Calculating Waterfall Pump Flow Rates

Waterfalls or watercourses not only look great and bring the tranquil sound of running water into your garden but Andy Hobson explains that they are also very beneficial for your pond.

Created by Andy Hobson (Alumni) on Tuesday, 14th of May, 2013.
Updated on Monday, 24th of October, 2016.

Waterfall at Hall's Garden Supplies, Sutton Coldfield

There are some very good reasons for adding a waterfall to your pond. Water, breaking the surface of a pond adds vital oxygen, this is not only beneficial for ponds with fish or other aquatic life but it has also been found to be very good at promoting friendly bacteria levels. This bacteria then breaks down sludge and silt which sits at the bottom of your pond and can pollute the water over time. 

How Much Water Flow?

The trickiest part for most people is how much water flow is required. It’s actually very simple to calculate as I will explain.

First you need to measure the head height or head measurement, this is the height of the waterfall from the surface of the water, and then next measure the width of the waterfall.

If you want to achieve the type of effect that you see in most people's gardens, then the easiest way to calculate the flow is to measure the width in cm and multiply that number by 1.5, this will then give you the required flow rate in litres per minute (multiplying this amount by 60 will give you litres per hour).  

It's important to have the correct flow rate as too little will just give you an unimpressive slow trickle of water, while too much will create an inappropriate torrent.

Waterfall Calculation Example

Below is an example of how to work out the flow required in litres per hour:

If your waterfall is 65cm wide: 65 x 1.5 = 97.5 litres per minute x 60 = 5850 litres per hour flow required.

If you wanted something slightly stronger then just double that number, but we would advise taller walls to your waterfall to prevent water loss.

Of course if you plan to have a tallish waterfall you will still require the same litres per hour but may need a quite large pump that can pump that height at the required rate. This is because as you increase the pumping height the output of the pump in litres per hour decreases.

Type of Pump

When possible, always use a solids handling pump as these can pump through a much larger pipe giving you less loss of pressure and a more consistent waterfall. Try to limit the joints and fittings you use as this can cause a loss of flow.

If you are planning to have a massive waterfall or something with a very big drop it is advisable to speak with a pond specialist as they will be able to calculate an exact specification for you.

There will always be someone to answer queries regarding water flow on our 0121 355 7701 helpline or visit our aquatic superstore in Birmingham. 


Related Articles

Tetra Survey Proves Pets Are Good For Children

Tetra Survey Proves Pets Are Good For Children

Tetra have been innovators in the world of aquatics for over 60 years, and Ellie Goodall has been reading a research survey they have recently published proving that keeping a pet is good for your children.

Author: Ellie Goodall

Written by Ellie Goodall.
Published on Monday, 27th of June, 2016.

Reasons To Choose An Intalogs or Blagdon Raised Pond

Reasons To Choose An Intalogs or Blagdon Raised Pond

There's no doubt that building a pre-formed or liner pond involves a certain amount of hard work, so Nathan James Dodd thinks that a raised version from Intalogs or a Blagdon is well worth considering.

Author: Nathan James Dodd

Written by Nathan James Dodd.
Published on Thursday, 12th of May, 2016.

How To Transform Your Pond With Plants

How To Transform Your Pond With Plants

A pond is an essential part of the garden landscape, and plants transform their appearance as well as ensuring a healthy aquatic environment. Dan Everton, our Aquatics Supervisor, shares his thoughts on the best plants to use.

Author: Dan Everton

Written by Dan Everton.
Published on Wednesday, 11th of May, 2016.

How To Prevent Your Pond From Freezing

How To Prevent Your Pond From Freezing

Although winter may be coming to an end, freezing temperatures are still predicted and Dan Everton from our Aquatics Superstore recommends using ice prevention products to safeguard your pond.

Author: Dan Everton

Written by Dan Everton.
Published on Monday, 22nd of February, 2016.

comments powered by Disqus


View RSS Feed


Andy Hobson (Alumni)

former Social Media Co-ordinator

View Profile

Follow Us!

Recent Articles

Poinsettias Now Available From Our Garden Centre

Poinsettias Now Available From Our Garden Centre

With Christmas rapidly approaching, our New Oscott Garden Centre has just taken delivery of that most seasonal of plants – the Poinsettia. These are David Hall's tips on to how to keep these beautiful plants at their colourful best.

Author: David Hall

Written by David Hall.
Published on Thursday, 8th of December, 2016.

GardenSite Donates Christmas Tree To Hospice

GardenSite Donates Christmas Tree To Hospice

Our garden centre has been part of the local community for over 60 years, so when one of our partners, David Coton, received a request to donate a Christmas tree to a nearby hospice, he had no hesitation in helping them out.

Author: Robert Hall

Written by Robert Hall.
Published on Wednesday, 7th of December, 2016.

How To Choose A Real Christmas Tree

How To Choose A Real Christmas Tree

Many people believe that Christmas would not have the same festive feel without the scent of a 'real' Christmas tree. They're naturally fresh, giving off a lovely aroma, and here Martyn Loach gives advice on which ones to buy..

Author: Martyn Loach

Written by Martyn Loach.
Published on Tuesday, 6th of December, 2016.

Premier Christmas Lights

Premier Christmas Lights

There's a huge selection of Premier Christmas Lights, and it's no wonder why they are market leaders judging by the variety and innovation that's on offer. This is Andy Taylor's guide to their range of top quality lights and decorations.

Author: Andrew Taylor

Written by Andrew Taylor.
Published on Monday, 28th of November, 2016.