We Know: How to Buy a Waterfall for Your Garden

What are my choices for waterfalls?

The process for designing and constructing a waterfall with or without a stream or pond is involved, and may include extreme landscaping, importing boulders, rubber liners, lights, and water pumps. Not every waterfall is constructed with stone, though many are. Your choices include:

  • Copper. Waterfalls constructed with copper create a unique sound. Over time, unless treated with a clear coat finish, the copper may oxidize and a green tint will form on the metal. Some find this look attractive, while others do not.
  • Granite. A more traditional look, this stone is often used for freestanding waterfalls as well as simulated natural rock outcroppings with an artificial stream water source.
  • Polyurethane. An artificial material, polyurethane is lighter than natural stone, which makes moving it easier, and shipping costs are less.

Do I need a water pump?

In most cases, a water pump will be necessary in order to circulate the water from the bottom of the waterfall to the top. Some waterfalls kits and installations include a water pump; others do not. You will need to determine approximately how many gallons per hour or per minute the pump will need to circulate. Will you be running the pump 24/7? If so, you may wish to consider investing in an energy efficient pump. Though they are more expensive than standard pumps, they will cut down on your electricity bill. Magnetic drive pond pumps are energy efficient, long lasting, and small in size. Smaller pumps are easier to camouflage within the water to preserve a natural appearance.

Questions to ask before purchasing a garden waterfall

When shopping around for a garden waterfall, be sure to keep the following in mind:

  1. Do you want the waterfall to dominate the space, or enhance it? Consider what size it should be.
  2. Is the water pump too loud? The calming effect of a waterfall may be negated by the sound of the pump motor.
  3. Will you be installing the waterfall yourself? If so, are the waterfall assembly instructions too complicated?
  4. How will the fountain materials age? Will they turn color, fade, or deteriorate?
  5. What maintenance is involved with the waterfall? What maintenance is involved with the water pump?


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