Water Feature Forums: OH MY!
By: Douglas Hoover
What a hoot! I’m learning a lot and fast about the nature of on-line forums.
I can only speak of my experience with forums related to the water garden or water feature industry. I have decided to join a waterfall and pond related forum and start sharing my somewhat biased views and experience with pond liners.
As of late, I have discovered that sharing my bias towards pond liners with a forum full of pond liner installers is something like trying to pass out Bibles at a porn convention!
Some startling statistics that could explain why:
1. More than 37% of all waterfalls have serious structural damage within 3 years of it being built.
2. 57% of homeowners say they’re rather unsatisfied with the way their waterfall came out – after the project was completed.
3. Nearly 1 in 3 waterfalls and ponds are leaking water within 9 months of completion.
4. 27% of all outdoor waterfalls and ponds have pumps that are either too strong or too weak – causing unnecessary expenditures down the road.
5. 63% of ‘do It yourselfers’ said they wish they had the proper information from the ‘get go’ or they wished they would have hired someone!
These statistics are from the pond liner industry itself (Bob Wilder, 48-Hour Waterfall). I can confirm and attest to these figures myself. I have built over 1,900 concrete and rebar waterfalls and ponds over the past 26 years. I have ripped out and replaced dozens of defective liner ponds and replaced them with concrete ones with lifetime warranties. Pond liner guys will not attach more than a one-year warranty. They make no guarantee against rats, mice, ground squirrels, gophers, tree roots and sharp objects. They know the truth, they just don't share it. Some guy on the forum was questioning the need to fill up the catch basin of a pondless waterfall with loose rock and gravel, thus covering up the sump pump. I thought this was a good question, because I wondered the same thing myself.
Water from a pondless waterfall is captured in a basin at its base. With a liner pond, they teach that after placing the pump in the bottom, you then fill it up with loose gravel. I’m thinking that would create three problems:
If you have to service or clean the garbage off the intake of the sump pump, you would first need to pull out all the stinky, slimy, poopy-laden rock.
The basin would not hold much water if the rock takes up most of the space. When you turn on the waterfall, most of the water is sucked from the catch basin before the water can cascade back to the basin.
There would be no room to install an auto-fill system, which means you would need to fill the basin area often with a garden hose to prevent the pump from running dry.
So I decided to be a nice guy and post my article, Pondless Waterfalls: Concrete vs. Liners, on the forum. This was a really bad idea – much like trying to untangle a nest full of rattle snakes.
Douglas C. Hoover; CEO of Aquamedia Corp, Master Waterfall Builder, architect, engineer, freelance writer, author, designer & builder of over 1,900 waterfall and ponds in CA (26 years). Invented the AquaFill electronic water level control system for ponds, pools, fountains & spas. Helps & Answers: http://www.askdoughoover.com
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