Landscape Contractor / Design Build Maintain

JUL 2017

LC/DBM provides landscape contractors with Educational, Imaginative and Practical information about their business, their employees, their machines and their projects.

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26 LC DBM Pondless water features recirculate water through the feature without it gathering in a visible pool at its end. The benefits include safety, cost, space, low maintenance, and the flexibility to add a pond in the future. The Why For Pat Wells of Piedmont Landscape Management, safety was the number one factor when creating a pondless feature for Brandon Wilde, the senior care facility where they have been doing landscape maintenance and construction for the last 26 years. "When a grant was obtained, they decided to add something to enhance the courtyard," said Wells. "Making it a pondless feature was a mutual decision." For the pondless feature that Conspec built in a Southern California backyard, low maintenance was the priority. "There's no standing water to collect debris," Roger Krost explained. Russ Irvin, owner of TDH Landscaping, agreed. "If debris collects on the bottom drain of the reservoir, it can simply be removed and dumped," he said. The How After roughing out the path for the waterfall and an area for water collec - tion, the area must be excavated. Water feature equipment manufacturer Blue Thumb recommends spray-painting an outline of the area to be excavated. Once complete, the removed soil can be used elsewhere in the project. "We used the soil from the pit excavation to create the grade for the water course," said Krost. "In our case, the lot was flat." Krost also recommend - ed testing the fit of the water storage blocks and pump vault in the pit be - fore placing the geofabric and rubber liner. "The water storage blocks basically hold the rocks on top of the feature and allow the water to have a void," explained Wells. "You have to have enough cavity to supply the pump, to run the system." For a boulder feature, be sure to bud - get enough time to core drill the rock. For the 10,000-pound boulder TDH utilized, drilling a 4-foot deep core for the fountain took eight hours. After the pump is installed – which for boulder features, should of course be be - fore the stone is positioned – the water source should be linked to the feature. "The feature is tied into the main irrigation line," Wells said of the system they installed in the senior care facility. "You don't want the water to be piped in through the domestic water because, first, if something were to happen you don't want to shut off the water to your house. Second and more importantly is if dirty water gets cycled back in, you don't want that into your drinking water." When all the piping is set, the water - course liner can be laid and any wa- terfalls created using flagstone or slate for a clean edge. Various sizes of rocks and gravel can be used to backfill the course and the fill pit. Gravel should be screened to remove any impurities that might clog the system. In cases such as TDH Landscaping's, where there was no stream to backfill, Pennsylvania field - stone and black Mexican gravel were placed around the boulder to make it look natural. "Then, install waterproof lighting Pondless PERFECTION by Alli Rael, LC/DBM Left, Above Before placing the rubber liner in the excavated area, Roger Krost from Conspec recommends making sure the necessary equipment fits in the pit. The dirt from the excavation in this case was used to create the grade for the stream. Left Slate can be strategically placed to create a smooth edge for waterfalls. Once the flow is as desired, rocks and stones are filled in to cover the liner. P

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