5 Problems with Other Waterfall and Pondless Systems
Pondless Waterfalls Built Using Non-Filtered Rubber Lined Reservoirs = Problems
Typical Pondless Waterfall Kits on the market are designed to utilize a gravel pit with "milk crate" or "matrix" like structures to provide water storage for the water in transit when the pump is shut off. This approach is very inexpensive upfront, however numerous problems often arise after installation due to a lack of filtration and other system limitations.
Avoid Problem #1: Don't Do This!!!! Debris Buildup Leading to Pump Failure and Clogged Reservoir
With the typical pondless waterfall system as described above, the only "filtration system" is the gravel filled reservoir which the water passes through. Over time the gravel becomes clogged with debris and can cause the pump to fail due to a lack of water flow. Because of the lack of filtration, even with sufficient water flow, the inlet on the pump often becomes clogged with debris leading to the pump burning out as well. Eventually the entire pondless waterfall reservoir will need to be removed, the gravel washed, and a new pump installed. The lifespan for these systems are typically anywhere from 3-7 years depending on the amount of debris falling into the system.
From 2005-2011 many "rock pit" style pondless waterfall kits were sold across the United States and Canada due to the low upfront cost. We consistently receive calls from homeowners who had a "rock pit" style system installed just a few years ago which is now either completely clogged and overflowing or where the pump has simply burnt out due to debris clogging.
With a Berkey Waterfall & Stream Kit, the reservoir is located outside of the water feature and a patented pre-filtration system separates the water from the debris as it enters the reservoir. This keeps both the reservoir and the pump debris-free. After selling thousands of systems we have not had one customer to date remove their Filter Tank Reservoir due to debris clogging.
Avoid Problem #2: Impossible to Clean
If water quality becomes a concern, you are stuck. You can always replace the water, but you never have access to the source of the problem without removing the rock and fouled matrix cubes.
With a Berkey pondless waterfall kit there is very limited gravel required therefore, decomposing debris is kept to a minimum. The pump chamber is fully accessible which is made possible by a patented two-piece lid system providing, access to both the filters and pumping components.
Avoid Problem #3: Easily Punctured Reservoir
Another significant concern with the other types of systems is the integrity of the thin rubber lined reservoir beneath the large bed of gravel. If there is a small puncture in the liner all of the reservoir water will drain from the system. Because a puncture is very difficult to detect, it is often necessary to disassemble the entire reservoir in order to locate and repair the leak.
The reservoir in a Berkey Waterfall & Stream System is not only located outside of the water feature but is also constructed of thick heavy duty Polyethylene. The reservoir is very puncture resistant and can withstand contact with sharp materials without any worry of rupture. With a Berkey System no "make shift" reservoir assembly is required.
Avoid Problem #4: Hardware is Not Easily Accessible
In other pondless systems the hardware is placed in the reservoir and beneath the gravel. Servicing this type of system can be very difficult with limited accessibility.
Berkey Waterfall & Stream Kits provide very convenient access to the filters and pumping components. Simply remove the access cap to access the filters and unbolt the lid to access the pumping components. No digging or system excavation required!
Avoid Problem #5: Unrealistic Finish
In nature, rarely if ever is a waterfall or stream seen which ends abruptly into a bed of gravel. Typically a waterfall or stream in nature will end in a shallow pool before being absorbed into the ground. This is what our eyes expect to see. However, with other pondless systems shallow pooling is not possible and the water must fall directly into the gravel bed leaving out the most soothing element of the water feature.
Berkey Waterfall & Stream Systems include the patented Filtrific® Filter Tank Reservoir which is unique in that it allows the option of a pooling finish effect, at the end of the waterfall or stream which also vanishes when turned off. The pooling finish can be small consisting of just a few square feet of surface area or much larger. The pooling finish can be anywhere from 1/2" to 4" deep. When the system is turned off the fixed skimmer allows for all of the system's water including the finishing pool to drain into the reservoir.