Sheer Descent Waterfall Wall Design

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This topic contains 1 reply, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Jonathan Smith, RLA 9 years, 8 months ago.

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    Michael Barcelos

    I am currently working on a client’s patio that lies adjacent to the back of their house.  The small ranch house was inspired by the designs of Frank Lloyd Wright and has a beautiful rock facade near the patio.  The client would like to see a water feature that incorporates the existing rock wall.  I would like to propose a cascading sheer descent water feature that trickles down the face of the existing rock facade.  I have little experience with waterfall design and do not know if it would be possible to install the pump and riser tube within the existing wall.  Does anyone have any experience with this type of water feature?  Any ideas, suggestions, or references?

    Attached is an image of the existing rear wall.  The rock facing on the right would be the location of the water fall.  

    Jonathan Smith, RLA

    Looks like you’d need to go in through the inside of the wall. Not easy or recommended. I’d build the waterfall part on the outside of the wall using 4″ CMU’s and placing your catchment and reservoir at the base. You will likely have a hard time matching a veneer to the existing stone. How about using a veneer that compliments the existing rock work?


    Jason T. Radice

    Judging by the efflorescence on part of the wall, it looks like you already have water issues behind the stone. I’d strongly suggest not putting a water feature on the wall, as it has not been designed for it. You will need lots of waterproofing behind the stone, as well as additional depth for the plenum tank to distribute the water for even flow down the face. If you want a waterfall, I’d try to find a similar stone and building one on a freestanding wall in an area where you can see it from inside the house. You are asking for trouble building it into an existing structure not originally designed for it.


    Michael Barcelos

    Thank you both for the input. I figured that it would not be wise to add water to the original stone facade. I will likely highlight the wall with an attractive flowering tree in front of it and up-lighting to create a unique shadow on the stone.

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