View Full Version : waterfall pondless

04-29-2006, 11:48 AM
need help to build it

04-30-2006, 01:48 AM
Here is some information from this site (http://www.exoticwaterscapes.com/pondless-waterfall.php).

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Step 1 Location, Location, Location! First and foremost, locate and mark
out your Pondless Waterfall Basin Area before you do anything.

By using a garden hose you can easily create the desired shape for
your basin.

It is important that you make sure your Pondless basin design does
not exceed the amount of liner that you have in your Pondless
Waterfall Kit.

Be sure to position the Biofalls waterfall unit so that it faces
your house, bedroom, gazebo, barbeque or whatever destination spot
that is most important to you for maximum viewing pleasure.

Once you have made a decision on the shape for your basin, use a
can of orange upside down construction spray paint and outline the
shape (around the hose) on the grass or dirt.


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<p align="justify">Step 2
Place Biofall Waterfall Unit into Perfect

The position the Filter can seriously make or break you feature, so be
sure it's facing your main viewing area.

If possible, we recommend placing the BIOFALLS six or eight feet from
the basin, to create a short stream to meander between your waterfall and
your Pondless basin.



Step 3

Lay Out Your Plumbing Before Digging

Save time and money by eliminating the need to dig a trench! Simply lay
out the PVC flex pipe along your stream ant the edge of your basin, before

Should you decide to trench for the plumbing, dig the trench deep enough
to cover the pipe with a few inches of soil, to benefit your plantings.

In a perfect world the PVC flex pipe should be on a slight decline from
the BIOFALLS to the Snorkel for ease of annual cleaning.



Step 4

Plumb and Level the BIOFALLS Filter
Installing the Bulkhead:

First off, before leveling the Biofalls unit, install the two bulkheads
into the back of the BIOFALLS filter. The unit is predrilled with two
openings on the back allowing you several plumbing options

1. For single pump installation, glue your PVC flex pipe to one of the
bulkhead fittings, and simply cap the other bulkhead (fitting included in
the Pondless Waterfall kit).

2. For two pump installation, attach both PVC flex pipes, one to each

Drain Kit option- A drain kit can be attached to the second bulkhead
fitting on single pump installation applications. The drain kit allows you
the ability to perform water changes more easily and makes your annual
cleaning of the filter much easier.



Install the bulkhead fittings in the predrilled holes provided in the
back of the BIOFALLS. The rubber washer should be located on the inside of
the BIOFALLS and the plastic washer on the outside. First, hand tighten
the nut on the outside and then finish with a large pair of channel lock
pliers until the rubber washer begins to bulge. This should only be
approximately one full turn past hand tight. Beware of over tightening the
nut, which could possibly crack the bulkhead. Note that the bulkhead
fitting is reverse threaded. So, righty tighty, lefty loosey doesn't apply
here. In other words, turn the nut counterclockwise to tighten it.

You can install the PVC MPT (Male Pipe Thread) to slip fitting into the
desired bulkhead to receive the pump plumbing. The PVC plug fitting is
provided and can be installed in the second bulkhead fitting if it is not
going to be utilized. We recommend using some of the silicone sealant
included in your Pondless Waterfall Kit or Teflon tape (not included) to
coat the threads of the fittings, in order to provide a watertight seal.


Once this is complete, it's time to position the BIOFALLS in the desired

We recommend setting The BIOFALLS at or slightly below the grade of the
yard. Remove a section of sod if needed or just a few inches of soil in
order to create a firm foundation for the BIOFALLS to live.

DESIGNER TIP- Don't build a volcano waterfall, keep the waterfall to the
scale of the yard. Your goal should be to create the illusion that Mother
Nature herself has installed the waterfall. Avoid creating a "volcanic


by trying to raise the BIOFALLS up four or five high in a perfectly
flat backyard.

The area beneath the BIOFALLS box must be compacted thoroughly by using
a hand tamper. This will help prevent the filter box from possibly
settling in the future.



Use a two-foot bubble level in order to make sure your BIOFALLS is
properly set into position. It is important that your BIOFALLS be level
from side to side and tilted forward at of a bubble on a 2' level. This
will ensure the water comes over the front of the BIOFALLS and covers the
entire spillway.

Glue the Flexible PVC Pipe:

Now the filter is ready for the flexible PVC to be primered and glued
into place using the PVC cement you will find in you Pondless Kit,
specified for use with flexible piping.

