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Water Feature repair- Need Guidance

Aakanksha Bhardwaj
April 22, 2019
I designed this water feature that my landscape contractor built for us. He wasn’t the best contractor and made number of mistakes. Anyways long story short, the water pipe is in ground under the concrete and wood Barbecue bar we have..

We are losing a lot of water everything the water feature is on so I ask assuming we have a leak.

Does anyone know if there is a way to fix the leak in the pipe without digging a trench?

Any advise or recommendations to get my water feature running again is much appreciated


Comments (14)

  • cat_ky

    If the leak is in the ground. No way, to repair it, without digging. I am sorry.

  • Izzy Mn

    Could you snake a flexible pipe through existing pipe? But they probably used flexible pipe so probably won't work.

  • Aakanksha Bhardwaj
    Sorry forgot to upload pictures. The pipe is straight I believe.. I can try to put through a flexible pipe..Thanks
  • Kstug

    You said the pipe is leaking but if you haven't already tested the basin I would....fill the bottom basin with water, cover it (plywood or plastic?) Then check back later to see if the water level drops below the pipe. If it doesn't drop below the pipe then the issue is indeed the pipe. otherwise the leak could be in the tub/basin.

    How fast is the leak? I'm not an expert but the design of this water feature looks like it would allow for a relatively large amount of evaporation (high surface area to volume of water).

  • PRO
    Revolutionary Gardens

    Good advice from kstug. Wide shallow spillway, lots of paving around the basin, and judging from the hills in the background of the first pic you probably get a decent amount of wind. I have a similar water feature in my yard but I only have an 8" wide spillway, and I lose a decent amount of water through evaporation and wind spray.

    The best way to troubleshoot these is always to eliminate possible causes. Do what kstug suggests and eliminate the basin as a possibility. Then run a flexline from a submersible pump into the rill to eliminate the plumbing as a possibility. At that point you'll have a better sense of where water's leaving the system. Getting a water feature repaired is hard and expensive because the repairing contractor is assuming responsibility for something they didn't build, and the only thing better than water at getting where you don't want it is a hyperactive kitten in a combination aquarium/yarn store.

  • kentc

    It looks like something that is very cool and desirable in a blog post/Pinterest page/sales brochure/model home/HGTV show but turns out to be impractical and therefore hardly used in real life. Just like an old fad, big jacuzzi tubs in master baths (too much time and hot water to fill) or a current fad, the front yard outdoor patio/lounge area (who wants to sit in their front yard in full view of the neighborhood when you have a more private back yard?)

  • ci_lantro

    Appears to be a safety hazard--a good place to break an ankle. I would fill it in and forget it.

  • sdello

    So what does it do? Does water come out of the bar area, travel down the middle of the bar and spill into the tray at the end? Very different.

  • Aakanksha Bhardwaj
    Thanks Kstug. Yes we have tested both Basins for leakage and as you mentioned the water is losing right at pipe level and then stay in Basins forever.
    We are losing a lot of water.. Tank emptying within minutes while the feature is on so it definitely looks like a leak..
    Thanks for the advise everyone.. I will try to put in the flex pipe and see here it goes..
  • Aakanksha Bhardwaj
    hey Kentc, This is a backyard and not a front yard. We have a view lot on the hills so it is open to the hills..
    It is a pretty cool feature.. and does get used a lot..I wish we just had a better contractor to execute it.. Lesson learnt.. Don’t skimp on your contractors..
  • mad_gallica

    So when the fountain is running, the water in the basin shown drops until it is below the level of the pipe, then the water just sits there?

    I'd check the seal around the pipe.

  • kentc

    I'm pretty sure I didn't say anything about it being in your front yard. My comments were more general, based on many people I've talked to who craved certain currently faddish features that looked cool but then rarely used them. It's great that you use it.

  • SaltiDawg

    Errr, kentc.... the front yard outdoor patio/lounge area (who wants to sit in their
    front yard in full view of the neighborhood when you have a more private
    back yard?)

  • PRO
    Revolutionary Gardens

    @kentc I feel like a large portion of my time is spent saying "are you SURE that's what's going to work for you?" Because I have walked across the Island of Misfit Landscapes and it is a sad place indeed. (and I understood what you were saying if that's any consolation)

    @OP - is that a rubber liner in the basin or a waterproofing applied to the block? I'd also look at the spillway when it's running and see if any water is rolling back under the table.

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