90% of the world’s water supply comes from rain and snow runoff. Much of this is lost due to two major problems: 1) stormwater run-off which carries excess fertilizer, chemicals, sediment, and pollution into our rivers; 2) urban flooding caused by intense storms or high rainfall events that occur more frequently because global warming has increased average temperatures.
The installation of a waterfall in your backyard can not only reduce these issues but also provide you with clean drinking water for up to 100 gallons per day!

The “how to build a waterfall step by step” is an article that will teach you how to build a waterfall in your backyard. It will include all the materials you need, and instructions on how to create it.

Water is something that we all have a natural connection with. We’re unable to stop ourselves. Water pouring down a stream or over a waterfall is calming. Fortunately, if you know how to construct a waterfall in your backyard, adding this element to your landscaping design isn’t as complicated as it may seem.

According to the American Society of Landscape Architects, it’s no surprise that adding a water feature is such a popular design element. It’s a great way to get in touch with nature while also reaping the health advantages for both you and the environment.

Our expert will help you through the whole process, from project planning to material selection. We’ll give you hints along the way to help the process go more smoothly so you can get the most out of your time and effort.


Step 1: Create a Design

The first step in installing a waterfall in your backyard is to come up with a design. This feature may be made with or without a pond at the end. If you want to add one, you may buy one already formed or make your own with a liner.

A prefabricated pond has the benefit of eliminating guessing. To keep your prices and work under control, you might choose one that is a sensible size.

The liner allows you additional design flexibility, whether you want to make a stream with an upper and lower basin or a pond to your specifications. If you already have a steep backyard, it’s a good idea to exploit the natural slope of the ground to cut down on your digging.

Step 2: Select a location and develop a strategy.

When choosing a location for your waterfall, there are various factors to consider. You should put it somewhere where you can readily view and appreciate it. If you want to add plants or fish, choose a spot that receives at least six hours of direct sunshine and isn’t shaded by trees. It must also be accessible. You’ll have to maintain it on a regular basis.

Make things simple for yourself.

Access to power and water is a must-have no matter which arrangement you choose. The former will be used to power the pump and filter, while the latter will be used to fill it. Just in case, we recommend choosing a different website.

After that, write out your idea. You’ll discover that measuring the setup can assist you estimate the supplies you’ll need.

Call your city hall and homeowners’ association before you start. It’s possible that you’ll want a construction permit. Of course, you don’t want to break any HOA regulations in the process. You should also contact 811 to get a map of your house’s utility lines. That’s why we recommended having a back-up plan.

Step 3: Create a budget and a list of materials.

Many of the garden equipment you’ll need for this project are likely already in your possession. They are as follows:

  • Shovel
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Hose for the garden
  • Level
  • Measurement tape
  • Gloves for the workplace

You’ll need to purchase the following items:

  • Pond liner or prefabricated pond
  • Underlayment
  • Pump
  • Filter
  • Sealant made with water foam
  • Tubing
  • Paint that has been ground
  • Adhesive for construction
  • Boulders
  • Gravel

The cost of rocks and gravel is directly proportional to the size of your setup. Begin by doubling the pond’s length and breadth, as well as the upper and lower basins. Then multiply by 65. This will tell you the amount of tons of boulders you’ll need. Calculate the amount of gravel you’ll need in tons by multiplying that value by 0.45.

Don’t be alarmed by the figures. You’ll discover that these materials are far less expensive than ornamental stones for a garden walk.

If you’re planning to utilize a liner, 0.45 mL EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) rubber is recommended. It’s hefty, but it’s tough and can withstand the elements. Make certain you get a product that is suitable for usage with a water feature.

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Step 4: Purchase the Underlayment

The underlayment’s aim is to protect the pond or liner. You may utilize materials that are designed for this purpose. Even carpets may be used. Another alternative for a foundation is to lay down a 3–4-inch layer of sand and tamp it down. The two preceding options are the most practical. If the ground is uneven, sand is a good option.

Step 5: Purchase a pump and a filter

You must first determine if you want plants, fish, or both before purchasing these products. This will help you decide which product to purchase.


Pumps come in a variety of shapes and sizes, with some even including a filtering system. For modest settings, a statuary pump is a great option. They are both cost-effective and dependable. A submersible pump is another common choice. Their biggest benefit is that they can be hidden, which is ideal for a natural-looking cascade.

There are also waterfall pumps designed specifically for this purpose. They often have additional features that make it easier to maintain your system and ensure enough water flow. The pump’s discharge rate in gallons per hour is the parameter you should look for (GPH). Depending on the size of the region, we recommend at least 300 GPH. A bigger basin and a steeper slope will need a more powerful pump.



