Whether you are considering a water feature for
There are increasingly greater numbers of people arriving at the startling revelation that water gardening is not what it was cracked up to be. For 26 years I have promised my clients that the water feature I build for them would bring them more long-term joy and pleasure than anything they had purchased in the past. Why would I make such a brazen statement? Because it is true! If you desire such a water garden for your own enjoyment, or if you would like to design and construct a water garden with these results, there are a few major things to consider: For how long would you like to enjoy your water garden? Would you like a water garden with as little maintenance as possible? Is monthly operating expense an issue? Are warranties or guaranties important to you? What about durability and lasting aesthetics? Are you concerned about possible liability regarding safety and regulations? These are only a few of the many questions you should find answers to prior to constructing or investing a water garden. There exists a community of gold diggers who have discovered that their picks and shovels can now be used in mining a new treasure: rubber liner ponds and waterfalls; fast, easy and extremely profitable. Rubber pvc liners were originally designed for flat roof construction, not ponds. How did this concept become so popular for water features? The answer is simple: greed and laziness. You tell me which sounds easier, Scenario 1 or Scenario 2: First scenario: Dig a hole in the ground, pile up the dirt beside the hole. Drape a liner over the hole and pile of dirt, and stack rocks on the liner. Fill the hole with water, dropping in an energy-sucking sump pump and attaching a hose, routing it to the top of the waterfall. Plug in the pump. Collect your money and split. OR Second Scenario: Dig a hole in the ground and pile the dirt beside the hole, tamping or compacting the pile as you add more dirt. Lay down flexible pvc pipe for dual anti-vortex suction drains and skimmer. Construct a steel rebar grid over the entire pond and waterfall surface area, 8' to 10' on center. Place cement 'dobie' blocks under the rebar to hold it up off the ground. Pump shot crete (a form of concrete) over the entire surface, surrounding the rebar. Then trowel it smooth. Install professional pool skimmer and anti-vortex drains, high-efficiency, energy-saving centrifugal pump, an Aquafill automatic water leveler, a pressurized state-of-the-art back-flushable, bead filter, and an ultraviolet light with cleaning wiper. Apply the rock using Aquamedia mortar mix, which assures none of the rock will ever move, making them safe to walk on. Which scenario sounds easier to perform? Which one sounds cheaper to build? Which one sounds faster to build? Which do you suppose involves less maintenance? Which seems to easily retain its beauty? Which one would not be affected by gnawing rodents? Which would not be damaged by sharp objects? Which one would heavy or sharp rocks be unable to affect? Which would last for decades or generations? Which would be more economical to operate? Which one would require the least maintenance? Which do you think would cost more? The question should actually be, which one costs more in the long term? With energy savings and maintenance alone, the concrete water feature would pay for itself in 10 years. What would it cost to completely disassemble the liner pond in order to try and find holes made by rats, gophers, ground squirrels, chipmunks, tree roots, sharp objects, etc.? Do the math!