Talk me into, or out of meandering stream


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Hey guys, so I have been lurking around here for a while. I'm currently building a retaining wall and have been doing lots of work around my property for the last 2 months. The excavator and Bobcat work is done though.

Which brings me to an area I regraded and I'm building a retaining wall at and plan to, since the beginning, build a pondless waterfall feature.

But I could extend some Plumbing back farther and instead of having a waterfall that just starts at the top of a hill, have a stream starts about 75 feet from the top of the hill to that area and becomes a big waterfall.

For anyone with something similar to a stream like that, how much maintenance is it? Though I know it's a bit more work for me to do, I'm not trying to create something that's going to be a whole bunch of maintenance to keep it looking nice.

I had a koi pond somewhere in the realm of 12 foot by 8 foot by 4 foot deep at its deepest. All the stone, liner, Etc from that are being repurposed into the waterfall because I don't want Pond maintenance anymore, too many leaves around here.

I'll get some pictures posted up later today, and some video of the area too. I've got to get out the door and off to work, I didn't realize I can't upload pictures from my phone directly to the Forum and I'm out of time.

Oh my weather region is St Louis, my soil type is Southern Illinois clay
 
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Welcome @Lawdawg79 ! Your plan sounds awesome! Will it be work? Yes. Those same leaves that concern you about having a pond will end up in your stream. Will it be worth it? YES! Your feature will look so much more natural with a stream leading to a waterfall vs a waterfall that springs out of nowhere.

@RobAmy has a stream leading to his pond - maybe he will pop in here and share some tips!
 
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My stream is not nearly as big, but the volume of mine keeps it very clean but however the debris does go into the pond or the skimmer. BTW you can upload directly from your phone also. You really cant avoid debris, I find the maintenance is not that bad at all.
 

addy1

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Welcome! sounds like a neat idea

My stream is around 85 feet, it switchbacks down the hill. At the top is a deck pond that waterfalls into the stream, the stream then waterfalls into the big pond. I built little ponds at each bend in the stream with small water falls.
 
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Ok sorry i havent been back, truck problems, pregnant wife, and life..

This project started out as a retaining wall saving project and I knew I was going to do some kind of a waterfall feature but I never considered this Meandering stream idea.

It's really been a design it as I go along type of project because I didn't know exactly where grades were going to end up or how much block I was going to have. I've gotten a lot of my retaining wall block and the cinder blocks for free. There was an old closed-down car wash nearby that some friends bought to tear down and they let me take all the landscape materials from it.

I also had a pond I disassembled that I saved all the Stone from which is quite a bit of Flagstone mostly.

So that's the cliffs notes version of the project.

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If I decide to do this Meandering stream this is where I would like to start it right up against the concrete slab pretty much where the golden retriever Sammy is. It would flow from there to the left, (and yes go underneath that sidewalk) between the top of the stairs and where it curves towards the patio slab. Don't worry it's already opened up from one side to the other underneath that section of sidewalk, it's poured thick, and it's a monolithic from the bottom of the stairs to the slab, it won't crack. In fact due to the way that was previously graded it's probably been washed out under there for 15 years so why not utilize it. But I'm not sure how I'm going to outlet 10000 GPH there and not have a freaking geyser. Can I split a 2" into four 2" outlets to spread it out easier??

From there it's going to flow down hill towards the end of the retaining wall.
20180608_200413.jpg 20180604_195244.jpg 20180605_175220.jpg

Where it will Cascade down this area which I plan to just basically build waterfall feature over the top of this retaining wall. The area in front of it will be the reservoir.

20180603_120952.jpg 20180527_202436.jpg 20180526_093022.jpg

.....and from here on are just some pics of the area, I started on this thing middle of March and have done the majority of the work by hand. Except for the trenching in the grading. I had one weekend with an excavator and another weekend with a skidsteer.



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20180608_202615.jpg 20180608_202521.jpg 20180608_202259.jpg
 
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Wow Wow Wow! This is gonna be one cool project!

I'll answer your one question - yes, you can split your pump feed to tame it. You could build it so the water appears to be coming from multiple sources, which would be neat!

But there's some math involved here and I don't do numbers, so I'll just lay out the word problem and someone else can solve it! Two things to consider - how big to make the reservoir, and how powerful the pump needs to be. You mentioned 10,000 GPH, so maybe you've already figured all this out. But GPH is affected by pump head as well - how high and how far you need to pump the water - so in your case, that's high AND far which will already reduce the flow. And your reservoir needs to be big enough to hold all the water that's in the stream should the pump go off and everything runs down hill.

If you've already thought of all of this, ignore me and carry on!
 
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So the wife is pregnant, and then my truck broke down 3 times in 3 weeks with 3 different problems, Alternator, then cam position sensor, then fuel pump....the pump happend 200 feet from my house on monday morning as i left for work, at least I didnt need a tow i guess....sooo work has slowed down, and having a bad back doesn't help.

I can tell you that Meandering stream won't be happening this year, but will get some of the Plumbing ran so it won't be too hard to switch that in the future if we want to.

I might be able to pull the water fall off this year which would just be the end of the Meandering stream.

But at this point I just want to get this stinking retaining wall done, it's a bit of a mix of block, everything the left I got for free everything that matches to the right I had to pay for. But all the stuff to the left will eventually be covered up with natural stone cuz that's where the waterfall is going to be coming down
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addy1

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Yep make it enjoyable work not a chore. Well it is a chore but it can be enjoyable as you see it come together.
 
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Use this time wisely keep your eyes open for rock opportunities, a tree stump some drift wood keep your eyes pealed and you never know what you can find one trash is another mans gold is. but seeing as your retaining wall is three different blocks i'm betting your way ahead of me
 
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Haha, ya man, i throw nickels around like they are manhole covers lol. But i will spend it to do things right.

Im surrounded by woods, have a job with a near infinite supply of wood pallets,( i pick the good ones out and let the gyspies take the janky ones) there is a creek a short 4 wheeler ride from my house but i dont own it. Owner said he didnt mind if i pulled a few large rocks or some gravel. But thats alot of extra work for minimal savings

I shoveled a ton of 3/4 clean behind the wall today, might do another load this evening but its too hot now. Heat index of 110 today, but thats better than the 138 yesterday... this humidity just will not relent this summer
 
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Any pump GPH recommendations?

You can see ive run 2" PVC from where Reservoir will eventually be. That's two 10-foot sections, and if I measured from where the pump will be to the outlet it's right around 7' of vertical height.

I was thinking i might like the lowest level of the waterfall to span from the brick retaining wall to the end of the large block wall. And the reservoir will be the same width down below.

So 10,000 GPH seemed like a safe bet, but i dont want it to be rediculous if thats too much?

I even thought about two pumps, two 5000 GPH and i could run one or both to vary the flow.

Can these pumps be powered through a dimmer or rheostat? Or are pond pumps the kind that either run poor they won't, depending on the amount of current.
 

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