Magazine article Sunset

Water without Worry

Magazine article Sunset

Water without Worry

Article excerpt

Pondless waterfalls are a less costly, lower-maintenance option

THE SIGHT AND SOUND of water bring peace to a garden, but that peace comes with a price. Swimming pools and spas rely on chemicals to stay clean; ponds require algae regulation. A pond less waterfall, however, needs neither. Water spills downstream, disappears into an underground basin, gets pumped back up through an underground pipe to the top of the falls, and cascades again. The result is the look of nature without the upkeep of a whole pond ecosystem.

The one pictured here, in Tim and Linda Hayes's front yard in San Carlos, California, dampens sounds of nearby traffic and also provides an entertaining welcome. As Linda says, "Our waterfall gives the house more curb appeal-our neighbors love it."

DESIGN Brian Baird, Scenic Scapes, San Carlos, CA (www.mnicscapes.com or 650/595-8800]

Tips for installation

1. INVEST IN A GOOD KIT Go with a well-established company, not the cheapest. Brian Baird uses products from Aquascape (to find a retailer, visit www.aquascapeinc. com); kits range from a 4-foot stream (about $900) to a 12-foot stream (about $1,350).

2. GIVE YOURSELF TIME TO INSTALL A professional can put in a pondless waterfall in a day or two, but you should count on at least twice that, Baird advises. …

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