How to Install an Atlantic 24″ Color Changing Colorfalls Project Bundle

Create a water feature with ease with Atlantic’s Formal Spillway Project Bundles! You provide the hardscape materials and we’ve got the rest. Atlantic’s Project Bundles include all the Atlantic components you need, ready to be assembled into the water feature of your dreams. Build a beautiful Color Changing Colorfalls water feature using your choice of stone.

Color Changing Colorfalls hardscape water feature built from the 24" Color Changing Colorfalls Project Bundle

What’s Included in the Color Changing Colorfalls Project Bundle?

Formal Spillway bundles are customizable to your project! Choose your Color Changing Colorfalls size from either the 12″, 24″ or 36″ size in length and we’ll send the correct sized Basin to match.

How to Install

The Color Changing Colorfalls Project Bundles, with two people, should take less than a day to install! We’ve created Quick Install Guides and how to install videos to help walk you through the process.

You can see our Quick Install Guides here: Color Changing Colorfalls Bundle Install Guide

In our install videos, we show you how to complete this water feature, step by step: preparing the base, building the structure, installing the plumbing and capping the columns. The only exception to our videos is that we dry stack the block, you’ll be gluing your blocks together with construction adhesive according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.

Watch our how to install video here!

Tools You’ll Need

For the Layout

  • Markout paint
  • Tape measure
  • 2-ft level
  • 4-ft level
  • A straight 2×4

For the Excavation

  • Wheelbarrow
  • Shovel
  • Tamper

Most stone manufacturers recommend setting their stones on a 4″ bed of tamped sand, stone dust or screenings. You’ll need about 8ft³.

For the Stone

  • Lump hammer or mallet
  • Grinder or chisel

For the Plumbing

  • A large wrench (Channellock 16.5″ tongue and groove pliers)
  • Screwdriver or nut driver
  • Tubing cutters or PVC saw

For the Hardscape

You will also need your hardscape stone and the manufacturer’s recommended construction adhesive. Atlantic’s Flexible Basins are sized to accommodate the most common engineered stone dimensions. For this installation we installed the Color Changing Colorfalls Project Bundle to an already existing wall and used a trapezoidal block curved wall solution by Belgard but, you could also create a rectangle enclosure.

Color Changing Colorfalls hardscape water feature built from the 24" Color Changing Colorfalls Project Bundle

Step-By-Step: Installing the Color Changing Colorfalls Bundle

Preparing the Base

Man tamping out sand for water feature base

If you’re starting from scratch, prepare the base by digging out a 4′ x 6′ area, about 6″ below final grade. Tamp the subsoil and then add 8 to 10ft³ of screenings or damp sand. Tamp again and carefully level the base to about 2″ below grade.

To demonstrate how versatile the Color Changing Colorfalls Project Bundle is, we added the bundle to an already existing wall.

If you’re also starting with an existing wall, remove the soil to a depth of about 2″ below the bottom of the wall. Tamp the subsoil and then add the screenings and tamp again. Carefully level the base to end up at the same level as the bottom of the existing wall.

Building the Reservoir

Man installing flexible pvc pipe and funny pipe through a stone wall for a water feature installation

Pass a length of 1.5″ flexible pipe from the bottom of the wall to the back side, about 8″ in from the left corner. We removed a section of block but, you could also dig the pipe under the wall or drill through the wall with a 2″ core bit.

If you’re installing an autofill, which is strongly recommended, pass the fill line through or under the wall about 8″ from the right corner at the same time.

Installing & Plumbing Basin

Man installing an Autofill Kit into an Atlantic Formal Spillway Basin for a Colorfalls water feature installation

Set the Formal Spillway Basin in place to check that the pipes fit in the molded channels in the bottom of the basin. Then, install the plumbing. It is easiest to install the plumbing before installing the block surround.

Drill a ⅞” hole in the basin, where indicated, for the Autofill. Remove the retaining nut on the Autofill, leaving the washer in place, and apply 3 to 4 turns fo sealant tape to the threads. Insert the Autofill into the basin from the inside out and reinstall the retaining nut. Then, thread the ½” funny pipe adapter onto the Autofill and push the funny pipe onto the barbs of the adapter.

TT3000 pump being installed to a bulkhead fitting and into a Formal Spillway Basin for a water feature installation

Disassemble the single union valve and apply 3 to 4 turns of sealant tape to the threads of the male end with the retaining ring. Install the male end of the vale assembly into the bulk head fitting, making sure the retaining ring is in place. Install a male thread adapter to the outlet of the pump. Then, glue in the 90° elbow. Glue the nipple into the elbow and glue the valve to the nipple. Reassemble the valve to complete the plumbing inside the basin

Refer to the included instructions provided in the box as needed.

Man installing the plumbing in a Formal Spillway Basin for a Color Changing Colorfalls formal spillway project bundle

To finish the plumbing outside of the basin, apply 3 to 4 turns of sealant tape to the threads of the threaded elbow and install in the outside of the bulkhead fitting, oriented downward. Cut a 6″ length of pipe and glue it to the remaining 90° elbow, then glue the other end of the short pipe to the threaded elbow that’s connected to the bulkhead fitting. Finally, glue the bottom elbow into the pipe that’s going into the wall.

Building the Reservoir Walls

Atlantic’s Formal Spillway Basins accommodate most engineered stone dimensions without cutting. We used a curved wall solution by Belgard for our installation but, you could also create a rectangle enclosure.

Man hiding the pump cord of a TT3000 pump in the back of a stone wall for the installation of a Colorfalls water feature

Set the first course of block around the Formal Spillway Basin, then bond the next course of stone with adhesive. Follow manufacturer’s recommended adhesive and adjust or cut as needed. Build up and finish the four wall courses to 16″ tall.

You will eventually need to remove the pump for service or replacements so, you must make provisions for the cord at this time in your construction. In the back wall, cut a groove or leave a space large enough for the plug of the pump to pass through the back of the wall either in the fourth course or between the fourth and fifth course.

Diagram showing the 48" needed to be left open for the installation of a Color Changing Colorfalls hardscape water feature

Build the back wall up another course and the columns up another five courses. Carefully measure to leave 48″ between the columns. In the space between the columns, stack the outer stones flat, leaving space for three vertical stones.

