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Building Cheap Outdoor Water Fountains

How to Make Use of Cheap Statuary in Your Water Garden


Feeding tubing through fountain statuary

After drilling a hole in the top and bottom of statuary, feed tubing through.

David Beaulieu

It's the decorative statues that really make an outdoor water fountain a focal point of your garden. But if our goal in this artificial pond project is building a cheap fountain, we'd better employ some do-it-yourself tricks to keep costs down. It's easy enough to go out and buy a costly water fountain statue with the "plumbing" all ready to go. But with a little ingenuity, we can reduce the cost of this artificial garden pond project considerably.

We'll simply be making plumbing where no plumbing existed before! This also gives us more flexibility in our small artificial pond project. For in our shopping we may stumble upon just the right statue -- and at a cheap price -- only to find that it wasn't designed to house water fountain plumbing.

In the picture at right, you'll see the solution to this problem. For my artificial pond I had purchased discount plastic statuary -- a boy and girl holding a basin -- that was designed sans plumbing. So I simply drilled one hole in the bottom of the statue, and another near the top. With an Exacto knife I expanded the holes so that they'd be large enough for me to feed plastic tubing through.

I used 1/2" plastic tubing, because the discharge adapter on my pump is 1/2" (the discharge adapter is the little "pipe" coming up out of the pump's hole, through which the water is pushed out). With the plastic tubing fed through the statuary, the excitement begins! For now it is time to bring your decorative water fountain statue over to the preformed pond liner.

Fill the pond liner with water. Place the pump into the water, without plugging it in yet (keep the plug end over by its outlet, so that it will stay dry). The Little Giant submersible pump model that I mentioned (on Page 1) should always be submerged when it's running -- otherwise, it will overheat and you'll damage the pump. Now take the end of the plastic tubing that's hanging out of the bottom of the statue, and fit it over the pump's discharge adapter. Situate your water fountain statue wherever you planned for it to stand. In my pond's design the statue sits on the rim of the pond liner (half over the water and half over the ground).

And now for the moment you've been anticipating. Take the pump's plug, and plug it in to the outdoor outlet. Enjoy gazing at that first jet of water, shooting up into the sky. After this initial enjoyment, you can go back to work, adjusting the way you've situated your water fountain statuary, so that the jet goes where you want it to go. If the jet drops at the edge of the water, rather than in the middle, you'll lose water faster. Too much of the falling water will splash out onto the ground. The faster you lose water, the sooner you'll have to refill the pond.

With these adjustments made, you're ready to incorporate decorations to enhance the beauty of your outdoor water fountain. Besides water garden plants and additional statues, decorative rocks placed in and around your new outdoor water fountain will dress it up considerably. If you've made a habit over the years of bringing home pretty rocks, this is the time to put them on display. Rocks and water complement each other. If a nice rock specimen looks pretty when it's dry, just get it wet -- and it becomes spectacular!

When undertaking projects such as building artificial ponds, always keep home safety tips in mind.

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