1. Choose the location for your water feature. If you want it to include plants, make sure the
light requirements meet the plant’s needs.
2. Purchase your reservoir, fountain basin, one way valve, pump and tubing. We purchased a
3’ high plastic planter from At Home ($50) for our reservoir and drilled a hole in the bottom of
it to accommodate the tubing.
We purchased a 36” basin at Indiana Mulch and Stone ($275), but if you don’t live in
Indianapolis, you can buy basins & pumps online, or find a local vendor. The basins come in
lots of shapes and sizes. The pie shaped top pieces on the basin we chose make it easy to
access the pump for maintenance. Wikihow as a very clear simple explanation of what size
pump to get. For our configuration, we got 100GPH.
You can find flexible and rigid tubing at any hardware store. The tubing is used to connect
the pump to the reservoir, in which case you get an infinity pool effect at the top of the
reservoir, with the water just gently spilling over the sides. Or, to get a fountain effect like
we did, attach the flexible tubing to rigid tubing that extends from the bottom of the inside
the reservoir to near the water’s surface.
A one-way valve prevents the water in the reservoir from emptying into the basin if the pump
is turned off. You can get these at the hardware store.
3. Dig a hole deep enough for your basin, level the bottom and tamp the soil.
4. Place the basin in the hole, backfill & tamp.
5. Cut your rigid tubing to the size of your reservoir, letting it protrude about 1” through the
hole you drilled in the bottom of the reservoir, and use marine sealant to seal. Let dry
according to sealant instructions. For added stability of the rigid tubing, you can use some
expanding spray foam in the bottom of the reservoir.
6. Run the flexible tubing from your pump to the one-way valve, and then up through the
center of the basin to the rigid tubing at the bottom of the reservoir. Stainless steel clamps
on the connections are a good idea.
7. Place the cover sections of the basin onto the basin, fill the basin with water, and plug in
the pump. You will need to keep filling the basin as it pumps water into the reservoir and
may have to turn off the pump occasionally to let the basin water level catch up with what is
being pumped out.
8. Landscape around and on your water feature as you like. We put some water loving plants
down in the basin by leaving a few of the pie shaped sections out. We also made our own
capillary matting from old airline blankets, which we put on top of the basin cover with a
small section that dipped down into the basin, and then put ground cover on top of the