Prime both the inside of the PVC fitting and the outside of the pipe
where the flexible PVC cement will be applied.


After priming is complete, apply the specific PVC cement to the fitting
and the PVC pipe and fit the two pieces together, turning slightly as you
push them together.

It is recommended that you hold the pipe into the fitting for at least
60 seconds to allow the glue to slightly set.

Wait approximately 10-15 minutes to let the glue completely set before
you begin to backfill the filter with soil and bury the connection.

Before backfilling around the filter, you should install the support
racks. Otherwise, you may not be able to get it in place before you get
out of control with the tamper and tweak the Biofalls.

It is also recommend that someone stand inside the filter box to keep it
level and in place and while it's being backfilled and tamped.

The excavated soil from the Pondless basin can be backfilled around the
sides and back of the BIOFALLS filter. Tamp the soil during backfilling in
order to reduce settling. Any additional soil can be spread around the far
side of the pondless feature in order to create a planting bed for
perennials and annuals.

Take the extra time to double check and make sure the BIOFALLS is still
level after installing the plumbing.

Step 5 Begin Excavating Your Pondless Basin
(Design Shape and Depth)

This is one of the more labor-intense tasks, so pace yourself and get
some friends and family to help you.

We don't suggest excavating the basin more than 24


deep. At this depth
it will provide the proper water volume in the basin to operate your
waterfall and a short meandering stream

All of the soil removed from the excavation should be spread and
compacted around the BIOFALLS filter. The filter box should be completely
surrounded by soil by the end of the excavation.


While excavating, it is important to make sure that all of the edges
around the basin are level. This will help you to avoid any unexpected low
edges. There are several different tools methods that you can use to
level, depending on the resources that are available to you. The most
accurate method is a transit, either sight or laser. Take several readings
around the perimeter of your basin. Transits can be rented or bought,
however, may not be the most practical option for a one-time installation.
The two other commonly used options that utilize household items and may
be more convenient. One, you can take a standard straight 2"x4 board and
lay it across the basin with the two foot level you used to set your
Biofalls on the center. The level will prove if the two sides are even,
and all the edges can be measured in the same way, by altering the angle
of the board across the pondless basin. The second household method that
can be used is a line level. A line level is basically a small bubble
level that can be attached to the end of a string. The other end of the
string should then attached to a stake that is placed at any point around
the perimeter of your basin. The level can then be walked around the edges
of the basin and readings are taken at several different locations to
ensure the sides are even. Remember, that your basin does not have to be
perfectly level, but general readings should be taken to avoid any major


Step 6 Install the Underlayment and EPDM Liner

Once your excavation is complete remove any sharp objects from the hole
that could possibly damage the liner.

Then unfold the Geo-textile Underlayment fabric and place it into your
excavated Pondless Waterfall basin. Start at the bottom of the basin and
remove the slack from the Underlayment; making sure it conforms to your


Now it is time to install the EPDM liner on top of the Underlayment.

This installation process is the same as the Underlayment, remember to
start at the bottom and contour the liner up and out of the Pondless
Waterfall basin.

Try to remove the large fold, but the main goal is to make sure that
it's lying flat and going into all corners. It is not necessary to get it
perfect - you will be hiding the liner with rocks and gravel soon.

Be sure the liner is high enough around the edges of the basin. This
won't be a problem provided you measured out the Pondless Basin and
excavated it correctly. Problem edges can be fixed easily by readjusting
the liner into the excavation, and backfilling (making the basin smaller)
in areas where there is not enough liner, or by simply buying a larger

Step 7

Setting the Micro Snorkel and Micro Centipede

Once the underlayment and liner is in place Position the Micro Snorkel
and Micro Centipede into the proper spot at the bottom of the basin, of
course on top of the liner.





Step 8 Install Rock and Gravel
Rocking in the Pondless Waterfall

We use 2 to 3 size of ugly gravel to fill the Pondless basin up to
within a few inches from the top. A finishing layer of decorative gravel
should be added to the top few inches.

Now set larger boulders (6"-18") around the perimeter of the basin to
support the edges of the basin. The PVC flexible plumbing from the
filter should be brought over a slightly lowered edge of the
liner and to the location of the Pondless Snorkel Vault. Accent boulders
and gravel will be used to hide the plumbing.


