Ponds 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
Low 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 popularpondless waterfall design ideas in Southern California include:
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.