Part 2 – The Panels Installed
The weather here in Seattle has been great this last week, in the mid 70’s, even 80’s — great weather to work on landscaping. I have a back patio that I needed to finish, I installed “cobblestone” pavers a couple weeks ago and it was time now to finish the waterfall feature. When my house was built, we had to put in a concrete retaining wall to hold up the back slope. From the start, I saw this wall as a great opportunity to design and build a contemporary waterfall feature. To this point, I have installed 3/4″ schedule 40 pipe as a water return to the top reservoir, a channel drain to catch the water flowing down, a 1200GPH magnetic pond pump and now, I am waiting for the copper wall panels — more on that below.
The hardest part about designing a waterfall feature is picking the right pump. In my case, I have to send water up 6′ to the top reservoir. This requires a stronger pump and if you are going to build a waterfall feature, you will need to find a pump that works for you. Depending on the effect you want, you could go slower or faster (less/more Gallons Per Hour) — I wanted a medium flow. So in order to achieve that, I went with a 1200GPH pump which is about half that when it pushes up 6′. I ended up using a Pondmaster Magnetic pump. The pump is installed in a remote/hidden location where I brought power and the plumbing to — and yes, it will be tied into the home automation system!
The top reservoir holds the water that will spill over the edge. I poured a concrete wall and base then lined it with a black pond liner (available from Home Depot). This will retain the water with minimal loss.
The Channel Drain
I chose a channel drain that holds about 4 gallons. The channel drain will be covered with 1/2″ – 1 1/2″ black polished river rocks once the back copper panels are installed. The rocks will also add to the nice trickle sound effect when the water pours over them.
I wanted to use copper since it is very low maintenance and I have used copper on other parts of my house — it would tie things together nicely. At first, I was thinking of using a couple sheets of copper and just attaching them to the wall. I did some research and found a company in Spokane, WA named Zappone and they have a copper paneling product that looked like it could work. I called up their sales department and Jerry, really helpful guy, told me all about their product. The price fit the bill and so I ordered a custom kit on Tuesday. I should have the panels here next week and once I get them installed photos will be posted. In the meantime, check out Zappones photo gallery — pretty cool stuff!