Ecology + Design

Constructing Backyard Waterfalls – Yorktown Heights NY

The scope of this Yorktown, NY project involved recirculating water from five ponds along with constructing five waterfalls. Our work included hydro-dredging as well as installing a bottom aeration system designed to increase the dissolved oxygen level by inverting the laminar flow. This is a mouthful to describe the simple process of turning the water column over to reduce sludge deposits in the pond bottom. Part of the neat technologies we used featured outboard, high efficiency pumps in conjunction with ball valves and back-flow preventers.

We are always interested in exploring new ways to adapt technologies to our waterfall construction. This project gave us the opportunity to employ two types of irrigation diffusers to create an attractive waterfall/spillway. By reducing and channeling the flow we were able to direct and focus the splash to best effect. This required hand crafting the rock, using hydraulic cement and a variety of couplings and parts. Once again we took advantage of the good weather to make it happen. This was especially true since we spent some of our time on ladders or in the water.



All stone was sourced on site. The shelves for the waterfalls were created by shaping with a masonry saw and hand chisels/hammers. It is always a lot of fun to recreate nature in the landscape. A unique aspect of this project is the use of stormwater for on-site capture and rainwater harvesting.


We thank David Welling from Conservation Technologies (Baltimore, MD) for providing invaluable tech support. The diffusers came from Cooper Mulch (Danbury, CT). Additionally we used Muck Away, supplied by our good friends Fourth Generation Nurseries (Mendon, MA). This added value to the Micro Lift live bacteria, provided by Green Earth Agriculture (Branford,CT). This combination is extraordinarily useful in reducing and controlling algae bloom/growth by increasing and promoting the culturing of beneficial bacteria or bio-film within the waterbody and pond surfaces.

Jay Archer, President


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