7 Easy Steps – How To Build A Low Cost Water Feature
If you are looking for an easy, low-cost DIY water feature project, then this one will do the trick. You can turn any drab looking area of your yard into a peaceful and relaxing gathering spot with only a few items, some elbow grease, and your creative side.
- Water hose or large rope
- Waterproof storage bin
- Water Pump
- Clear Flexible Hose
- Decorative Rock
- Pebble Rock
- Water/Ground Plants
- Barbed Connector (optional)
- Electrical Extension (optional)
- See below for product recommendations
Step 1 – Location
The first step in getting started with your water feature is by locating your area you wish to transform. There is no particular size area required. For a starting point, try a 4-foot x 4-foot area, but any section, large or small, can be converted into a soothing fountain space. Once you have selected your desired location, it’s time to let your imagination go wild. Sketch out a few ideas that you may have as far as how you might like to lay the rocks and plants around your fountain. Whether you have your fountain centered or offset, it makes no difference and is purely personal preference.
Step 2 – Marking Dig Area
Next, grab your shovel, waterproof storage bin, and water hose or large rope. Place your waterproof container, upside down, in your selected area. Next, take your water hose or large rope (we do not recommend using your clear hose since you want to avoid it from getting clogged with dirt) and place it on the ground around the outside of your bin. This will be used as your marker for digging the hole. At this point, since you have marked your digging area, you can remove the container since it makes digging the hole a lot easier.
Step 3 – Digging The Hole
Begin digging on the outside of your line, dog a full circle before removing the marker. Once you have completed a dig line, remove your marker line. Then begin removing all the dirt inside. You will dig this hole large enough, so your container fits level to the ground. Be certain to dig the hole large enough to leave about 2-3 inches of space around the container.
Step 4 – Reinforcement
After you have dug the hole deep enough and the bin is placed, take your pebble or pea rock and pour between the dirt and around the outside of the bin. This step ensures your container is snug in its place and strengthens the dirt around the area of your water feature. Pour more pea gravel about 6 inches around the top of the area. Once again this helps to reinforce your fountain space.
Step 5 – Water Pump Placement
Now grab your pump and clear flexible hose. If your pump does not have a barbed connection, you will need to add a barbed connector to make the connection from the pump to the hose watertight. Take your clear hose and connect it to your pump. If you can pull on the hose and it does not budge then you are good to go. Place your pump on the base of the container being certain you have enough extension to the electrical outlet. Some pumps come with suction pads that typically do not function properly in this application. The best solution is to take a few large rocks or bricks and place them around the pump to securely hold it into place.
Step 6 – Test Your Pump
With your pump set securely in place and the clear hose feeding back into the bin, begin filling up the container with water. To ensure your pump properly functions, now is a good time to run a quick test. Simply fill the water line just above the top of the pump and feed the hose back into the bin. Shut the water off, plug in your pump and turn it on. With a successful test, you should see the water gets pumped through the hose and recycled back into the bin. If for some reason this does not happen, a few troubleshooting tips would be to double check you have power at your outlet and the pump is turned on. If still no luck, check the manual of the pump. Once you have determined your pump is properly working, unplug it from the outlet and lay the clear house a few feet away from the container so you can begin to place your decorative rock.
Step 7 – Be Creative
Now is the time to let your creative side take over and have fun. Play around with the placement of your fountain rocks. It is all personal preference in determining the layout, there is no right or wrong. Once you are happy with your layout, take the clear hose (opposite the pump side) and slide it from the back side of your fountain directing it into the container. Cut any excess hose, but a word to the wise, wait a few days or weeks to be certain you are happy with the direction of the water, then cut. Add your plants around the outside. Now fill up your container, plug in the pump and enjoy.
Pro Tip #22
Ponds create algae even with flowing water. To make your water feature self-cleaning, add floating plants such as lilies, parrot’s feather or hornwart.