Man placing the hardscape blocks into place for a Colorfalls water feature

Before installing the three vertical stones, cut ½” off of the long dimension to make each 11½” long. Set them side by side, broad side to front, in the center of the wall, 1″ back from the front edge. This will create a relief panel and a ½” deep notch for the lip of the Colorfalls.

Image showing the support blocks needed to support a Color Changing Colorfalls body on the back wall of a hardscape water feature

Be sure to support the body of the Colorfalls behind the three vertical stone wall. We used extra wall block to support the body of the Colorfalls.

Man installing a Color Changing Colorfalls onto hardscape stones

To install the Colorfalls, apply 3 to 4 turns of sealant tape to the threads of a male adapter and install it in the center inlet of the Colorfalls. Test the Colorfalls for fit in the ½” notch then, measure and cut a 1½” piece of flexible pvc pipe. Glue the short pipe into the elbow and install the elbow into the male thread adapter. Finally, glue connections to the long supply pipe to complete the plumbing.

Man capping the stone columns of a hardscape water feature

To secure the Colorfalls, apply silicone, NOT permanent adhesive, to the front lip and block the Colorfalls is seated on. The silicone will allow you to remove the Colorfalls in the future if desired. Apply silicone, not adhesive, to the top of the Colorfalls and secure it with capstones to complete the center wall. Then, cap the columns with 6 blocks each. Measure to ensure the overhang is even all the way around.

Fill the Formal Spillway Basin until the Autofill float rises. Check for proper function and adjust as necessary. Then, cap the pump chamber and install the splash mat.

Man installing the lighting plugs for the Color Changing Colorfalls
Color Changing Colorfalls project bundle light testing of the Colorfalls before turning on the water to the water feature. The light on the Colorfalls is red

To finish off your Color Changing Colorfalls installation, download the InfiColor App on your smart phone or tablet. Available on the Apple App Store and Google Play, this app will allow you to fully customize the lighting colors and sequences for your Color Changing Colorfalls.

Apply a dab of the provided dielectric grease to the plug of the Colorfalls and securely tighten to the outlet of the InfiColor Module. Apply another dab of dielectric grease to the plug of the Module and connect securely to the transformer. Plug in the Module and test. You’re now ready to program your InfiColor Color Changing Colorfalls. See manual for details if needed.

Color Changing Colorfalls hardscape water feature built from the 24" Color Changing Colorfalls Project Bundle

Plug in the pump and enjoy your beautiful new Atlantic water feature!

Be sure to check out our YouTube for videos on the other Formal Spillway Project Bundles and read more on the blog!


About the Author:

Caitlyn Winkle

After graduating from the University of Akron, Caitlyn joined Atlantic-OASE in the fall of 2019. Caitlyn manages the social media and online content for the company. She also supports the Atlantic-OASE Professional Contractor (APC) Program and Marketing Departments in creating marketing and advertising strategies and plans.

What Happens to Turtles and Frogs in the Winter?

Today was a reminder of just how brutal Winter can be – the car said it was a balmy 1° this morning on my way into work. Add in the wind chill and my freezer at home would feel positively comfy in comparison. When temperatures drop this low, some may wonder what happens to fish, turtles and frogs in the winter?

The cold is bad enough for us, and we have the equipment and technology to keep ourselves from freezing. Other warm blooded animals cope with the lack of warmth and food by hibernating. A bear will store up enough calories in fat to stoke her inner fire for months, find suitable shelter then go into suspended animation, lowering her temperature and metabolic functions to the very minimum needed to stay alive. She will ‘sleep’ thus until she runs out of stored fuel. She’s bet the farm that it will be warmer by then.

Cold blooded critters don’t generate inner heat. Their core is going to be the same as the temperature outside. So what happens to the various crawling, hopping and swimming critters in your pond when temps drop below freezing? They have to deal with freezing temperatures very differently than us warmbloods.

Frozen pond in the winter
Photo by Monica Malave on Unsplash

Fully aquatic animals and fish can hibernate in much the same way as warmbloods if the water is deep enough that it doesn’t freeze solid around them and there is sufficient oxygen. They take advantage of water’s unique properties. First, water can hold a lot more oxygen the colder it gets, so they can simply absorb it through gills and skin without physically moving to breathe. Then, the water at the bottom of the pond is always warmer than the ice on top, because unlike every other compound on the planet, frozen water is less dense than liquid water. Ice floats, right? Water is actually at its densest, and therefore heaviest, at a balmy 39 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s cold enough to slow the metabolism of fish, frogs and aquatic turtles way down, decreasing oxygen demand, but warm enough for them to simply hang out under the ice.

I watch my Koi just float, mostly motionless, through the icy window covering my pond. Turtles need so little oxygen they can sleep burrowed in the muck. Native Leopard Frogs need their skin exposed to absorb oxygen; they just sit on the bottom staring, waiting for Spring.

But how do terrestrial cold bloods deal with cold winters? They can’t take advantage of those ‘warm’ bottom waters insulated under ice and snow, they’d drown. They can’t hibernate because they don’t produce any inner heat to keep from freezing. These guys have to ‘brumate’. Their metabolism drops to near zero, they don’t breathe, their hearts may even stop beating and they partially freeze – then revive themselves in the Spring.

The challenge they face is to keep ice from forming inside the cells of their organs when temps drop. Ice crystals are sharp, and water expands when freezing, which would damage or destroy cell structures and burst cell membranes, killing the animal. Frogs, turtles and a number of other animals can partially freeze without damage the same way you winterize an RV – by filling the most critical structures with antifreeze.

Turtle with head sticking out of pond
Turtle Photo by Chris F from Pexels

As temps drop, they dump excess water inside their cells, expelling it into the spaces between the cells. Then they flood the cells with glucose, creating a concentrated sugar solution that resists freezing well below 32 degrees F. At the same time, special proteins bond to ice crystals in the water around the cells, blocking the individual crystals from attaching to each other. The water around the cell can freeze but the ice crystals stay in suspension instead of clumping together, keeping the ice from solidifying and harming the animal.

