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From Table to Fountain
Making a Homeowner's Vision a Reality

By Alli Rael, LC/DBM


Next to Nature Landscape Design and Pond Professors collaborated to make this 6' diameter stone into a fountain. The feature is not chlorinated, allowing beneficial bacteria to colonize in the river rocks that cover the basin, keeping the water clean.


Due to the large footprint of the basin, most of the water supply comes from rainwater. Maintenance is low: the occasional algaecide is needed to combat the thin layers of algae that are apt to develop with a thin layer of water present.

The owners of this residence in High Point, N.C., had purchased a 6' diameter stone that they had envisioned one day creating into a table. But, after having lain against their garage for years, they called in a professional for help making their vision a reality.

Tucker Beeninga of Next to Nature Landscape Design had a different idea - turning it into a tabletop fountain. But, other installers had told the homeowners that they could never make that stone into a water feature.

Beeninga subcontracted Rex McCaskill of Pond Professors to drill a 2" diameter hole in the center of the stone and from there, create a fountain feature in their backyard.

Back to Basics
To start things out, the landscape had a slight grade to it that had to be removed. When the area for the feature was excavated, the team also used a backhoe to even out the grade. Once the basin was dug out, ten Eco-Blox, matrix blocks for weight-bearing water storage reservoirs, were placed in the hole.

The stone was already mostly level, as was the base once they were done adjusting it. "We just used plastic shims to make it perfectly level," McCaskill explained.

"We used a large pump vault and a 6,000 gallon per hour pump," he said. "There's 2-inch plumbing running through the area and up into the stone."

"Once you have a basin you can put anything on top of it," he explained. "You just need a basin big enough to catch the splash." Where possible, McCaskill likes to use rainwater harvesting systems as the basin.

Putting the Pieces Together
Once the base system was in place, the final piece of the puzzle was moving the stone into position.

"The stone was leaning up against the garage when we got there," McCaskill recalled. "We drilled the hole through it while it was in the garage."

Once the 2" diameter hole was drilled, the team strapped it to the compact loader, had three guys stand on the back as a counterweight, and moved it into position.


Rainwater Harvesting


Rainwater harvesting is the collection and storage of rainwater for uses such as irrigation, non-potable indoor use and more. While rainwater harvesting is now legal in all 50 states, each state has its own regulations. To set up a rainwater harvesting system you need a surface where water lands, pipes to direct the water, and a storage device, which can be kept above or below ground. "You can put a decorative water feature on top of an underground rainwater harvesting system," said Rex McCaskill, Pond Professors. "It keeps the water circulating and moving. It stays clean." At High Point University, High Point, N.C., he installed a rainwater harvesting waterfall with a 4,000 gallon basin. A 2- inch line to the surface drains from the amphitheater. "We have not added water to this feature in a year of running," he said. "Anytime you can capture rainwater, you're doing something good for the environment."

As Seen in the July 2017 Issue of Landscape Contractor Magazine

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August 21, 2019, 1:36 am PDT

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