How to Build a Cheap Waterfall

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Backyard pond and waterfall materials can be expensive. So many filters and forms offered at garden and home stores cost hundreds of dollars. You can build a cheap waterfall with materials that work just as well, but cost a lot less. The only thing you should not skimp on is the waterfall pump mechanism.

Things You'll Need

  • Pump
  • Hose
  • Hose clamp
  • Large storage tub
  • Piece of flexible pond liner
  • Rocks
  • Shovel

Dig a hole where you're locating the pond for your cheap waterfall. It should be the precise size to fit the storage tub you purchased for the project. Ideally, the tub should be black, dark green or blue or tan to make it look as natural as possible. These were available from discount stores for $20 or less as of February 2010.

Clean all the rocks and roots out of the hole. Place the storage tub into the hole so that 2 to 3 inches stick out over the top of the soil. Backfill all the spaces and gaps around the new pond container with soil or sand.

Pile the dirt you excavated from the hole where you want the waterfall structure. Create a channel in the dirt where the water can run down and lay the piece of pond liner over that. Secure it on the edges with rocks.

Place the submersible waterfall pump into the storage container you sunk in the ground. Attach a hose or tubing long enough to reach to the top of the waterfall. Lay this hose out along the side of the pond liner and rocks on the waterfall mound. Arrange the top of the hose so it points down the pond liner waterfall bed.

Pile large rocks or boulders at the sides and back of the waterfall mound. Use smaller rocks to fill in spaces and create a more natural look. Some stones can be placed on the pond liner to create a trickling affect. Ring the outside of the pond with stones or grow creeping plants there.

Fill the pond container with water from your garden hose and turn on the waterfall pump. As the water makes its way to the top of the waterfall, fill the pond to the top. Check for leaks or the water going the wrong way and fix it. Use black pond foam to fill in cracks between rocks or to secure them together if necessary.

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