Frog sitting in pond
Photo by Fatih Sağlambilen from Pexels

In this way, frogs can literally be 70% frozen, cocooned in mud all winter, not breathing, heart stopped, looking dead to the world. When Spring arrives they defrost, their lungs and hearts resume activity and they pop out of the mud unharmed. In fact, the sight of frogs and toads emerging from the ground as it thawed gave rise to the ancient notion that they were literally made of mud, a myth that wasn’t dispelled until the 18th century.

So, don’t worry about that frogsicle you thought croaked – chances are he will rise to croak again.  


DEMI FORTUNA

Demi has been in water garden construction since 1986. As Atlantic’s Director of Product Information, if he’s not building water features, he’s writing or talking about them. If you have a design or construction question, he’s the one to ask.

A-O Pro Tip – Installing a Skimmer with Pond Professors Inc. & Whitaker Waterscapes LLC

It’s our favorite day of the week, Tip Tuesday that is, and we have another A-O Pro Tip for you! This week, Rex McCaskill and Travis Whitaker give us some helpful tips when installing a Skimmer. Let’s dive right in and see what tips they have for us!

Contractor installing a skimmer into the side of a pond

This tip comes from a demonstration build at Smith Turf Irrigation in Colfax, North Carolina. Contractors from Pond Professors Inc., Whitaker Waterscapes LLC, Atlantic-OASE staff and more all came to Smith Turf Irrigation to teach and learn some water feature installation techniques. During this 1-day training, the contractors installed an awesome pond and waterfall with Atlantic Spouts, a Copper Spillway and a Copper Bowl flowing into the pond!

A-O Pro Tip #7 – Installing a Skimmer with Pond Professors Inc. & Whitaker Waterscapes LLC

Pond with waterfall, copper spillway bowl, wall spouts and copper spillway

For the 7th A-O Pro Tip in our Learn From The A-O Pro’s series, Rex McCaskill from Pond Professors Inc. and Travis Whitaker from Whitaker Waterscapes LLC, show us some helpful tips to consider when installing a skimmer into your pond.

Watch the A-O Pro Tip here!

Both Rex and Travis explain how important it is to make sure your skimmer is level when installing. Travis also explains that you make sure the skimmer is installed on the opposite side of your waterfall for good circulation.

Skimmer installed into the side of a pond

Travis and Rex also teach the contractors how to install their pond liner and rocks higher than the overflow of the skimmer.

Want to be featured in the next A-O Pro Video?

Do you have some unique and help tips and tricks on installing water features? We’re looking for the next A-O Pro to be featured in our video series and we want to visit you! Tell us what upcoming water feature builds you have planned and what A-O Pro tips you have for us and we’ll send someone from the Atlantic-OASE team out to video you and your work!

Contact your Regional Sales Manager to learn more on the A-O Pro Series. Not sure who your Regional Sales Manager is? Contact us at marketing@atlantic-oase.com

Stay tuned for more A-O Pro Tips here on the blog and don’t forget to follow us on Instagramand subscribe to our YouTube so you don’t miss out on all the Learn From The A-O Pro’s videos!

Comment below for more questions on installing a skimmer or email us at info@atlantic-oase.com


About the Author:

Caitlyn Winkle

After graduating from the University of Akron, Caitlyn joined Atlantic-OASE in the fall of 2019. Caitlyn manages the social media and online content for the company. She also supports the Atlantic-OASE Professional Contractor (APC) Program and Marketing Departments in creating marketing and advertising strategies and plans.

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8 Water Features to Give Your Dad for Father’s Day This Year

Happy Father’s Day AND happy Summer Solstice, aka the first day of summer! What better way to kick off the summer than to give your dad a new water feature to enjoy all summer long? Here are 8 great water feature options to gift your dad this year!

A Formal Spillway to add to your patio or existing hardscape

Stainless Steel Spillway Project Bundle

Check out Atlantic’s new Formal Spillway Project Bundles to create your very own formal spillway. Project Bundles include everything you need but the stone to create awesome water features!

His own custom fountain bowl or vase

Blue Fountain Vase in a backyard with a patio

Use our Fountain Systems to make any fountain come to life. Pick out a fountain topper of your liking (bowl, vase or pot) to put on an Atlantic Fountain Basin.

A Pond-free waterfall

Pond-free waterfall created by Art of the Yard

Waterfall by Art of the Yard, Colorado

Find a contractor near you to help bring the sights and sounds of a waterfall to your backyard. Click here to find a contractor in your area.

A classic koi pond

Koi fish pond

You can’t go wrong with a classic koi pond in your yard! Spend hours outside watching your gorgeous fish swim by. Keep it clean and clean with the OASE BioTec Screenmatic².

Add some pizzazz to your pool with some spillways

Pool with Stainless Steel Spillway flowing water into it by Designing with Elements

Spillway by Designing with Elements, New York

Make some additions to your pool this year with Atlantic’s 316 Stainless Steel Spillways that are specifically made for chlorinated pools.

Spruce up your water garden with a new fountain

Filtral UVC fountain and filtration set

Already have a water garden? Drop in a decorative fountain feature with the OASE Filtral UVC. Choose between 3 different nozzles and also get the added bonus of built in filtration to help keep your water nice and clear!

Go big with a pond and waterfall

Pond and waterfall by Bulone Brothers Landscaping

Pond and waterfall by Bulone Brothers Landscaping, Ohio

Go big or go home like dad always says and give him the pond of his dreams.

Or maybe he wants to give the furry member of the family somewhere to splash

Dog swimming in pond with small waterfall by Liquid Landscapes

Pond by Liquid Landscapes, North Carolina

It is the first day of summer after all. Give the Dad’s best friend the summer he’ll never forget with a pond to cool off in!

We’re wishing you a great Father’s Day and know good ole Dad will be so thrilled with his new water feature this year! Stay cool this summer!


About the Author:

Caitlyn Winkle

After graduating from the University of Akron, Caitlyn joined Atlantic-OASE in the fall of 2019. Caitlyn manages the social media and online content for the company. She also supports the Atlantic-OASE Professional Contractor (APC) Program and Marketing Departments in creating marketing and advertising strategies and plans.

