Waterfalls and Ponds: Frequently Asked Questions

What does it cost to install a pond with a small waterfall?

Every installation is different depending on ground conditions, access to bring in boulders and equipment, the size of boulders requested, availability of electrical and water, and options like underwater lighting, plantings, etc., all determine the cost. A visit to your site is the only way to provide you with an accurate estimate.

How deep should the pond be to house pet fish?

For a water garden pond with goldfish, 2 feet of water depth is adequate for a stable environment. For a Koi Fishpond with larger sized Koi, 3 – 4 feet of water depth will provide less water temperature fluctuation, a more stable ecosystem, and better protection for the fish from predators.

How much does the electricity bill run for a waterfall?

We use pumps that are extremely high efficiency that can power a 2 foot wide waterfall 3 to 4 feet high with a solid sheet of water flowing over the spillway, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for only about $30.00 per month in electric costs. For smaller waterfalls we have pumps that use even less!

What if I want to see and hear a waterfall, but don’t have any interest in ponds, fish & lily pads?

We can build what is called a “pondless waterfall” where the water coming over the waterfall, or series of waterfalls, disappears into a small bed of rock instead of a pond. This makes for an extremely low maintenance water feature that doesn’t have to run 24 hours a day. If set to run on a timer for 3 hours a day, the electrical cost would be only 13 cents a day, or about $40.00 a month.

What is a Water Garden?

water garden is simply a pond or pool of water that houses aquatic plants, and possibly some ornamental fish. It can have a more formal look with courtyard stone or have a more natural look with boulders and natural stone with a rock bottom to hid the liner.

Can I have a stream running across my backyard?

In some instances, Yes! It depends on how wide or how deep your yard is, and if you have a gentle downhill slope from where you want the stream to originate, to where it ends up in a pond or pondless reservoir. If your area is too steep, you will have multiple waterfalls in your stream, or a very fast moving stream that produces a lot of sound. A gentle slope produces a softer sound, more like a babbling brook, and a stream that is too level gives more on an appearance of a canal with very slow moving water with no waterfall drops or sound.

How long do ponds and waterfalls last?

The liner that holds the water in the pond / waterfall, that is hidden under the rock and gravel, has a 20-year warranty, but can have a life expectancy of 35 or more years especially in the milder climates. If the liner does eventually rot and deteriorate it can be replaced by removing all the rock and gravel, installing a new liner, then replacing the rock that will give your pond a new look. The rock, being real granite, will of course last forever. The pump and filter pads might need to be replaced from time to time, but they usually aren’t too costly.

Does owning a pond attract mosquitoes?

No! Actually, owning a birdbath or having a bucket laying around with water in it is a great breeding ground for mosquitoes. They lay their eggs in still, stagnant water,not water with a constant ripple in it from a waterfall. The ponds we build have skimmers that will skim off the surface of the water 24 hours a day keeping the surface clean and drowning any mosquito eggs before they would even hatch. If there are still any concerns, some mosquito fish can be added.

Can my dog drink out of the pond?

Yes! In fact the water quality in a well balanced ecosystem pond is preferable to most dogs over drinking out of their dish. The water in a water dish loses the chlorine that comes from out tap water we use to fill the dish in a matter of minutes or hours from a process called “oxidation”, making the water unsanitary for your pet. Compared to the pond water that is filtered 24 hours a day, and is filled with healthy nutritional bacteria, it makes the pond water more desirable and is healthier.

Where is the best place to locate my Water Garden?

Resist the impulse to locate the pond at the back corner of the yard, this is where water tends to accumulate when it rains. The best place to locate your pond is near the area where you spend your outdoor time. Situate the pond, stream and waterfalls so they are visible to different living areas inside the house. By bringing the pond up close to the house, you’ll get the most out of your investment.

Does my Pondless Waterfall need to run 24 hours a day?

No! One of the most compelling reasons the pondless waterfall has become so popular in today’s landscape is because you can turn the waterfall off whenever you want. With an ecosystem pond it is mandatory that you run your waterfall filtration 24 hours a day in order to maintain the life in your ecosystem. With the pondless style waterscapes you can shut the system off and on as you desire. Leaving town for a couple of weeks? No problem, just turn your pondless waterscape off and when you get home turn it back on! Just another reason the pondless waterfall has reached such stature in such a short span of time.

Will my Pondless Waterfall still attract wildlife without the pond?

Without a doubt these Pondless Waterscapes will still attract wildlife. The sound of water is very attractive to your local wildlife. Within moments of turning on a pondless waterfall for the very first time we have had dragonflies and birds show up to properties where homeowners had never experienced them before! The sound of your waterfall will attract birds to your property that you would normally never see.

Is it necessary to drain and clean my pond regularly?

No. One of the wonderful benefits of your water feature is that it requires very little maintenance. All you need to do for routine maintenance is check the pond’s skimmer, which collects surface debris, about once a week. The skimmer has a simple to remove cover and captures any debris in a convenient net, which you simply shake out to remove. A few minutes each week, and your pond “maintenance” is complete for the pond season.

Do I have to shut down my Pondless Waterfall in the winter?

Running your water feature in winter is a great idea. Pondless Waterfalls are all built to run year round. As a matter of fact, we encourage people to run them for a few reasons: Some of the best views of your stream occur in the winter months, tons of wildlife flock to your water feature in the winter, and why not enjoy it year round?

Is a pond dangerous to have with small children?

Any body of water can pose a threat to toddlers. The water garden ponds that we construct are usually 2 feet deep with sloping sides, so there is less danger than that of a swimming pool. If there is concern of small children downing and you still want a waterfall then the solution would be a pondless waterfall.

What about frogs, water turtles, pond snails, etc?

A newly constructed pond will, in time, attract frogs providing that the water quality is good. Water turtles are not recommended in ponds as they tend to eat up the aquatic plants. Pond snails have pros and cons for the pond water quality, but tend to multiply so fast in some ponds that it can get out of control.

Does a Water Feature give a good return on my investment?

Like other home improvements, the term “investment” relates to how much personal pleasure you receive (visual & sound in this case), not just how much something costs. But for the sake of costs, a beautiful, natural looking, real rock water feature will return most, if not more than what you financially invested in having it constructed. By comparison, having an “average size” in-ground swimming pool built costs 4 to 10 times more (depending how fancy it is), than building an 8 foot by 12 foot rock pond with a 3 foot high waterfall with 2 or 3 separate cascades all built with real granite boulders. The swimming pool will give you a very small financial return, and degrade in appearance as concrete pools will stain and discolor, waterline tiles get scaled up and start falling off, the plaster pool bottom develops stains and scratches, etc.. Compared to a natural rock pond and waterfall, every year as the surrounding plants mature and grow down to the waters edge, pond plants and lily pads spread and bloom beautiful flowers, a pond and waterfall will get more and more breathtaking with each passing year. Not to mention the cost in running a pool pump 6 to 8 hours a day to filter the water in a swimming pool ($65.00 per mo.), compared to running a pond/waterfall filter pump 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for only $30.00 per month. Also, consider the cost of weekly swimming pool services to keep it clean, pool pump, filter and heater repairs, etc.

What’s the main purpose of landscaping around the pond?

Aesthetically speaking, the purpose of the landscaping around the pond is the same as the pond itself, for the whole area to look and feel as natural as possible.

Proudly serving the communities of Effingham IL, Champaign IL, Mattoon IL, Charleston IL, Greenville IL, Mt. Vernon IL, Newton IL, Olney IL, Shelbyville IL, Salem IL, Urbana IL, Vandalia IL, Highland IL, Flora IL and all of Southern & Central Illinois for over 20 years.