use smaller or equal stones in the center .. the smaller can make lots of white water as it bounces off one rock to another. Or making a vertical wall between the character boulders is easy to hide with the water fall but next to impossible to hide the small boulders on the side of a large boulder. Now there are clear exceptions to this rule like a boulder that has a high spot the will channel the water in one direction or another thus eliminating the need for a character or frame rock. as it is one. as far as making pools i highly recommend doing so a remove the energy of the water going down the hill. This drawing was more for a steep slope stretch out the pools and or have the stream come down into the pool then drop over a falls into another pool it doesn't have to be even a foot deep it just needs to slow the momentum of the water. i should also add the falls should be back from the characters boulders as they help control the splash from getting out of the containment area[ATT ACH=full]149884[/ATTACH]
 

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@Rabungalow Thanks for the encouragement! I am bringing in some huge boulders (3-4 ton) and plan to make a shelf in the pond before it gets deep. on the other side of the shallow end I also have a bunch of cinder block I was considering using to build a flat shelf on one side of the shallow end for plants. At first I was considering doing this under the liner but was worried about the sharp edges of the block. I think I am going to put it on the liner with some gaps for fish with some sort of top cap.
I also plan to put some big boulders in the deep end for visual appeal. So much to think about!
 
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@GBBUDD Your drawing above in a different post is what inspired the waterfall idea. I am glad you think it will work. I did not realize about slowing down the water - I will definitely work that in now. Say, I think I am going to need a ton of waterfall foam - is there a best place to find it? It is one of the only things I haven't started to search for yet. My liners arrive tomorrow.
 
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i have never found a deal on it but i have been doing a lot of business with underwater warehouse LIKE YOU SAID YOU ARE GOING TO NEED A LOT i wouldn't doubt if you went through 40 cans by the time your done. to bad your not down the street i have rubber up the ying yang that would work for bibs,. by the way i watched that video . i can see an advantage to liner over fabric and i see fabrics advantage over liner . fabric will hold gravel much better than liner but the guy used a whole can in the base . i'd think liner foam that up and even a quick coat of caulking will make it closer to waterproof then a layer of fabric

@mcgregorphoto at the bottom of each post is usually a link to that persons build i did a fairly extensive write up it will probably help you in ways you haven't thought about. though if your bringing in rocks that big equipment that big not intimidated by this challenge and know cinderblocks ARE to sharp but that's easily fixed i'm guessing your in or have been in the trades
 
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OPPS IF THE ABOVE IS A LITTLE CONFUSING NO I DIDNTB HAVE A DRINK OR TEN I GOT YOU CONFUSED WITH ANOTHER RECENT WATERFALL BUILDER AND USED THAT SAME DRAWING FOR THEM. BUT IT WORKS FOR YOU TOO.

DON;T KNOW HOW FAR YOUR WILLING TO TAKE THIS BUT IF IT WAS MY BUILD I'D USE THE NATURAL SLOPE TO MY ADVANTAGE IT LOOKS LIKE SOMEthing like this is pl
z Screenshot_20220421-192311_Gallery[14002].jpg
ausible. without a lot of extra work
 
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@GBBUDD Again, super helpful. Can you put a bog in the middle of a stream? I imagine I would need two sets of plumbing, one into the centipede and one that bypasses the bog and feeds the top of the stream? Would a simple Y by the pump do the trick? I worry that the different head heights and the different distribution pressures at the ends would make one of the lines underpowered?

Also, that foam is $30 a can and I might need 40. I totally missed this line item on my budget…

I am not in the trades but am building a huge edibles factory so have been hiring crews and learning things as I go. I am also a commercial director which basically means I hire people who are smarter than me for lots and lots of specific things. In this build that means a really good excavator, good supply house and a really generous group of forum members.
 
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Can you put a bog in the middle of a stream?
You can.

I imagine I would need two sets of plumbing, one into the centipede and one that bypasses the bog and feeds the top of the stream?
That is, essentially, how it's done.