Don’t Throw Away Your Shot! It’s Nature Photography Day

Can you recall a time when you’ve hiked through the woods a deer grazing just 500 feet ahead of you? Or have seen a butterfly perched precariously on a fallen branch? Maybe caught a glimpse of a fox scuttling through your backyard? These are moments that sometimes we wish we had a camera to take a quick picture so that we can savor that moment for years to come, i.e., post it on Instagram. Nature Photography Day embodies not only getting out your camera and getting your Ansel Adams on, but learning how to conserve the natural spaces around you so that wildlife can flourish and be enjoyed for generations to come. June 15th celebrates the photographer in all of us, whether you are a seasoned vet or a beginner, capturing nature at work through a lens is a whole new experience, and it’s closer than you think, try your backyard. 

Attract Wildlife with Your Water Feature

So, what does Nature Photography Day have to do with water features? Well, where’s there’s water, there’s wildlife. This is a chance to incorporate what you already know about water features and extending that knowledge with conservation. It’s as simple as adding wildlife friendly plants to your water garden. So, if you’re looking to add a little National Geographic to your backyard, here are some helpful plants to get you started: 

Arrowhead aquatic plant

Arrowhead – Arrowhead is a great food source for deer, waterfowl and birds, this plant can grow up to 3ft tall and it also provides shoreline erosion protection. 

Blue Lobelia flower

Blue Lobelia – With spikes of blue flowers that bloom in late summer, it attracts hummingbirds in the fall. This plant does well in shade and can grow up to 3ft in height. 

Coontail plant

Coontail – Named after it’s raccoon tail like appearance, it’s a great plant for reducing problematic algae as it takes in phosphorus from the water. This plant does need to be managed so it doesn’t take over the pond.

Joe Pye Weed flowers

Joe Pye Weed – As a pollinator attractor, this plant blooms in late summer and produces beautiful clusters of pink flowers. On cool September nights, you may be able to spot some bumblebees roosting on the flower heads. This plant can grow up to 6ft in height and tends to do better in full sun. 

Marsh Milkweed flowers

Marsh Milkweed – Milkweed is a common butterfly attractor so it’s no surprise that the Marsh Milkweed attracts Monarch butterflies and caterpillars! This plant blooms pink clusters of flowers with a delicate scent. Be prepared, they grow quick, and their blooming cycle is from June to August, they can grow up to 5ft in height. 

For more information about what plants attract which wildlife, please visit the link here.

Capturing Wildlife Through a Lens

Sony Camera sitting in the grass, sense pointing towards the viewer

One of the best ways to capture nature is to just go out with your camera and start taking photos. It can start off being of the plants that surround your pond to the general landscape itself. Who knows, you may catch a few bumblebees in your shot or a cardinal or two. Those are what Bob Ross likes to call “happy little accidents”. Trust me, it’s hard to plan when nature will present itself to you especially when you have a camera in hand. But there are ways to help aid that. A sure way to see some action is to set up a trail camera, they are a great way to catch some of these hidden gem moments when you aren’t around. You can find an array of budget friendly options on Amazon here

So how will you be spending Nature Photography Day? Happy snapping and share with us some of your favorite photos of nature at work! 

For more tips on photography, visit our blog! Read our blog from National Camera Day last year: Capturing the Perfect Water Feature Picture and stay tuned for more photography and videography blogs coming soon!


About the Author:


Leah La Farciola

Like the elusive bigfoot, Leah enjoys the great outdoors. Hiking, biking, attempting to longboard, falling off said longboard, rollerblading, you get the picture. Leah attained a piece of paper from THE Ohio State University that states she can make drawings move on a computer. She is the Multimedia Coordinator for Atlantic-OASE, catch her work on the YouTube.

How to Install an Atlantic 26″ Copper Spillway Bowl Project Bundle

Create a water feature with ease with Atlantic’s Formal Spillway Project Bundles! You provide the hardscape materials and we’ve got the rest. Atlantic’s Project Bundles include all the Atlantic components you need, ready to be assembled into the water feature of your dreams. Build a beautiful Copper Spillway Bowl water feature using your choice of stone.

Copper Spillway Bowl hardscape water feature built from the 26" Copper Spillway Bowl Project Bundle

What’s Included in the Copper Spillway Bowl Project Bundle?

Formal Spillway bundles are customizable to your project! Choose your Copper Spillway Bowl from either the Round Copper Bowl or Square Copper. Then, choose the color of your Flexible Basin in either black, grey, or tan.

How to Install

The Copper Spillway Bowl Project Bundles, with two people, should take less than a day to install! We’ve created Quick Install Guides and how to install videos to help walk you through the process.

You can see our Quick Install Guides here: Copper Spillway Bowl Bundle Install Guide

In our install videos, we show you how to complete this water feature, step by step: preparing the base, building the structure, installing the plumbing and capping the columns. The only exception to our videos is that we dry stack the block, you’ll be gluing your blocks together with construction adhesive according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.

Watch our how to install video here!

Tools You’ll Need

For the Layout

  • Markout paint
  • Tape measure
  • 2-ft level
  • 4-ft level
  • A straight 2×4

For the Excavation

  • Wheelbarrow
  • Shovel
  • Tamper

Most stone manufacturers recommend setting their stones on a 4″ bed of tamped sand, stone dust or screenings. You’ll need about 8ft³.

For the Stone

  • Lump hammer or mallet
  • Grinder or chisel

For the Plumbing

  • A large wrench (Channellock 16.5″ tongue and groove pliers)
  • Screwdriver or nut driver
  • Tubing cutters or PVC saw

For the Hardscape

You will also need your hardscape stone and the manufacturer’s recommended construction adhesive. Atlantic’s Flexible Basins are sized to accommodate the most common engineered stone dimensions. For this installation we chose 4 x 8 x 12 inch blocks, but there are many other options. Our feature took a total of 166 blocks, including 3 that needed to be cut.

Copper Bowl spillway

Step-By-Step: Installing the Copper Spillway Bowl Bundle

Preparing the Base

Man tamping out sand for water feature base

Prepare the base according to manufacturer’s guidelines – most recommend a 4″ deep base of level, tamped sand or stone screenings. You’ll need at least a 5 x 6 ft area so there’s room to work. Level and tamp the base material until your footprints no longer leave an imprint. Then, go back and re-level the base.

