What does it take to make a beautiful cascading waterfall like this? Follow along as Keven Gravier builds the falls of his dreams....
Keven Gravier initially began his pond project in May of 2019 with the purchase of a seemingly "basic" Aquascape 11 X 16 pond kit. However, this purchase soon blossomed into a spectacular Water Feature that any seasoned water artesian would be proud to call their own.
First, he cleared a spot for installation of the pump. You can see this in the upper right of the first photo below. He then laid the design of his pond, shaping it with a hose and spray paint.
Next, he dry fit the skimmer, placing it at the furthest point away from the falls (see the photo below). This placement is important for proper filtration.
Then, he excavated and placed the pond underlayment, which is used to protect the pond liner from potential punctures from the rocks that he would eventually lay on top of the liner.
Kevin performed lots of trench work to accommodate the 60 feet of 3 inch flexible PVC that he used.
Once the trench digging was complete, Kevin then hired an electrician to run 220 volt wire and to install a 220 volt box with an off/on switch. He then hard-wired the box to an upgraded 2HP PerformancePro ArtesianPro High Head Pump.
Note: there are two feed lines into Kevin's pump. One of the lines sucks water from the skimmer and the other line sucks water from a 2" Rhino Retro Bottom Drain that Kevin added onto the pond kit.
The reason that Kevin chose the Rhino Retro Bottom Drain was because his upgraded pump required an additional inlet from which to draw water. Additionally, the bottom drain was easily hidden with the rock work. He placed the Rhino Retro Bottom Drain at the deepest point in the pond to ensure that the drain is constantly sucking up debris that is not picked up by the skimmer.
In the photo below, the red circle indicates the placement of the bottom drain over the top the liner. This photo also shows where Kevin added an additional 60 feet of liner for his falls. You can see that great care was given in placing and overlapping each piece of liner (by at least a foot between consecutive pieces), to prevent water from creeping backwards up the falls.
Kevin also made sure to place sufficient underlayment beneath the liner on the waterfall, to prevent puncture from the rocks, sticks and other pointy objects on the surrounding forest floor.
The 3 inch line that runs up the falls was connected to an Aquascape Signature Series 6000 BioFalls Filter with a 3" bulkhead. The Aquascape Signature Series 6000 BioFalls Filter acts as the main spillway for the estimated 9,000 GPH that is pumped through the falls. Since Kevin did not plan to add any fish to his falls, the BioFalls Filter provides sufficient filtration for his system.
Keven also opted to add four Aquascape 100 count BioBall packs for extra filtering capability.
Keven also built a stunning lookout with a slate patio at the top of his falls. He covered it with a wooden gazebo to serve as the perfect "top down" gazing location where he and his wife could enjoy the sights and sounds from above.
Next, it was rock work time, and Kevin's inner artesian was in full force!
Logs, rocks, plants, et all... Kevin made sure to choose a mixture of all of nature's elements to give these falls a stunning natural look.
I love how the falls travel underneath this log.
Seriously amazing artesianship...
Note how Kevin's falls widen the near the bottom. The water ultimately gets split and routed by some carefully placed larger boulders in the middle of the stream.
He also carefully placed over 15 underwater soft white LEDs through the falls; including the original 3 lights that came with the Aquascape 11 X 16 pond kit, Plus an Aquascape 6 pack contractor pack of 1 watt LED spotlights and an Aquascape 6 pack contractor pack of 1 watt LED waterfall uplights. If you look carefully in the photo above you can see 3 of them at the bottom.
Here are some pictures of the finished project.
Quick Top down shot...
a shot from the front....
Spectacular! Imagine waking up to this specular falls every morning! You can't get better than this!
I think what is equally as impressive is that during the build, Keven learned he was diagnosed with cancer. And he powered through the build completing all of this work by himself (with the exception of the electrical work). This project became a form of therapy for him and helped him through this very difficult time.
Thank you Keven for sharing your DIY Waterfall Build experience with us! It's an inspiration for all!