Step 9 Rinsing the Rocks and Gravel

With a garden hose, rinse the rocks and gravel

Place an Aquascape Designs clean-out pump or the pump purchased with the
pondless kit in the bottom of the Snorkel. Use discharge hose or an extra
section of PVC Flex pipe to pump the muddy water out of the basin. This
step helps the pondless feature clear up faster.

Step 10 Hook up the Pump and Plumbing

The flexible PVC pipe from the Filter can be cut to the proper length
and inserted through the precut slot on the side of the Pondless Snorkel
Vault. Be sure to prime and glue the end of the PVC flex pipe and fitting
on the end of the check valve assembly. While gluing, remember to hold the
pipe into the fitting for at least 60 seconds to allow the glue to set up.
The cord from your Aquascape pump can be buried just beneath the stone and
gravel and run over to the electrical outlet.


Step 11 Fill Pond/Basin with Water

Begin to fill up the Pondless basin with water. It is typically filled
up to just below the decorative gravel.

Step 12 Build the Waterfall and Meandering Stream

You will need to do a little preparation work before building your dream
waterfall. It is recommended that you read the section about Stream
Construction that is if you plan on creating a stream. *

You can also refer to the book Ecosystem Pond for more information on
Stream and Waterfall construction.


You have two options when attaching the lip for the Filter:

1. The reversible waterfall snout can be attached facing outward. This
method is recommended for first time installers providing a solid ledge
cantilevering off the front of the Filter to build the waterfall's

2. The reversible waterfall snout can also be attached facing inward. This
method allows more creativity when constructing the waterfalls allowing
the designer a flat unobstructed BIOFALLS filter face for placing large
boulders on the left and right side of the unit.

Installing the Filter Waterfall Snout


Prior to installing the waterfall snout make sure the face of the
BIOFALLS and liner is clean, and free of dust and debris. Use a damp towel
to clean both surfaces.


Hold the liner up against the face of the filter, covering the
U-shape spillway opening. Be sure to leave slack at the base of the filter
to avoid stretching the liner when rocks are stacked to build the

NOTE: Ignore this step if you are installing the waterfall snout outward
and proceed to the next step.

For inward installation you will need to cut two vertical slits into the
liner along the left and right side of the opening. The flap of liner can
simply fall into the inside of the BIOFALLS filter when attaching the
waterfall snout.

Temporarily install the waterfall snout and liner to the BIOFALLS filter
loosely with the two top corner screws and one center screw below the
waterfall snout. Using an awl or nail, poke the first hole through the
waterfall snout and liner penetrating into the corresponding threaded
insert on the BIOFALLS filter. Remove the awl or nail while holding the
waterfall snout and liner in place, and begin threading one of the screws
into the filter. Repeat this process for the screw on the opposite side.
When installing the waterfall snout inward we recommend installing a third
temporary screw at the center most screw hole along the bottom.


Now remove the waterfall snout trying to keep the screws still
penetrating through the liner. These screws will serve as your guide when
reinstalling the waterfall snout.

Apply a thick bead of fish-safe silicone sealant around the BIOFALLS
opening. The bead should follow the path of the threaded inserts (connect
the dots).


Reattach the BIOFALLS waterfall snout using the pre-installed screws as
your guide. We recommend threading the lower center one first when
installing the waterfall snout in the inward direction.

With all temporary screws secured back into position, you may now
install. Punch the remaining screw holes with the awl or nail and thread
in the remaining screws.



Outward waterfall snout position will require the liner to be trimmed
back at this point.

Let dry for at least 1 hour before introducing water.

Filter Media

Filter media is not included with the Pondless Waterfall unit. The
aggregate in the basin provides a much larger surface area for bacteria to
grow than the filter media do.

Rock Tray

The BIOFALLS filter comes with an upper support rack that also serves as
an easy way to help disguise the filter into the landscape using small
boulders, aquatic plant, and gravel. Arrange the stones, gravel and plants
in the rack in such a way as to hide the back and top of the filter.

The rack sits in the upper portion of the BIOFALLS.

Creating the Waterfall

Place two larger boulders on either side of the waterfalls you are
creating in order to "frame the waterfalls. The water will be running
between the two larger boulders you've set in place.


You can now begin to stack the rocks between the two larger boulders.
These are the rocks that the water will be running over, so take your time
and be creative. Start with the larger rocks on the bottom and work your
way up to the smaller ones on top.

