How to Build an Overflow Fountain Water Feature

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Water fountains add a touch of tranquility and ambiance to outdoor spaces. However, when it comes to adding a fountain to your backyard, the choices are numerous. A fountain with overflowing water is one choice that makes for an interesting conversation piece. These fountains are usually made from a large pot or an urn. A basin with a water pump is then placed in the ground below the urn. The pump will push water through the urn, over the top and back down to the hidden basin.

Things You'll Need

  • Urn or large pot
  • Submersible water pump with plastic tube
  • Plastic basin
  • Concrete block
  • Shovel
  • Straightedge
  • Metal screening
  • Metal cutting shears
  • Drill
  • Garden rocks and stones
  • Dig a hole in the ground that will accommodate the plastic basin. The hole must be the same size as the basin. Place the basin in the hole and use a straightedge to make sure it is level in the ground. Put a concrete block inside the basin to keep it from shifting in the ground.

  • Take the urn or pot you have chosen for the fountain base and drill a hole in the bottom. Make the hole large enough so that the plastic tube from the water pump will fit. The plastic tube will be approximately 2 inches in diameter. Create the hole by using a drill with the appropriate drill bit.

  • Cut a hole in the center of the metal screening by using a pair of shears. The hole must be large enough for the plastic water tube and the power cord from the pump. Place the water pump in the basin. Then put metal screen over the top of the basin. Pull the power cord and water tube through the hole in the center of the metal screen.

  • Take the plastic tube and push it through the hole in the bottom of the fountain base. Then put the fountain on top of the metal screen. Fill the basin and fountain base to the top with water. Find a nearby Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlet for the power cord.

  • Pour garden rocks and stones over the exposed metal screening and around the base of the fountain. Make sure that the stones completely hide the screen. Plug in the water pump and watch the water flow down the side of the fountain and on to the rocks below. The underground basin will catch the water while the pump will keep it circulating.

Tips & Warnings

  • The power cord from the pump can be hidden by snaking it around rocks or plants. It can also be placed a few inches below the ground.
  • If the water is flowing from the fountain too fast or too slow, the speed on the pump can be readjusted until you get the flow you want.

References

  • "The Complete Guide to Water Gardens, Ponds and Fountains"; Kathleen Fisher, 2005
  • "Yard & Garden Owner's Manual," Better Homes and Gardens; 2005
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