Low Maintenance Pondlesss Water Features and Waterfalls for the Busy Los Angeles Homeowner

pondless water featuresPonds and waterfalls are a great addition to your Southern California property. The peaceful sounds of rushing water coupled with the beauty of natural plant life transport you right into nature without ever leaving your home.

However, not everyone wants a large pond or waterfall in their backyard. Maybe you’re afraid of how much maintenance it requires or you have small children and are worried about the safety risks. If you’re hesitant about installing traditional waterfalls or a pond in your backyard, pondless water features are a great alternative.

What are Pondless Water Features?

A pondless water feature is essentially a recirculating waterfall and/or stream without the presence of a pond. Pondless water features have an underground basin that catches the water and then it recirculates back to the top.

All of the beauty of a waterfall is there, only it doesn’t have the typical 12” – 18” deep pond. A pondless feature will only have water that is 2”-3” in depth, visible above the surface.

Pondless Water Feature Maintenance

pondless waterfall featureLow maintenance water features such as these are a great choice for busy Southern California homeowners who love the idea of a waterfall in their backyard but aren’t sure about installing a full pond or don’t have time for the maintenance of a fish pond. 

All bodies of water require some level of maintenance, but you’ll spend substantially less time on maintenance tasks for a pondless water feature. While a regular fish pond requires at least 10 minutes of maintenance per week, pondless water features require approximately one hour per year. This involves cleaning out the Biofalls once a year, and on occasion, removing leaves from the basin.

Types of Pondless Water Designs

There are many different types of water features, and they can be as simple or as grand as you’d like. This allows you to get creative and design a water feature that’s unique to your property.

A few popular pondless waterfall design ideas in Southern California include:

  • Natural waterfalls
  • Delicate stream beds
  • Cascading low-lying waterfalls
  • Streams under a bridge
  • Disappearing fountains, urns or columns
  • Streams that come right up to your patio

Building a Pondless Waterfall

Learn the benefits of a low maintenance water feature.Sometimes, pondless waterfall construction is taken on by homeowners as a do-it-yourself project. And while there are plenty of pondless waterfall kits available online, many things that can go wrong when building a pondless waterfall on your own. In many cases, it’s worthwhile to let a professional handle the design and construction for you.

Professional contractors have the experience necessary to design a pondless water feature that fits your style and property. They can make it look natural so it perfectly blends into the surroundings, and a professional knows how to choose the best rocks and properly set them. Plus, they’ll be able to guide you in the right direction when choosing plants to help complete the overall look.

Pondless waterfalls can take quite a bit of time to install if you’re doing it on your own, and it’s likely that you’ll need to enlist the help of a few friends and even a large piece of equipment, since some of the materials are heavy. In most cases, a professional can install a pondless water feature in one day and may only need to come back a second day to finish up some additional enhancements. Using a pro saves you a significant amount of time, allows you to enjoy your water feature sooner, and to have the peace of mind that the work carries some sort of guarantee.

If you’re thinking about adding a pondless waterfall to your Southern California property, the team at California Waterscapes can help. Whether you’re looking for a simple stream or a large, extravagant cascading waterfall, we’ll answer any questions that you have and work with you to design and install a low maintenance water feature that fits your style, property, and budget.

Want to Learn More About Pondless Water Features?

At California Waterscapes, we offer design and installation services for ponds, other water features, and pondless waterfalls. To learn more about how we can help you with your next pond project, check out our gallery and contact us today for a free quote.

How Much Does a Backyard Water Feature, Pondless Waterfall or a Fish Pond Cost?

There is nothing quite like the addition of a backyard water feature. From the sound of running water to the way it enhances your outdoor living space, a pond or waterfall brings a tremendous amount of value. Though a water feature might sound appealing, you may not have a lot of knowledge of how much it may cost.

There are many factors that influence the overall cost of your water feature project. Factors like the steepness of slopes and overall size are the biggest cost influences.

We’ve put together this article to illustrate a few price points of several projects we’ve completed in Southern California. However, every property presents unique challenges, and as your backyard water feature dream grows, so will the overall cost.

Whether you want to know pondless waterfall costs or the cost of a fish pond, we wanted to take some of the guesswork out of the equation and help give you some ideas to serve as a basis of your budget discussion with your pond designer.