Building the Reservoir

Man building the stone base of a hardscape reservoir basin

Lay out guidelines in the base material and start laying the blocks at the front and center. To make our feature more interesting, we set some blocks on edge, which required us building the first two courses simultaneously. We built the front and sides first, leaving the back wall to be measured and marked out before installing.

Measure between the side walls to make sure the walls are 48″ apart. Then, measure your front wall back to mark out a guideline for where your back wall will be placed at 24″. Use your marks as a guide and set the base blocks for the back wall, adjusting as needed. Measure and verify the space inside the walls is exactly 24″ x 48″, as that is how large the space needs to be to ensure the flexible basin will fit snuggly.

Man measuring the corners of the base of a hardscape reservoir basin

Finish the second course. Then, measure the diagonals. If the diagonals are equal, all of the corners are square. Check to make sure your second layer is aligned, level and plumb. Add the third and fourth courses of block next.

Arrows pointing to a spot in the wall of a hardscape reservoir stone basin to show where the plumbing will go

Cut a wall stone in half to make two 6″ pieces, set one in the corner of the third course and leave a 6″ wide space, centered 9″ from the corner for the plumbing to pass through the wall. Finish the fourth course by cutting a stone to 3″ and 9″ to allow a whole stone to span the space later.

Installing & Plumbing the Flex Basin

Ensure the base the flexible liner will be sitting on is clean, smooth and free of debris. The weight of the water could damage the liner if there are any sharp objects in the base material.

Man installing a bulkhead fitting to a hardscape flexible basin liner

Remove the reverse-threaded nut on the bulkhead fitting, turning clockwise. Remove the rigid slip ring, leaving the soft rubber gasket in place. Then, insert the bulkhead fitting into the pre-punched cutout from the inside of the hole of the flexible basin. Slip the flange over the the threads of the fitting, then, re-install the reverse-threaded nut, turning counter-clockwise. Tighten by hand adjusting the nut so the points of the nut are vertically up and down. Use a wrench to give the hexagonal nut a final turn.

When fully tightened, the top and bottom of the nut should be parallel to the top of the block. This will lock the nut in place. If the nut isn’t aligned like this, the bulkhead fitting will not sit properly between the blocks.

Man installing a bulkhead fitting to a hardscape flexible basin liner

Install the preformed Flex Basin in the reservoir. Ensure the bulkhead fitting assembly fits in the space between the blocks of the third course. Cap the space with one whole block and the 3″ cut block to finish the fourth course and set blocks on the flaps of the flexible basin to temporarily hold it in place.

Man installing a bulkhead fitting to a hardscape flexible basin liner

Apply the silicone to the threads of the small tee assembly and screw it into the bulkhead fitting. Temporarily align the side-outlet of the tee sideways for easier access to the Cord Seal Fitting, which allows you to pass a pump or light cord through the plumbing and back out again without leaking. To install the Cord Seal Fitting, disassemble and slip the rubber gasket around the pump cord, smooth sides towards rubber and the halves with the molded-in nuts towards the tee. Be sure to align the inner and outer halves at 90° to each other and then start the screws. Push the Cord Seal Fitting into the tee.

For the neatest installation, slide the rubber coupling on the pump discharge over the tee and snug up the pump cord, pulling any excess cord back through the bulkhead fitting. Then, tighten the screws on the Cord Seal Fitting alternating from one side to the other for even tightening, firmly but not excessively. The gasket will expand around the cord and into the tee, creating a leak-proof seal.

Re-orient the side-outlet of the tee and Cord Seal Fitting downwards and tighten the rubber coupling to complete the inner plumbing.

Hardscape Basin being filled up with water from a hose

Begin filling the basin with water, working out the wrinkles on the floor and corners. As the water rises, pull up on the flaps to eliminate any wrinkles on the walls and, test the flaps for fit by folding them down flush onto the top of the walls. Stop filling the basin when the water reaches the bottom of the bulkhead fitting, or it will spill over.

To eliminate wrinkles, set each block to overhang a little more to the inside and pull the liner tight as you slide each block back until they overhang evenly. The liner flaps leave the edge of the block uncovered so, you can apply a continuous bead of adhesive to secure the caps. Apply a blob of adhesive into each cut out to secure the flaps.

Man installing the pipe for the back plumbing of a Copper Spillway Bowl hardscape water feature

Continue building up the columns to the eighth course. Then move to the back side of the wall to finish the remainder of the plumbing work.

Slide a male thread adapter over the pump cord, apply silicone to the threads and install the adapter in the bulkhead fitting. Then, measure and cut a piece of pipe to extend from the male thread adapter to the back of the wall. Slide the section of cut pipe over the pump cord and glue into the male thread adapter. Next, slide a tee over the cord and glue that to the section of pipe, aligning the side-outlet of the tee towards the center of the back wall.

Glue a 4 foot section of flex pipe into the side outlet of the tee, oriented upwards. We will cut this pipe to the final length when we attach it to the Copper Bowl.

Man creating a double wall to conceal the plumbing of a Copper Spillway Bowl hardscape water feature

Check to make sure that the area behind your reservoir wall is still tamped and level to build the back of the double wall to conceal the pipe. Start by placing the end blocks next to the columns, turned 90° from the back wall to create a 4 inch space for the plumbing. Add a second block turned sideways under the bulkhead fitting to avoid making cuts to your block.

Man finishing building the back wall to conceal the plumbing of a Copper Spillway Bowl hardscape water feature

In the third course, leave a space for the cord and access to the Cord Seal Fitting for future pump replacement. Turn a fourth block sideways to accommodate the space you just created. Continue building the fourth course.

When you reach the height of the capped reservoir wall, cap the back wall as well. Use a cut stone near the center to allow the pipe to pass.

Man building stone columns for a Copper Spillway Bowl hardscape water feature

Carefully center 4 blocks on the caps of the double wall to create the back column around the pipe. Build up the second and third courses but, don’t glue down the front block in the third course. You’ll need to leave it loose to attach the Copper Bowl.

Cap all of the columns to overhang evenly on all sides but, do not glue down the caps for the center column. The center column will need a single block cut to 10 inches to accommodate the pipe.

Man placing a copper bowl on top of a stone hardscape column for a Copper Spillway Bowl water feature

Set the Copper Bowl upside down on a piece styrofoam or cardboard packing to finish the plumbing. Apply silicone to the threads of the included plug and install the plug in the off-center inlet at the bottom of the bowl.

