Pondless Waterfall - THE ANNALS by Douglas Hoover

In the early 1990s, a rubber sheet material, produced by Goodyear and Firestone, became a favorite construction material found in building ponds and waterfalls. One innovative entrepreneur in Chicago began pre-cutting numerous configurations of product packaging and rubber it with a skimmer, filter, sump pump and tubing, creating a do-it-yourself kit.

It was shortly before the word got out on how profitable pond construction was and even professionals were becoming "fish-pond experts". You will want to, if in a single day you can dig a hole, pile dirt at one end, cover it with a rubber sheet, cover the sheet with rocks, fill up it with drinking water, drop in a sump pump, hook up a tube, and presto change-o, $6000 profit in 6 to 8 8 hours?

Well, the pioneers got a great point going, but they made a fatal mistake, they began shouting "silver" and "jackpot"! The rush was on soon. It is known as competition and it originated from every angle, manufacturer, supplier, dealer, wholesaler and installers especially.

As would be expected, this get-rich-quick fever converted into an epidemic, forcing up the price of pond liner products to equal the expense of professional cement construction. Since this craze started, proponents of liners maligned concrete building, professing liner superiority over concrete building. Making false claims concerning the integrity of reinforced concrete, they will have attemptedto elevate the advantages of rubber liners.

In looking for the facts about cement ponds and waterfalls from reading the literature of the greed-driven liner fish-pond industry, it can't be found. You talk to why? Because if the facts were known, who within their right mind would choose fish pond liner unless these were going to use it for a restricted period of time.

The background for pond liners speaks for itself:

More than 40% of most waterfalls could have serious structural harm within the first 3 years of construction.

An incredible 60% of property owners say they're dissatisfied with just how their waterfall turned out upon completion of the task.

35% of liner ponds and waterfalls are leaking water within nine months of completion for one of several reasons.

65% of "do-it-yourselfers" say they wished these were informed of the pros and cons of liners from the beginning or that that they had hired a professional.

These statistics are from your fish pond liner industry itself. I can confirm and verify these true figures myself. I have built over 1,900 reinforced cement waterfalls and ponds over the past 26 years and also have ripped out and replaced scores of defective liner ponds and replaced them with cement ones with rubber sheet lifetime warranties. Prior to retiring just, in August in 2007 I replaced a $276,000 liner waterfall and fish pond in Rancho Santa Fe, CA with strengthened 3500 psi concrete due to gopher damage! Fish-pond liner installers offer no warranty against damage from rats, mice, floor squirrels, gophers, tree root base and sharp objects and this 1 refused to do anything to correct the nagging problem.

Reinforced concrete pondless waterfalls have a lifetime warranty. Liner pondless waterfalls have only a twelve months warranty on labor, along with a 20-30 year warranty against factory defects. But no guarantee can be experienced by it against harm due to, mice, rats, gophers, tree root base, ground squirrels, sharpened objects, etc.

Reinforced concrete pondless waterfalls make use of high-efficiency, above-ground pumping systems that are easy to support (3-year warranties).

The 1/3 HP pump is low profile, quiet extremely, and hidden with plants close to the falls easily, or the pumps can be put into another part of the yard by extending the flexible PVC suction and return lines. The liner pondless waterfall uses a sump pump that's placed in the basin, and buried with a huge selection of pounds of gravel then. In order to program this pump (only a 2 year warranty), all of the stinky, slimy, stones have to be initial removed from the basin.

The pump within the reinforced concrete pondless waterfall produces 5,900 gallons each hour with a pull of only 350 watts (retail $430). A sump pump is supplied using the liner pondless waterfall package (they advertise as the "premier" pump on the market ). It produces 5 however,600 gal/hour (102 gal. less) at a whopping 912 watts power pull (50% more than an above-ground pump). It costs an impressive $530 more per year to use (at $.13/kwh). The sump pump costing $600 retail, $175 greater than a centrifugal pump. Many liner installers refer to it as "the very best warranty on the market" which is just for 2 years, when compared with a centrifugal's 3 year warranty!

The rocks of a reinforced concrete pondless waterfall are all securely mortared set up (covering the concrete shell). Consequently anyone, kids especially, may climb over the rocks without them moving, possibly causing serious injury. Stones will move and shift in the liner pondless waterfalls and in just several months, the unsightly liner is definitely exposed in the falls as well as the perimeter of the pond.

During construction of the cement pondless waterfall, many style liberties can be taken, such as altering the length, width or shape of the water fountain as the project advances. Unlike a liner pondless waterfall, the parameters have been established by the manufacturer from the pond kit already.

The concrete pondless waterfall can utilize the large, open basin to set up an Aquafill automatic water leveling device. In addition, the basin could be produced smaller because the space for drinking water is not taken up by rocks as it is in the liner pondless waterfall basin. The only rock that is available is on top of the plastic or galvanized plank cover.

Wow! Check this out... reinforced concrete waterfalls are

1. secure & stationary;

2. permanent;

3. they'll last for many years;

4. Cost a lower amount to build;

5. Easy to operate;

6. Easy to clean;

7. Virtually maintenance-free;

8. Three-year pump guarantee; and

9. More natural in appearance and less liability. Lemons or apples? You decide!

The liner revolution is fading fast, the reality of their limitations are coming to light and their track record is badly tarnished. Leaky liner customers are fighting back with litigation countrywide and are winning because they were not really told the complete truth in the beginning.

Before wasting your hard earned money, do your research and use your own God-given good sense. Begin with the web by searching "fish-pond liners vs. concrete.

"A guy with experience isn't at the mercy of a man with a disagreement."

Douglas C. Hoover; CEO of Aquamedia Corp, Professional Waterfall Contractor, architect, engineer, writer, designer & constructor of over 1,900 waterfalls and ponds (29 years). Author of "Waterfall and Fish-pond Structure Manual." Inventor and manufacturer of the "AquaFill" T.M. electronic float control program for ponds, private pools, fountains and scorching tubs. Read more at

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