I want our little stream to babble and so I need a waterfall. I have the spot picked, but each time I try to dam it up, the water pushes thru and I have to try again. I'm using only natural materials: no rubber or plastic, that's important.

Anyone with experience? Thanks

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    I don't understand the question. My kids make waterfalls with rocks all the time. Are you saying that the flow rate is too low to do so? – isherwood May 31 '19 at 14:22
  • Kids are so ingenious ... – Solar Mike May 31 '19 at 15:18
  • "A child could do that." "Trouble is, there's never a child around when you need one..." – Harper - Reinstate Monica May 31 '19 at 15:48
  • Every year the grand kids pile rocks on our creek to make a deep fast moving area . They use the largest rocks they can move then fill in with smaller ones and the part they figured out was to use grass clippings to really seal things up, their “dam” is only about 8” tall but the water really bubbles in. The center where the wall is an inch or 2 lower. But as Phil said in a comment below you have to be careful with local regulations especially if there are fish in the creek. – Ed Beal May 31 '19 at 16:57

The location of a waterfall, rapids etc. is not choosable by humans, it is defined by the lay of the land. You need to start with an elevation map of the land, i.e. what the elevations are at each point. That will tell you a waterfall/rapids will be possible.

Once you have located a viable location, then just move your house there :) Seriously, see if you can re-grade the land so it is favorable for your water feature.

Just don't trifle with water projects...

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    In many jurisdictions you must apply for a permit to alter the flow of a waterway. One way around this is to hire beavers. – Phil Freedenberg May 31 '19 at 16:32
  • @Phil real beavers or just photo(shop) evidence :) – Solar Mike May 31 '19 at 17:12
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    I find beavers to be unreliable. A beaver has been working on chewing down a tree near us for a couple months. The tree is about 14 inch in diameter and he's only 1/3 of the way through. – B540Glenn May 31 '19 at 18:21

Sight unseen, the concept of creating a dam in a stream is likely more complicated than you think in that WHETHER or not you can effectively dam it is based on a large number of factors. For example soil permeability. If the soil allows a lot of water to flow through it, damming a stream then immediately fills the surrounding soil with water, weakening it, so it flows around or under the edges of your dam, undermining the structure until it just washes it away. Bottom line if you have tried several times and that is what happens, you may not be able to get what you want.

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