If you would like to add a light to the inside of the Copper Bowl, silicone in a 1.5″ male thread adapter and a Cord Seal Fitting into the off-center inlet instead of the provided plug. Atlantic’s Color Changing Ring Lights make a great addition to the Copper Spillway Bowls.

Cut a 4 inch long piece of pipe and glue it in to a male thread adapter. Then, install the male thread adapter with silicone into the center inlet in the bottom of the Copper Bowl. Place the rubber coupling over the short section of pipe and tighten to secure. Remove the unglued stones and cut the pipe back to the bottom of the capped stones. Carefully set the Copper Bowl on the remaining caps and slide the rubber coupling over the supply pipe. Align the Copper Bowl and securely tighten the rubber coupling. Lastly, replace the loose blocks and top off the reservoir to complete your installation.

Copper Spillway Bowl hardscape water feature built from the 26" Copper Spillway Bowl Project Bundle

Plug in the pump and enjoy your beautiful new Atlantic water feature!

Be sure to check out our YouTube for videos on the other Formal Spillway Project Bundles and read more on the blog!


About the Author:

Caitlyn Winkle

After graduating from the University of Akron, Caitlyn joined Atlantic-OASE in the fall of 2019. Caitlyn manages the social media and online content for the company. She also supports the Atlantic-OASE Professional Contractor (APC) Program and Marketing Departments in creating marketing and advertising strategies and plans.

How to Install an Atlantic 24″ Stainless Steel Spillway Project Bundle

Create a water feature with ease with Atlantic’s Formal Spillway Project Bundles! You provide the hardscape materials and we’ve got the rest. Atlantic’s Project Bundles include all the Atlantic components you need, ready to be assembled into the water feature of your dreams. Build a beautiful Stainless Steel Spillway using your choice of stone.

Stainless Steel Spillway hardscape water feature built from the 24" Stainless Steel Spillway Project Bundle

What’s Included in the Stainless Steel Spillway Project Bundle?

Formal Spillway bundles are customizable to your project! Choose your Spillway color from either the Stainless Steel or Copper Finish Spillway. Then, choose the color of your Flexible Basin in either black, grey, or tan.

How to Install

The Stainless Steel Spillway Project Bundles, with two people, should take less than a day to install! We’ve created Quick Install Guides and how to install videos to help walk you through the process.

You can see our Quick Install Guides here: Stainless Steel Spillway Bundle Install Guide

In our install videos, we show you how to complete this water feature, step by step: preparing the base, building the structure, installing the plumbing and capping the columns. The only exception to our videos is that we dry stack the block, you’ll be gluing your blocks together with construction adhesive according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.

Watch our how to install video here!

Tools You’ll Need

For the Layout

  • Markout paint
  • Tape measure
  • 2-ft level
  • 4-ft level
  • A straight 2×4

For the Excavation

  • Wheelbarrow
  • Shovel
  • Tamper

Most stone manufacturers recommend setting their stones on a 4″ bed of tamped sand, stone dust or screenings. You’ll need about 8ft³.

For the Stone

  • Lump hammer or mallet
  • Grinder or chisel

For the Plumbing

  • A large wrench (Channellock 16.5″ tongue and groove pliers)
  • Screwdriver or nut driver
  • Tubing cutters or PVC saw

For the Hardscape

You will also need your hardscape stone and the manufacturer’s recommended construction adhesive. Atlantic’s Flexible Basins are sized to accommodate the most common engineered stone dimensions. For this installation we chose 4 x 8 x 12 inch blocks, but there are many other options. Our feature took a total of 208 blocks, including 4 that needed to be cut.

Stainless Steel Spillway hardscape water feature

Step-By-Step: Installing the Stainless Steel Spillway Bundle

Preparing the Base

Man tamping out sand for water feature base

Prepare the base according to manufacturer’s guidelines – most recommend a 4″ deep base of level, tamped sand or stone screenings. You’ll need at least a 5 x 6 ft area so there’s room to work. Level and tamp the base material until your footprints no longer leave an imprint. Then, go back and re-level the base.

Building the Reservoir

Man building the stone base of a hardscape reservoir basin

Lay out guidelines in the base material and start laying the blocks at the front and center. To make our feature more interesting, we set some blocks on edge, which required us building the first two courses simultaneously. We built the front and sides first, leaving the back wall to be measured and marked out before installing.

Measure between the side walls to make sure the walls are 48″ apart. Then, measure your front wall back to mark out a guideline for where your back wall will be placed at 24″. Use your marks as a guide and set the base blocks for the back wall, adjusting as needed. Measure and verify the space inside the walls is exactly 24″ x 48″, as that is how large the space needs to be to ensure the flexible basin will fit snuggly.

Man measuring the corners of the base of a hardscape reservoir basin

Finish the second course. Then, measure the diagonals. If the diagonals are equal, all of the corners are square. Check to make sure your second layer is aligned, level and plumb. Add the third and fourth courses of block next.

Arrows pointing to a spot in the wall of a hardscape reservoir stone basin to show where the plumbing will go

Cut a wall stone in half to make two 6″ pieces, set one in the corner of the third course and leave a 6″ wide space, centered 9″ from the corner for the plumbing to pass through the wall. Finish the fourth course by cutting a stone to 3″ and 9″ to allow a whole stone to span the space later.

Installing & Plumbing the Flex Basin

Ensure the base the flexible liner will be sitting on is clean, smooth and free of debris. The weight of the water could damage the liner if there are any sharp objects in the base material.

Man installing a bulkhead fitting to a hardscape flexible basin liner

Remove the reverse-threaded nut on the bulkhead fitting, turning clockwise. Remove the rigid slip ring, leaving the soft rubber gasket in place. Then, insert the bulkhead fitting into the pre-punched cutout from the inside of the hole of the flexible basin. Slip the flange over the threads of the fitting, then, re-install the reverse-threaded nut, turning counter-clockwise. Tighten by hand adjusting the nut so the points of the nut are vertically up and down. Use a wrench to give the hexagonal nut a final turn.

When fully tightened, the top and bottom of the nut should be parallel to the top of the block. This will lock the nut in place. If the nut isn’t aligned like this, the bulkhead fitting will not sit properly between the blocks.

