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Simple in design, a water wall fountain can be a spectacular addition to any garden. Here are easy instructions to make your own fountain.

Water wall fountainMost people, with few exceptions, are soothed and calmed by the sounds of trickling or splashing water. Since the majority of us are unable to reside close to a shoreline or babbling brook, the building of ponds and fountains has become very popular.

Unfortunately, ideas and plans for building your own source of water pleasure seem to be in relatively short supply and kits to accomplish these projects can be terribly expensive. A fountain style known as a "water wall" has become an extremely desirable home environment detail both indoors and out, but most people just aren't sure where to begin. Water walls are actually quite simple and can definitely be a do it yourself project.

What I shall attempt to provide you with now, is enough quality information to get you beyond the point of just deciding that you can bring your desire for a water wall to reality. If I had the space and funds to actually build you a working model, I'd do that but current circumstances restrict me to only providing you with information at this time.

Water Wall(click thumbnails to view gallery)

Water Wall DiagramBig Water WallStepped water wallWalk of 1000 fountains

All water walls are built with the same basic components. This list and the illustration included will show you how simplistic a water wall really is:

The Reservoir is at the base of your water wall. It is any basin, tray or container which will hold a sufficient amount of water to service the wall's water delivery system and will provide a catch basin for the water as it travels downward. The reservoir should be sized so it provides a visual balance of mass to the upright portion of your water wall. If you are building your water wall outdoors, the reservoir can be designed to be at surface level with the surrounding area. The more surface area your reservoir provides, the less consideration you'll need to give to the problem of water splashing out. You should be mindful about the possibility of needing to cover your reservoir with some type of mesh to maintain a safe environment for children.

A recirculating pump is tucked behind or under your water wall and is the active part of your wall. The pump moves the water from your reservoir up to the top of your wall. Recirculating pumps are readily available in many sizes and are rated by gallons of water moved per hour (GPH). For most home water walls, a rating of 50 to 100 GPH should deliver a sufficient flow. Too low of a GPH rating will make your wall less than pleasing. Too high of a rating can over stress your water delivery system by keeping it over pressurized. Be sure to ask your retailer if a specific pump is made to handle back pressure or if it must be allowed to free flow. Properly sizing your pump will be the most important part of your project.

The riser tube is simply any pipe or hose which carries water from the pump up to the water delivery head.

The water release head is mounted at the top of your wall and meters the amount of water which shall be flowing down to your reservoir. The three types of water delivery heads which I have encountered all work, but they can be quite different in form and function.
  • Spillway heads are specially made tubes with slots along their length and a trough running their full length. Spillways are generally used for the largest of water walls. They work by filling the trough with water which then crests over the edge and spills downward. In order for a spillway to work properly, it must be near perfectly level and the spillway edge must be properly maintained.
  • Spray heads are the most common water delivery heads and they work in exactly the way you might think they do. A series of small holes or nozzles along the length of a pipe spray water against the wall, creating the flow. The two biggest considerations for a spray type delivery head are rate of supply and over spray control. The single biggest complaint I have encountered regarding spray heads regards an uneven level of water pressure over the length of the tube. This problem is easily corrected by splitting the water supply prior to reaching the head and feeding the tube from both ends.
  • Free flow heads are similar to spray heads in design but as their name implies, the water flows out rather than being sprayed out. Because free flow heads are technically not under pressure, the problem of uneven flow can be more significant than with a spray head. Once again, this problem can be corrected by dividing the water feed into three or four segments prior to reaching the head.
The water flow surface consists of two side supports, a flow surface and a valence. The flow surface makes up the bulk of your water wall's visual appeal. Basically, the sky's the limit when it comes to design choices but you need to make your chosen surface suitable for being in constant contact with water. Your side supports need to be adequate for doing their job and you will need to pay attention to your wall's center of gravity to eliminate any tipping hazard. Two thirds of your wall's weight should be in the bottom third of the structure. The water itself will take care of much of that but you may need to include some counter balance in the base of the structure. Be sure that your valence design will properly shroud your water release head from view unless you want to include the head as a aesthetic design feature. Choose materials that will be easy for you to work with and be ever mindful that everything will need to be made waterproof.

As with any home improvement or landscaping project, giving careful consideration to materials and planning will go a long way to making your project easier and more successful. Know what you want and know what materials you'll need. Build the project in your mind and on paper several times before ever beginning to buy materials. By using your mind before employing your hands, you can get past many small problems before you ever encounter them.

  • Soothing Walls

    We love this article, great information.

    Water Fountains

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