VIVOSUN 1600 GPH Submersible Water Pump Pond Pump 100W Ultra Quiet Aquarium Pump with 20.3ft Power Cord High Lift for Pond Waterfall VIVOSUN 1600 GPH Submersible Water Pump Pond Pump 100W Ultra Quiet Aquarium Pump with 20.3ft Power Cord Hydroponic Fish Tank Statue

  • Solid Construction: Silicon carbide is used to make the shaft and drive ring component, which reduces attrition and extends the service life (IPX-8degree)
  • Energy-saving and low-noise operation: ultra-quiet operating design (30-40db); less power consumption (100W) with high output (1600GPH/6200LPH) as compared to other pumps; Designed to fit a 264 gallon pond
  • High Lift with Removable Filter: With a lift height of up to 13.7FT/4.2M with a portable handle and detachable filter, this pump is more than capable of handling your water features.
  • Easy to Install: Adjustable outlet orientation and a 20.3-foot power cord to fit a variety of needs; 3/4″ or 1″ ID Flexible Tubes; It may be used in conjunction with filters (filter system).
  • Multiple Applications: The VIVOSUN Fixed Flow Rate Pump may be utilized as a submersible or inline pump in ponds, fish tanks, fountains, waterfalls, hydroponic systems, and irrigation systems.

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The filter’s primary function in the absence of fish is to prevent trash from entering the pump. Submersible filters are a discreet method of getting the job done. They’re simple to set up and use, and they only need to be serviced once in a while. External filters are another solution for these chores that is more accessible. Many types, however, necessitate the use of a second pump.

If you have a bigger system, a waterfall kit with a surface skimmer and a spillway that returns the water to the basin is a good option. Both of these elements are simple to add into your landscape.

You’ll need a biological filtering system if you want to add fish. It will degrade ammonia and other pollutants in the water, making it safe for them to drink. The kind you’d use in this arrangement is similar to the type seen in aquariums. You’ll need to clean it on a regular basis, so having access to it is important.


For 250 to 500 gallon ponds, Tetra Pond Submersible Flat Box Filter

  • SUBMERSIBLE FILTER: Flat box filter maintains pond water pure and clean by preventing pump blockage.
  • CONVENIENT: Easily attaches to a variety of pump inlets and detaches for cleaning.
  • WARRANTY: A one-year limited warranty is included; check the product box for further information.
  • USAGE: For ponds up to 500 gallons, this product is ideal.

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Step 6: Mark Out the Location of the Setup with Paint that has been ground

Using your plan and a Measurement tape, delineate the area for your waterfall and basins or pond with Paint that has been ground. Double-check how it fits with other parts of your landscaping. Now is the time to make any last-minute adjustments.

Step 7: Get your hands dirty and start digging.

This is the most time-consuming and challenging stage. If you’re digging in a prefabricated pond, keep the shape and levels in mind. Make sure it fits by comparing it to the form as you go. If you’re aiming for a more freestyle look, we recommend adding some shelves to offer interest and more places for plants. You may also use them to guide the flow of water.

You may lay the foundation for your waterfall using the soil you’re digging out. It’ll also provide you a nice foundation for raised garden beds.



Products of Highest Quality Raised Garden Bed, Elevated Wood Planter Box Stand for Backyard, Patio, Balcony w/Bed Liner, 200lb Capacity 48x24x30in Raised Garden Bed, Elevated Wood Planter Box Stand for Backyard, Patio, Balcony w/Bed Liner

  • LARGE PLANTING Area: With a lengthy bed space (SKY2383 5 CuFt/ SKY6152 8.4 CuFT/ SKY6377 2.65 CuFT), your plants and veggies will have plenty of room to breathe and develop well.
  • PROPER DRAINAGE: Allows excess water to drain out of the soil, keeping it fresh and preventing plants from waterlogging and mineral accumulation.
  • ALL-WOOD CONSTRUCTION: Water- and weather-resistant Chinese fir wood creates a framework that resists warping and drooping over time.
  • ERGONOMIC HEIGHT: The 30-inch height design helps to protect your back and knees when tending to your balcony, deck, or patio garden by reducing unnecessary bending and kneeling.
  • RAISED GARDEN BED LINER: Separates wood from the soil, keeping the wooden garden planter in excellent condition and discouraging weeds and animals from interfering with plant growth; (Note: Only available for SKY2383 & SKY6377); OVERALL DIMENSIONS: 48.5″(L) x 23″(W) x 30″(H); Weight Capacity: 200 lbs.

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Step 8: If used, put down the underlayment and liner.