Man installing a hardscape flexible basin liner to a stone reservoir basin

Install the preformed Flex Basin in the reservoir. Ensure the bulkhead fitting assembly fits in the space between the blocks of the third course. Cap the space with one whole block and the 3″ cut block to finish the fourth course and set blocks on the flaps of the flexible basin to temporarily hold it in place.

Man installing the plumbing for a Hardscape Basin

Apply the silicone to the threads of the small tee assembly and screw it into the bulkhead fitting. Temporarily align the side-outlet of the tee sideways for easier access to the Cord Seal Fitting, which allows you to pass a pump or light cord through the plumbing and back out again without leaking. To install the Cord Seal Fitting, disassemble and slip the rubber gasket around the pump cord, smooth sides towards rubber and the halves with the molded-in nuts towards the tee. Be sure to align the inner and outer halves at 90° to each other and then start the screws. Push the Cord Seal Fitting into the tee.

For the neatest installation, slide the rubber coupling on the pump discharge over the tee and snug up the pump cord, pulling any excess cord back through the bulkhead fitting. Then, tighten the screws on the Cord Seal Fitting alternating from one side to the other for even tightening, firmly but not excessively. The gasket will expand around the cord and into the tee, creating a leak-proof seal.

Re-orient the side-outlet of the tee and Cord Seal Fitting downwards and tighten the rubber coupling to complete the inner plumbing.

A hardscape basin being filled up with water from a hose

Begin filling the basin with water, working out the wrinkles on the floor and corners. As the water rises, pull up on the flaps to eliminate any wrinkles on the walls and, test the flaps for fit by folding them down flush onto the top of the walls. Stop filling the basin when the water reaches the bottom of the bulkhead fitting, or it will spill over.

To eliminate wrinkles, set each block to overhang a little more to the inside and pull the liner tight as you slide each block back until they overhang evenly. The liner flaps leave the edge of the block uncovered so, you can apply a continuous bead of adhesive to secure the caps. Apply a blob of adhesive into each cut out to secure the flaps.

Man building a stone hardscape basin for a Stainless Steel Spillway water feature

Continue building the walls and columns. For our installation, we made a framed panel of contrasting block set vertically, edges front and staggered. At the top panel, in the fifth course, set the 24″ Stainless Steel Spillway in place of the two center blocks. Use silicone, not adhesive, to adhere the Spillway to the blocks to allow removal in the future if desired.

Build the columns up one more layer, to 11 courses, then cap the top of the back wall, the Spillway and the columns with contrasting colored stones.

Completing the Plumbing

Man installing the cord seal fitting and plumbing to the back side of a hardscape basin for a Stainless Steel Spillway water feature

Move to the back side of the wall to finish the remainder of the plumbing work. Slide a male thread adapter over the pump cord, apply silicone to the threads and install the adapter in the bulkhead fitting. Then, measure and cut a piece of pipe to extend from the male thread adapter to the back of the wall. Slide the section of cut pipe over the pump cord and glue into the male thread adapter. Next, slide a tee over the cord and glue that to the section of pipe, aligning the side-outlet of the tee towards the center of the back wall.

Dissemble and reassemble a Cord Seal Fitting around the pump cord into the end of the tee. Once the Cord Seal Fitting has been installed, the pump cord will have successfully passed through the wall of the reservoir, inside the plumbing, then out again, leak-free.

Man installing the piping on the backside of a hardscape water feature
Man installing the piping on the backside of a hardscape water feature

To finish installing the plumbing, apply silicone to a male thread adapter and install it into the Spillway. Measure and cut a short section to extend out from the male thread adapter to the back of the wall. Glue the short section of pipe into the male thread adapter and then glue an elbow, pointing downwards, to the end of the short section of pipe. Glue the remaining long section of pipe to the elbow, measure the length needed to reach the tee and cut the pipe to length. Lastly, glue the end of the pipe into the tee to complete the plumbing.

Stainless Steel Spillway hardscape water feature built from the 24" Stainless Steel Spillway Project Bundle

Plug the pump in and enjoy your beautiful new Atlantic water feature!

Be sure to check out our YouTube for videos on the other Formal Spillway Project Bundles and read more on the blog!


About the Author:

Caitlyn Winkle

After graduating from the University of Akron, Caitlyn joined Atlantic-OASE in the fall of 2019. Caitlyn manages the social media and online content for the company. She also supports the Atlantic-OASE Professional Contractor (APC) Program and Marketing Departments in creating marketing and advertising strategies and plans.

Bee Engaged & Help Save the Bees!

The day has come around again to celebrate and raise awareness for our yellow and black buzzing pollinators. Today is World Bee Day, the fourth observance of the holiday, and we’re trying to do our part to help the bees where we can!

Bee hive with bees

With the threat of extinction for bees rising, it’s important to take note of the things we can do as every day people to help protect our pollinators. How can we do more to help the bees you ask? The United Nations lists out so many great and simple ways we as individuals, as beekeepers and farmers and higher-up decision-makers on how we can help keep the bee off the extinction list.

What Can I Do To Help The Bees?

As an individual, here are a few things you can do to “bee” engaged and help protect the bees:

  • Plant a diverse set of native plants that flower during different times of the year to give bees more food sources
  • Purchase raw honey from local farmers
  • Avoid using pesticides, fungicides or herbicides in your personal garden
  • Protect wild bee colonies when possible
  • Make a bee water fountain/pollinator fountain

Yes, you read that last one right! Building a fountain in your yard is a great way to help protect the bees.

Bee on a sunflower

Foraging honeybees collect water to dilute honey, regulate humidity and cool their hive. You can read more about creating pollinator fountains using the OASE Quintet or by creating shallow rocked areas in a Pond-free waterfall to give bees a perfect spot to rest and get a drink in our blog: Add a Water Feature and Save the Bees.

Because fountains and pond water is chlorine free, bees will choose your water feature to get the clean water they need to survive. If there’s a source of water that stays constant, they might chose to make their hive nearby.

This year, because of COVID-19, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is organizing a virtual event under the theme “Bee engaged – Build Back Better for Bees” to help prioritize the protection of bees. You can see information on the virtual event at fao.org/world-bee-day.


