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2-19 triplett video artBy Eric Triplett

Of all the steps we’ve covered so far in this series of videos on pond installation, this is the only one that might be considered atypical, basically because the need for completing this operation depends on the type of filtration system you’re using.  

In this case, we’re installing a permanent gravel bed in the waterfall/filter unit, which means we need to include a backwash system in the form of a three-way valve and a drain line to make the bed easy to clean, refresh and maintain.  The great thing is that the step is simple and uses pipe-connecting skills demonstrated in earlier parts of the series.

Underlying this procedure is a filtration choice we made right at the start of the design process.  We’ve had experience with waterfall/filter units of every type and variety though the years, and we’ve opting more frequently for the gravel-bed approach these days because we find that it’s both easy to install and easy for our clients to understand and maintain.  To refresh the system, all they need to do is turn a valve to reverse the flow through the filter bed and dislodge built-up sediments for discharge to waste.

There are other good options available – gravel in bags and filter mats included – and we’ll work with those approaches depending upon the specific application.  For this project, however, the permanent gravel bed made the most sense.  And when you install the diverter valve using the orientation recommended in the video, there’s little or no efficiency- or performance-sapping resistance added to the system.

Click here to see this installment of the series – and please do stick around until the very end to see how the fully installed valve system looks.  Also, please forgive the ad that (depending on which search engine you use) interrupts the action a bit after the four-minute mark:  Just wait a few seconds, then click to continue.


Eric Triplett is founder and chief executive officer at The Pond Digger Waterscape Design & Construction in Yucaipa, Calif.  He may be reached at [email protected]

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