Why Build a Solar Waterfall
A solar waterfall feature is a beautiful addition to any garden. After initial installation, the solar pump costs nothing to operate -- after all solar energy is free. If you want to make a waterfall for your garden or backyard, and have enough sunlight available, there is no reason not to make it a solar powered. There are several types and options for building your solar waterfall.
A Solar Waterfall as Part of a Garden Pond
One option is to have your solar waterfall as part of a garden pond. It can be added on to an existing pond, or planed into the design of a new pond. Most garden ponds need pumps to circulate and aerate the water, keeping it clean and healthy. Making the pump power a beautiful waterfall is an easy addition.
If you are thinking of building a garden pond with a solar waterfall, you may be interested in reading this article about how to make a garden pond with a solar pond pump.
Disappearing Solar Water Feature
If you don’t want a full pond in your yard -- maybe you have small children and are concerned about safety -- a disappearing waterfall is an option for you. Instead of a pond, you will have a waterfall well that is either built up or dug from the ground and covered. Commercial waterfall wells are available and make installation of a disappearing water feature easy to do. They consist of a water basin, pump, and tubing specially designed for creating waterfalls.
Making your own water well is another possibility. First, dig out a basin large enough to contain the volume of water held by the well at any one timed while the waterfall is running. Next, line the well with flexible pond liner material. Use CMU or cinder blocks to support the corners of a strong metal or plastic grate. This grate will cover the pump and prevent people, animals, or objects from falling into the hole. Cover the grate with pebbles large enough not to fall through the grate. Tubing from the pump will snake up behind the waterfall structure, often rocks, to the top where it will cascade back down to the well.
Maintaining a Solar Waterfall
If installed correctly, and properly maintained, a solar waterfall will operate for years. Any backyard waterfall may need an occasional tune up. Additionally, unless you set up an automatic refilling system, your waterfall will need periodic topping off as evaporation occurs. Maintenance is minimal and similar to conventional garden waterfalls, with the added job of occasionally washing the solar panel for maximum collection of solar energy.
A backyard waterfall adds a feeling of luxury to any backyard and is an ideal do-it-yourself project. They are easy to build either as part of a garden pond or alone as a disappearing water feature. Making your garden waterfall solar powered is a small investment that will make your water fall environmentally friendly and free to operate.