linda_117

Waterfall and bond beam walls?

Linda 117
July 6, 2019

Does anyone have this combination. we have a small hill in the yard, I thought it would be perfect for a very natural waterfall. We had the first pool guy come over and he's talking about a bond beam wall. This isn't the natural pond waterfall feel I was going for. Anyone have any other way to deal with this?

Comments (12)

  • branson4020

    Get some images of what you have in mind and show them to the landscape designer. Ask for references and examples of similar work he has completed. Oh, maybe your "pool guy" is not really a landscape designer?

  • PRO
    Patricia Colwell Consulting

    I would not use a pool guy for a pond design and if you want some help here you need to at least post a pic of the space nad some pics of your inspirationI have no idea why a bond beam would be needed in this case.


    In the bottom pic I guess a bond beam might be a good idea but we have built pools with waterfalls many times with no bondbeam .

  • linda117117

    Patricia, you said "we have built pools with waterfalls", are there companies that tie waterfalls into the pool after the pool is complete? I wouldnt mind doing that if the water runs into the pool and circulates back out again. I thought this all had to be done together.

  • linda117117

    I found this one, it has a bond beam wall behind the waterfall. This is kind of the look im going for if I have to have a bond beam. Was hoping others had some other ideas.

  • PRO
    Mystic Pools, LLC

    Linda, I'm trying to understand your original post question. Do you have a pool and wish to add a waterfall?

    The term "bond beam" is being used loosely in the posts. The bond beam is the top of the pool's wall.

    We have added many natural stone waterfalls to pools during construction. For many years we used a traditional pond liner under the stones to prevent any leaking as the water circulates back to the pool. We changed our practices some time ago and began to create a concrete support system during the shooting of the pool.

    This proved to be a better method as it allowed us to waterproof that portion of the structure and also allowed to create the shelves for stone and boulders placement and add up lighting in specific spots We essentially created a "well" to allow water to come up and cascade over the stones as opposed to having pipes set in areas on the waterfall which generally had too much water in one spot or too little.

    Stones are mortared in place on the concrete structure.

    The pond liners will dry over time and with the addition of the pools chemicals on that liner, it can accelerate the drying.


    This method extended the pool's bond beam. Perhaps the pool contractor who looked at your site did not explain it very well and made things confusing.


    On our Houzz page, there are photos of jobs with natural stone waterfalls. One project in Alpine, NJ, was a renovation project and we added the waterfall and a spa above it. That entire section is a concrete structure. There are many large stones and boulders used and the concrete structure which is tied into the pool, provides a superior base.

  • linda117117

    Mystic, thank you very much for that explanation. I do believe the pool builder didnt explain it thoroughly enough. We are not adding a waterfall to an existing pool, we want to build a pool with a waterfall. He said, its basically a wall with an 18" waterfall on top of it? That doesnt seem to be the look I had in mind. We are meeting with a few more pool builders, (In NC) and I will be bringing pictures of what I have in mind. I want it to look like the waterfall was there and the pool was built in to it. I dont like the look of a pile of fake rock on the side of a pool. I will take a look at your page, thank you.


  • PRO
    Patricia Colwell Consulting

    Sorry I undesrstood you wanted a natural waterfall look and did not think going into a pool the ones I have done went into a pond .

  • PRO
    Mystic Pools, LLC

    OK Linda, I figured it out. The pool builder was speaking of a pre-fab, sheeting waterfall such as Sheer Descent. The bond beam on the pool is raised usually 18" to accommodate for this look.

    We built this about 15 years ago. It was part of a renovation project.



    I agree about not wanting a "pile of rocks". We have seen many like that and they're awful. We do things much differently. And, we use natural stone only.

  • linda117117

    Mystic, i think thats a bond beam wall, but he wanted to use it more as a retaining wall and put a falls on top of it. When he mentioned the bond beam wall, I said, i wanted something that looked natural, not a wall. He said it would be very natural looking, and they would use cultured stone for the wall and put the falls above it. None of that sounds natural looking to me. He emailed yesterday and said he could do a hidden wall, (as it the picture I posted above). Im going to wait to see what some other PB's come up with. I've seen plenty of pictures of natural looking waterfalls built in to a hill with no visible wall. I understand that there is a hill and they need to "retain" the dirt and water" from going in to the pool, but there has to be a way to make it look like a falls in the woods.

  • PRO
    Mystic Pools, LLC

    Yikes!! No cultured stone!!! Use real stone. It will never fade. Cultured stone can be spotted a mile away and it fades. If it chips, you will see the concrete beneath the color on the stone.


    When we have added a waterfall onto an existing pool, we extend the pool wall back and create essentially a well. It's almost like adding a shallow spa to the pool. The shape and size is based on what the waterfall finished size is going to be. The water comes up from the bottom of the well to cascade over the stones instead of individual pipes. We also have added a bench in the pool to start the stones below the water level for a natural look.

    A structural engineer is needed to determine how it should be built, proper concrete thickness, rebar schedule, depth (especially frost prone areas), etc...

  • PRO
    Ultimate Water Creations Inc.

    Here are some of our projects where we built waterfalls into the side of a hill that falls either to a swimming pool or spa!







  • linda117117

    Beautiful


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