When it comes to water features, there’s truly something for everyone. Here’s what you can expect as you start to consider your backyard pond project.

Low-Cost Backyard Water Features ($3,000 to $6,000)

Within this range is a basic pondless waterfall cost and even a small fish pond cost. Both of these can add a lot of value to your outdoor living space with their unique aesthetic appeal.

A pondless waterfall is basically just what it sounds like—a recirculating waterfall without a pond. It can provide a very unique look to any outdoor living area. A fish pond, on the other hand, is your own little backyard ecosystem. There is a lot of joy in watching fish and pond plants grow and change.

Since slope and size are the biggest factors that will influence cost, projects in this price range may be a small pond approximately 5’ x 10’, or a just a pondless waterfall of about 15’ in length. Another option, as shown below is a combination of the two with a smaller pond and simple stream feeding it.

backyard water feature

Simple Beauty: Even a small and simple pond will bring you a wealth of enjoyment.

Mid-Range Backyard Water Features ($6,000 to $10,000)

As the pond gets a little larger or you add a longer stream or higher waterfall feeding it, the cost of your water feature will increase. In this example, the trickling waterfall is almost 5 ft. tall, cascading over rocks as it empties in the fish pond below.

This fish pond and waterfall is also beautifully incorporated into the surrounding patio which extends over the edge for easy viewing of the fish. If you are adding a water feature such as this around an existing hardscaped surface, it can also add to the project cost since it will take more time to safely excavate soil and move materials for installation.

If by any chance you can include your water feature into the transformation of your entire backyard, this will help to reduce pondless waterfall and fish pond costs.

Pricing examples and costs of backyard waterfall, fish ponds, and pondless waterfalls.

Serene Scene: What better way to spend an evening than relaxing by your lighted pond.

High-End Modern Backyard Water Features ($10,000 to $20,000)

In this higher end price range, you can truly get a spectacular fish pond with a lot of bells and whistles. A 15’ x 10’ foot pond incorporates 2 longer streams feeding the pond, spilling over rocks to create the serene sound that we love in backyard water features.

modern backyard water features

Backyard Paradise: The lush green foliage coupled with multiple waterfalls gives this backyard a resort-like feel.

Dream Water Features (Over $20,000)

At the higher end of the cost of a backyard waterfall, are those amazing ideas that take your yard to the next level. A budget of over $20,000 will go toward transforming your entire space. Whether it be a stream and fish pond  that looks as though they have always been there, or a truly spectacular water feature that appears to be straight out of the pages of a magazine, within this budget you will be able to have the backyard water feature of your dreams.

In this example, a 20’ x 20’ pond is fed by a stream reaching another 20’ up a small slope. The pond is lined with large boulders to give it a natural look, and the large stones continue throughout the landscape around the home. This kind of detail helps ponds to blend into a property creating the illusion as they’ve always been there.
dream water features

Seamless Blend: It takes a truly artistic touch to design a water feature with boulder placement that appear as though they’ve always been there.

Getting Backyard Water Features Costs & Details for your Southern California Property

If you’re ready to get started with your water feature project, it’s important that you find a company that has the experience and the long-held expertise to install it. The proper installation from a skilled professional is actually even more important than the cost of a fish pond or backyard waterfall. Invest in someone who knows what they’re doing.

Finding the right professional will ensure that you don’t have headaches down the road. When installed correctly you can have the peace of mind that it will not only look beautiful but will function as it’s supposed to.

backyard waterfall

At California Waterscapes, we have completed many water feature installations, and that has also given us an artistic eye for unique designs. After making an investment in a pond, you want it to blend seamlessly with the rest of your landscape—not look like it was just plunked there with no attention given to detail. As pond professionals, we know how to complement the existing landscape, incorporate the right plant material, and utilize boulder placement to make your pond look as though it’s always been a part of your landscape.

Whether you want to know the cost of a backyard waterfall or what water feature is right for you, let us help you out. Having done so many ponds and water features over the years at various price points, California Waterscapes can work with your budget to find the options that work best for you. For more possibilities, check out our idea gallery. Or if you already have some ideas flowing, give us a call at 818-244-4000 or contact us today for a free quote.