Small stones and gravel can be used to fill in the gaps between the
larger waterfall's stones. [/list]



The BIOFALLS is designed with a plastic lip for the water to cascade
off. You can use the BIOFALLS plastic waterfall stone or even piece(s) of
thin (no more than thick) natural slate. This stone can be attached to
the BIOFALLS using black waterfall foam. The black waterfall foam will
come in handy when filling other gaps between the stones that water is
flowing over. The foam keeps the water flowing over the top of the
waterfall stones. Without the black waterfall foam, you may lose some of
the impact of your waterfall as water travels beneath the rocks.


Place smaller rocks on the rock ledge inside the MicroFalls to help hide
it in the landscape. The rock tray inside the BIOFALLS filter will help
disguise the rest of the unit into the landscape.

Waterfall Lights

After the boulders are in position, set your waterfall accent lights.
The Lights can be placed beneath the waterfalls shining upwards. See
lighting system instructions for placement, positioning and installation
of waterfall lights.


Building the Stream

Placing the BIOFALLS filter away from the edge of the pond is always a
good idea. This allows the creation of a meandering stream to add a touch
of nature to your water garden.

We typically place the BIOFALLS filter 6-10 feet from the edge of the
pond. Twisting and turning the stream makes it look more natural, and will
require a minimum of 10'x15' piece of liner.

Excavation of the Stream

Lay out the stream from the BIOFALLS filter to the pond. The typical
width of a stream should be between 2-4 feet wide (NOTE: the wider the
stream, the less movement of water you will have). Vary the width of the
stream throughout to mimic what would occur in nature.


Excavate the stream to a depth of 6 inches to 1 foot. Vary the depth in
the corners and in smaller pools along the run of the stream to allow
water to pool in those areas.

If your stream is being built on a slope, you will need to create a few
waterfalls in it. To hold the water back when the pump is shut off, you
need to build a check dam at each waterfall.

To make the stream look much more natural, you should place some larger
boulders into it. To make this work properly, excavate the area where the
rock will be placed a few inches deeper. This will allow the rock to sit
into the bottom of the stream, not just on the streambed.

Once you have the stream excavated, you can place the liner into it.

Installation of Liner and Rocks

Connect the liner to the BIOFALLS filter as described above.

Where the liner overlaps the pond, you will not need to seam the liners
together as long as you have a 6 inch waterfall or higher. Simply overlap
the stream liner over the top of the pond liner.

Place rocks of varying sizes around the perimeter of the stream. During
excavation of the stream, you dug a few areas where larger rocks will go.
Put some of the Black Waterfall Foam into these divots and place the rocks
on top. The foam will allow the water to b diverted around and over the
rocks instead of underneath them.

Step 13 Bring in the Topsoil

Add topsoil to the berm and surrounding area in order to provide a good
substrate for future landscape plantings.

The entire area may be mulched and any plant material installed if

Step 14 Build the Retaining Wall

Finish off the berm where the BIOFALLS is buried by building a small
retaining wall out of boulders. This step may or may not be needed,
depending on the size of the berm and the transition into the existing



Step 15 Plug in and Tweak the Waterfalls


As soon as the Pondless water feature is filled and all of the black
waterfalls foam is dry (if used on project), you may plug the pump in and
test the waterfall.

You can "tweak the waterfall by placing smaller stones and gravel on
the waterfall cascades. This will change the appearance and sound of the
water. Have fun playing with the water coming over the falls until you
achieve the desired effect.



Step 16

Trim the Liner

With everything running, go around the perimeter of the pond with a pair
of scissors and trim off any excess liner, always leaving several inches
above the water level as a precaution. The remaining liner edges can be
covered with gravel.

Note: Do not trim the liner until the waterfall is running and the pond is
filled to the desired level. Prematurely trimming the liner may cause

Step 17 Mulch the Berm

The entire area surrounding the pond can now be mulched and any
surrounding plants added.

Step 18 Clean Up

You're at the final stages of the project! All that is needed now is to
clean up the mess you've made around the yard

Step 19

Owner's Manual and Beneficial Bacteria<ul>

Refer to the following pages in the instruction booklet for care and
maintenance of your new water feature.

The Signature Series Pondless Waterfall kits include water treatments
designed to reduce maintenance and keep the water crystal clear. Contact
your installer or supplier for more information on the complete water
treatment line available from Aquascape Designs.

Step 20 Enjoy!

No further explanation needed for this step![/list]