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In this video, Jenn Nawada, landscape designer for Ask This Old House, helps install a pondless waterfall in a backyard.

Steps for Building a Pondless Waterfall

  1. Dig a large area for the plastic blocks, and include a deeper area for the pump vault.
  2. Square up the sides of the basin and level off the bottom.
  3. Lay down landscape fabric as a first layer.
  4. Lay down waterproof rubber membrane.
  5. Place plastic boxes and pump vault in basin and reservoir to serve as a base.
  6. Fill in the remaining spaces with some river rocks.
  7. Place pump in basin and connect pipe to spillway.
  8. Place boulders in area to form the waterfall.
  9. Fill voids between boulders with black expanding foam that will direct water so that it's visible over the stone.
  10. Fill the rest of the bed with river rocks.
  11. Trim off excess liner around the edges with a utility knife and fold the liner onto itself to create a slight dam.
  12. Plant in landscaping and cover area with mulch.