 

The Making of the School Pride Ponds

This video shows the making of the School Pride ponds at the Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies (LACES) High School in Culver City.

This is a full video of the work California Waterscapes and its sister company Pacific Pavingstone did to completely upgrade the Quad area. This was done in conjunction with the new School Pride show. This involved two ponds, a pondless creek bed, a paver bridge over the main pond and a long and winding pavingstone path including two paver circles and walls for students to talk and relax between classes.

You will see the building of all the ponds and the pondless stream in addition to all the paving stone paths and artificial turf.

 


Water Gardening – The Tranquil World

Water Gardening

Natural Waterfall and Pond

The water gardening lifestyle is becoming more and more a way of life in Southern California.

More and more home owners are stepping out of their work-a-day world of deadlines, cell phones, traffic jams, anti social co-workers and entering the tranquil sanctuary of their own water garden.

How many people do you know who escape from our technical concrete jungle and go to a lush green golf course, escape for a hike in the mountains, venture into a forest or lay at the beach soaking in the sounds of cascading waves?

40 to 60 hours a week most of us are surrounded by computers, pagers, mass media, Xerox machines and all the other things that come in this vast sea of circuits and technology that is anything but natural.

C-3PO from Star Wars may feel at home in this environment, but for most of us humanoids, this daily interaction leaves us with a longing to escape to Mother Nature.

And that is the pleasure of water gardening!  The Zen atmosphere and tranquility of Mother Nature right in your backward.  No need to jump on a plane or to drive hours out of the city to feel close to nature.

Imagine sipping tea with your spouse, listening to soothing sounds of water spilling over the rocks and into your pond.  Colorful Koi swim about a lily filled pond.  You take a deep breath and inhale the aroma of the surrounding plants and flowers.  A blue jay lands, skips over to the water and bathes in the stream. All this while having a quality conversation with your spouse that you can’t have in front of the television.

Water gardening provides a hobby for the whole family to enjoy. It’s very common to hear a home owner describe how their water feature has increased communication between them and their spouse, how it’s lured the children away from the mesmerizing effect  of video games and TV with pond critters that are far more interesting.

Water features also make an excellent place to entertain friends and family. Chat with neighbors over coffee or just to spend some quality alone time with oneself.

Natural and magical ponds

The new eco-friendly water features support all kinds of beautiful creatures to enhance that close-to-nature feeling.  Fish, frogs, Koi, dragonflies and turtles are a few of the beautiful critters that you can purchase and or naturally attracted to your pond.  Birds of all kinds visit often to drink and bath in the clear water. There are a variety of lilies, flowers, aquatic plants, and grasses that enhance the beauty and fragrance of your water garden.

This a great time to add a natural pond and waterfall to your backyard.  Call today or fill out a Free Estimate form on this page to receive your Free Design Consultation with one of our expert water gardening professionals.

Determining my Waterfall Pool Size

If the water is going into a pond, the size of the pond in square feet of surface area needs to be 1 1/2 times the square footage of your waterfall and stream. For example, if your waterfall and stream is 20 feet long and 3 feet wide, then the pond should be 90 sq. feet.

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Choosing The Best Pond Location

Natural Backyard Pond

Pond location and pond size are the two most important and, unfortunately, misunderstood aspects of pond design. So many people think the far corner of their property is the best location. People also believe low points in their yard that gather run-off when it rains are naturally suited to building a pond.

These are two of the worst locations to build a pond, yet people automatically assume they are the best.

 

 

 

The water feature needs to be brought up close and personal to the home. Low spots should be avoided because run-off water can pollute a pond and construction is often complicated because wet muddy soil is hard to work in. Excessive ground water levels can shift stone and cause bubbles in the liner.

Positioning a pond.

Place your water feature where people can enjoy it. Even outdoor-loving people spend 90% of their time inside the house. You should try to face the waterfalls toward the house. That way the waterfall is not only visible from the living area, but the sound it creates will echo through the home. When a pond can be seen and heard from the home, its enjoyment is increased dramatically.

Another location you might not have considered is a front yard water feature. Adding a water feature to your front yard adds true curb appeal.

One of our expert design consultants will help you find the perfect location for your pond. Contact us today for your Design Consultation.

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