About the Author:

Caitlyn Winkle

After graduating from the University of Akron, Caitlyn joined Atlantic-OASE in the fall of 2019. Caitlyn manages the social media and online content for the company. She also supports the Atlantic-OASE Professional Contractor (APC) Program and Marketing Departments in creating marketing and advertising strategies and plans.

Introducing: The Learn From The A-O Pro’s Series!

Introducing the latest project happening at Atlantic-OASE: The Learn From The A-O Pro’s Series! In this new series we meet with some of our most valued contractors to learn how they work. We get to see the behind the scenes, in-action, tips and tricks for how they build their water features!

What is The Learn From The A-O Pro’s Program? 

Learn From The A-O Pro's Logo

The Learn From The A-O Pro’s series is a new video program at Atlantic-OASE where contractors share their expertise in the field. Once a year, we will be selecting contractors to come build in our new SandBox to show us how they create beautiful and unique water features. 

Throughout the rest of the year, we want to visit you at your builds! Tell us what awesome projects you have planned and we’ll send someone from the Atlantic-OASE team to come visit you! Big or small water features, we want to video all your tips and tricks for how you build. 

Building in the SandBox

Art of the Yard, Alpine Custom Hardscapes, August Moon Designs and Atlantic-OASE staff in front of a pond-free waterfall

To kick off the first year of the Learn From The A-O Pro’s Series, we were joined by contractors from Art of the Yard, Alpine Custom Hardscapes and August Moon Designs to come build in The SandBox. 

Art of the Yard, Alpine Custom Hardscapes, August Moon Designs and Atlantic-OASE staff standing in a formal fountain hardscape

Together in a 5-day long demonstration of building techniques, our APC’s (Atlantic-OASE Professional Contractors) created 3 incredible water features. A unique designed hardscape area with combined Atlantic and OASE products. An outstanding Pond-free feature and a one-of-a-kind pond and waterfall showcasing a Copper Bowl with custom fire feature. 

We videoed the entire event and grabbed some helpful water feature tips and tricks to share with you! Watch the introduction to our series below. We gathered some of those tips in our first video but, the full version of each tip will be in coming soon in other videos! Visit our Instagram and YouTube for more coming soon!

Want to be an A-O Pro?

Are you a pro at installing Atlantic-OASE products? Do you have some great tips and tricks to share with other contractors? We want you to be an A-O Pro and feature your projects in our next Learn From the A-O Pro’s video! Tell us what upcoming water feature builds you have planned and we’ll send someone from the Atlantic-OASE team out to video you as you work and get some great A-O Tips along the way!

Contact your Regional Sales Manager to learn more on the A-O Pro Series. Not sure who your Regional Sales Manager is? Contact us at marketing@atlantic-oase.com

What To Expect?

We want to come out and film you and your team at the job site! What will you expect when a member of that Atlantic-OASE team comes to visit? This is what you can expect for each A-O Pro’s event:

  • We’ll film video of you and your team working on your water feature project
  • Film your A-O Pro tips while your project is underway
  • Shoot photos of the completed water feature
  • Film a fireside chat with our Atlantic-OASE staff about your business

Along with the photo and video content, which we’ll give to you after we’ve edited it, contractors will also receive:

  • A complimentary TT-Series Pump or your choice (TT7500 or lower)
  • A Learn From The A-O Pro’s Series custom jacket
  • Photo & video content from your build
  • Social Media exposure for your business

Stay tuned for more blogs on the new Learn From The A-O Pro’s Series and read more great water feature articles here!


About the Author:

Caitlyn Winkle

After graduating from the University of Akron, Caitlyn joined Atlantic-OASE in the fall of 2019. Caitlyn manages the social media and online content for the company. She also supports the Atlantic-OASE Professional Contractor (APC) Program and Marketing Departments in creating marketing and advertising strategies and plans.

OASE Filtral UVC

The OASE Filtral UVC is the ideal all-in-one solution for excellent water quality in smaller ponds and water features. Three sizes of Filtral UVC – 400, 800 and 1400 – clean and clear ponds and fountains up to 1400 gallons with a combination of mechanical and biological filtration paired with ultraviolet clarification. The units are so effective that they qualify for the OASE Clear Water Guarantee when sized as directed.

OASE Filtral UVC filter and fountain pump

The advanced pump, housed in the compact case, moves water silently and efficiently, using minimal wattage, and is thermally protected and grounded against stray current leaks.

Inside of the OASE Filtral UVC

Double filter foams coarse and fine, filter pebbles and bio-media in the case provide excellent mechanical and biological filtration that quickly clears ponds up to 1400 gallons and is easily cleaned. The ultraviolet clarifier operates at a frequency that keeps organics from building up in the water for a year at a time before needing to be replaced, and operation can be monitored via sight glass from outside the pond.

Closeup of diverter of OASE Filtral UVC

On the return side, water is circulated in one of two different ways – via fountain head or through a side outlet, which can divert water to an optional decorative spitter or spout.

Lava Nozzle

Lava Nozzle

Vulkan Nozzle

Vulkan Nozzle

Magma Nozzle

Magma Nozzle

The fountain head comes with three inserts that create different patterns in water from 10” to 24” deep. The Lava insert throws out a clear dome of water, the Vulkan a double tiered fleur de lis display and the Magma a directional arched spray of five individual streams. All can be adjusted via the ball joint on the telescoping tube that also varies the height of the fountain head. A valve shunts water between the upright tube and a separate side outlet, to accommodate a variety of water return options.

Watch the beautiful nozzles in action below or click here!

Setup is simple. Select the water return option you prefer, fountain head, hose or both, then drop the unit into the pond. The 15’ cord allows for a good deal of flexibility in location, and the swiveling ball joint allows perfect vertical alignment even on sloped bottoms.

Maintenance is as easy as setup. The sloped top of the case allows debris to slide off, keeping the intake holes clear. When the flow slows, just pull the unit from the water and rinse off the filters. A grounding plate protects from stray current, and the pumps are thermally protected for long service life.


About the Author:

DEMI FORTUNA

Demi has been in water garden construction since 1986. As Atlantic’s Director of Product Information, if he’s not building water features, he’s writing or talking about them. If you have a design or construction question, he’s the one to ask.