Would a simple Y by the pump do the trick? I worry that the different head heights and the different distribution pressures at the ends would make one of the lines underpowered?
You're right about the issue w/ head pressure. You can overcome this by putting a ball valve on the line w/ less head. To be safe, just a put a valve on both lines.

Also, that foam is $30 a can and I might need 40. I totally missed this line item on my budget…
Depending on where it's to be used, you can also use the regular priced orange (big gaps) or yellow (door and window) foam. Just use the expensive black stuff where you'll actually see it or it will get a lot of sun exposure.
 
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@GBBUDD Again, super helpful. Can you put a bog in the middle of a stream? I imagine I would need two sets of plumbing, one into the centipede and one that bypasses the bog and feeds the top of the stream? Would a simple Y by the pump do the trick? I worry that the different head heights and the different distribution pressures at the ends would make one of the lines underpowered?

Also, that foam is $30 a can and I might need 40. I totally missed this line item on my budget…

I am not in the trades but am building a huge edibles factory so have been hiring crews and learning things as I go. I am also a commercial director which basically means I hire people who are smarter than me for lots and lots of specific things. In this build that means a really good excavator, good supply house and a really generous group of forum members.
You have the idea correct on the bog mid stream a y two bal valves or two pumps would be needed.

40 cans was someone else but I bet you burn up 10 or more depending on your skills

Gotcha send a basket to the group forum
 
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Just use the expensive black stuff where you'll actually see it or it will get a lot of sun exposure.
Even the black foam left to the sun gets bleached out and turns to a rust color that's where black caulking would be of help it will not fade
 
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Even the black foam left to the sun gets bleached out and turns to a rust color that's where black caulking would be of help it will not fade
Agree. I can already see I need to refoam my waterfall after foaming it a few months ago. Exposed foam is discolored and turning to dust where exposed. Going to use roofing caulk on the redo as much as possible. Seems a much better solution.
 
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@GBBUDD Slightly off topic but In your build post you mention "11: Is there a high-water table that will require under liner drains?"
In my old in-ground pool with deteriorating concrete foundation I do see some water come into the pond from the bottom when it rains heavily. Twice in two years it has taken a full day to drain 6" of rain water out naturally that is a mix of direct rain and water from the bottom of the pool. There is already a fairly good swale built around it so I don't get a ton of direct run-off into the pool. If I put a liner into it as-is am I going to run into problems? As it naturally drains now I was hoping it would just continue to do that in the future but is this something I should be addressing before I install the liner?
Also, where in CT are you? I might actually need some more liner for the stream. Your build looks amazing.
Thanks,
Mike
 
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If you had 6 inches of rain and it drained out in a day or even two then my opinion is little to worry about but if you had water problems before then when the right conditions come reacure then I would rather have the underliner drain already installed rather than need to install one when I was done.

The solution is actually quite simple . They have like four pipe put to gether making more of a mat that you place before you place fabric or liner if you are worried about it id make a bed of gravel so the water can travel.

Water will always take the path of least resistance so it will rise up the empty pipe before it tries to lift the rubber. We call that the hippo
 
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@combatwombat your plan is to use black roofing caulk to secure the stones and then the foam to fill in the big gaps? Sounds like a good idea.

Not to secure the stones. I would use landscape adhesive wherever that is necessary. The goal is just to use caulk wherever possible as it’s a much better product. But it can’t do large gaps, so maybe foam there and “paint” some caulk over it.
 
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I'm not sure construction adhesive is fish friendly have you found some that is ?
 
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In water fall building one you place your rock or rocks bring the liner forward an backfill comely closing up the bigger gaps once that's closed up a bit then you can foam the space and what I have done is paint/ parge over the foam with a coat of caulking it doesnt need to be thick its just filling in the bubbles in the foiam so its closer to water proof and it will give another bond to the rocks. If you have some big spaces thats where the bib liner or adding more rocks comes into play..
I should also mention concrete or mortar work as well expecialy if your on well water and ph is high
 
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