The bottom of the hole must be level in order for your prefabricated pond to not split under strain. Place the underlayment on top of the dirt or sand as needed. Make sure the material doesn’t have any folds. If you’re using sand, compress it with a tamper.

Then, on top of the underlayment, place the liner, making sure it is level against it. Allow yourself considerable leeway when it comes to placing the stones. Adjust it as needed to ensure that it fits correctly on all sides with some overhang. Stones are used to keep it in place.

Install the Filter and Pump in Step 9

For correct filter and pump installation, follow the manufacturer’s instructions. If you’re using a kit, make sure the spillway is slightly angled downward to allow the water to flow freely. Don’t bother about hiding electrical connections just yet. Connect them, but don’t turn them on yet.

Step 10: Begin constructing the structure using the boulders.

Now it’s time to have some fun. Starting at the bottom of the slope and working your way up to the top, you position your boulders and stones along the sides. We recommend stopping every now and then to have a peek at it from afar. Your waterfall will seem more natural if you add curves to their location. Along the way, build up the shelves.

Feel free to arrange the rocks in whatever way you choose to make an attractive construction.

Step 11: Engrave it in Marble (Literally)

Once you’re satisfied with the look of your boulders, add gravel to fill in the gaps and bottom of the basin. Push them in place so that the rocks stay in place. Then, spray Sealant made with water foam in any gaps. The purpose of this step is to stabilize the waterfall and prevent soil from outside of it from getting into the water and fouling it.

You can also use Adhesive for construction on the larger stones for additional support. Keep sprinkling the gravel around to fill holes and hide the sealant. Likewise, pack gravel around the edges and between the boulders.


12 oz. TotalPond Waterfall Foam Sealant

  • Waterfall Foam Sealant is a one-component black polyurethane foam that fills gaps and allows water to flow freely over rocks.
  • Except for teflon, silicone, polyethylene, and other comparable compounds, the foam sticks to most surfaces.
  • The exterior shell of Waterfall Foam Sealant takes about 5 minutes to dry tack-free, and the compound takes 12 to 24 hours to completely cure.
  • A nozzle tip applicator is included in the 12 oz. container.
  • Make sure any surfaces to which the sealant will be applied are totally dry before applying it; allow the product to cure for at least 48 hours before applying it.

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Step 12: Waterfall Surrounding Landscape

Now is the time to landscape the area and clean up the site before filling the basin. We recommend leaving at least 6 inches of surplus liner around the structure as a weed barrier. To hide it, cover it up. Also, cover the cables with stones or other materials before leaving the place. Before excavating, you may find it simpler to maintain any plants in their pots to observe how everything fits together.

Fill Your Waterfall (Step 13)

Pull out the Hose for the garden and start filling up the basin. Let the water flow into the space gradually, instead of gushing into it and upsetting the rocks and gravel. Once the pump and filter are submerged, you can turn them on to aerate and clear the water. Step back and observe how the water is cascading over the falls. Adjust the flow as needed with additional stones.

Step 14: Keep the Waterfall Running

To keep things functioning well, you’ll need to clean the filter on a regular basis. Leaves and twigs may obstruct the intake and cause the flow to be disrupted. These chores are necessary because the pump might overheat if there isn’t enough water flowing through it. You should also check the basins’ surfaces for debris.

If algae begins to grow, a commercial solution may be used to clear the water. Aeration is an important preventative measure. Simply flip the rocks over to cut off their UV source if you spot it on the rocks. The algae will die, exposing the stones’ original hues.

Last Thoughts

The pleasure you will get from this water feature is well worth the work of incorporating it into your landscape. You can receive the advantages it gives and add to the appearance of your yard with little forethought and a cost-conscious mindset. It all starts with knowing how to build a waterfall in your backyard and procuring the necessary materials to bring your concept to reality.

The “how to make waterfall at home (with pump)” is a question that was asked in the Askville community. This article will give you an overview of what you need to know about installing a waterfall in your backyard.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is needed to build a backyard waterfall?

A: To build a backyard waterfall, you must have the following items.
1) A source of water that is deep enough to reach your desired height
2) Cobblestone or concrete flooring for holding rainwater and allowing it to spill over into areas like fountains
3) The proper tools such as shovels, buckets, hoes etc.

How do you install a backyard waterfall?

A: I do not understand the concept of a backyard waterfall

How far does water have to fall to be a waterfall?

A: It depends on the location and climate. If it is in a tropical or subtropical area, water would have to fall about 50 feet from a cliff for it be called a waterfall. In other areas of the world that are not so humid such as North America and Europe, you may have to drop them up to 100 feet for them to qualify as an official waterfall.

Related Tags

  • how to build a waterfall spillway
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