Building A Stream For A Pond In Atumwa Iowa

It started out like any normal pond job consultation.

Our client called us to come check out their pond in Atumwa, Iowa. We drove the 1½ hours out there and started talking to them about what they needed and wanted.

Then we saw the retention pond they were excavating.

So of course we had to ask about it, being pond nerds and all. We started shooting ideas back and forth with the client for how they could make it look nicer. They decided that a stream would take it to the next level.

Our client then hired us to also build a stream for their retention pond.

Let’s see the process it took to make this transformation happen:

A Little Bit About The Project

We don’t mind that it is a fair distance away, we go just about anywhere in Iowa to give someone an amazing water feature they’ll love. Staying in a hotel for a week is kind of fun anyways.

Building a stream for this client is no exception.

The location for the stream is about 300 feet away from the house. The client wants to be able to hear it from their house, so we’re going to have to make it a big stream.

View of retention pond and stream from clients house

That’s why we we’re making it 60 feet long and 40 feet at its widest with two pumps that pump 25,000 gallons per hour each. This will make it the focal point they want.

We talk to the client to determine their wants and needs, discuss design and options, and make sure everyone is on the same page.

Now it’s time to start building a stream.

Time To Start Building A Stream

You can tell from the previous section that this project will take a lot of time, manpower, and large equipment.

Just look at the area we’re digging out here:

It took a while, but we finally got the area dug out and ready for the next step.

Speaking of the next few steps, we’re bringing in some experts to help us knock it out of the park for our client, including Ed Beaulieu from Aquascape (the big daddy of ponds).

Let’s start the building process by laying down some liner.

Laying Down The Stream Bed Liner

You don’t want water going where it isn’t supposed to, it can make things soggy and complicated.

That’s why we install a heavy duty liner that can keep the water in the stream bed:

Laying down the liner is important for building a stream

It’s going to take a lot of liner to cover the whole stream bed, but we’ll manage.

Now comes the hardest part: rocking out the bottom.

Rocking Out The Stream Bed

We try to have some fun building water features, but it’s still nothing like rocking out at a concert!

Unless you love water features as much as we do.

Rocking out involves laying down gravel and rocks to protect the liner and provide a natural look. You wouldn’t want to look into a stream and just see a black liner bottom, right?

Our client would rather see this:

The larger rocks help channel the water and also provide a cascading effect to make the sound of splashing water. With this setup, once we turn it on it’s going to sound beautiful (and we can’t wait to hear it!)

Once the rocking is done, we need to hook up the plumbing.

Hooking Up The Plumbing For The Stream

A stream is no good if the plumbing can’t handle the water, or work right at all.

That’s why we take extra care to ensure all the pipes are in quality condition and are set in correctly:

Installing the plumbing so the stream we are building will work

Then a slight miscommunication about the pumps comes up.

The electrical work necessary for it is going to take more work than we thought to get everything up and running. As we figure it out, it turns out to be not too big of an obstacle so we can continue with the job.

Sadly, We Have To Wait Now

We finish the stream and it is amazing!

The only problem is, we can’t turn it on yet. The pond itself is not yet full enough for us to be able to run the pumps without wasting a lot of water.

It was on our minds all winter long as we had to wait to see what our client thinks of it.

Love At First Sight

We came back as soon as spring hit and turned that stream on.

Our client loves it, especially after having Perennial Gardens come in and do the landscaping around it:

They are still happy with their stream (and the pond we originally came to fix) and that makes us happy. Our client ran the waterfall all of winter 2018 and it works like a dream.

Here is how you can care for your water feature during winter >>

The LED lights they installed make it look even better at night.

Check out these up close photos of the stream itself:

What Do You Think?

Our client loves their stream, and that’s our end goal: helping clients improve their life and their home through the power of water features. You can do the same thing for your home.

Let us know if you like our stream in the comments below!