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Water on tap

In one of the corners of our garden the grass just didn’t want to grow, so we decided to pretty it up with an unusual water feature.


By Roelof Strydom


35W pond pump (able to push water at least 2m)

1 000mm copper pipe

Two compression elbows

Tap wall mount


Plastic bucket



Treated gum pole edging

Wire mesh

Plastic sheeting

Twin flex wire


Drill and drill bits

Tape measure


Utility knife


Shifting spanner

Pipe cutter

Project guide

Difficulty: Easy

Estimated time: One day

Cost: R550

Step-by-step guide

Step 1:

Dig a hole in the ground according to the size of the bucket. Dig the hole a bit deeper than the height of the bucket so that when the bucket is in the hole, it sits below the ground level.


To ensure the water always flows back into the bucket, taper the edge of the ground inwards towards the bucket so that there is a downward slope.


Step 2: With the bucket in the hole, place the pump inside the bucket. Measure the distance from the top of the water outlet on the pump to just above the ground level.


The distance in this case was 120mm, but will depend on the depth of the bucket. This means the section of pipe from the pump outlet to the first elbow should be 120mm.


Step 3: Secure a piece of half inch hosepipe (in this case 60mm) with a compression clamp over the water outlet of the pump. You might have to soften the hosepipe with boiling water to get it over the outlet.


Next secure a piece of copper pipe (again 60mm) to the other end of the hosepipe and tighten it with a compression clamp. On the other end of the copper pipe, fit the first compression elbow.


Step 4: Place the pump inside the bucket again. Now measure the distance from the compression elbow to the wall where the long piece of copper pipe will be.


Step 5: Use the remaining compression elbow, wall mount and copper pipe to complete the section of pipe that will circulate the water.


Step 6: Take a plastic sheet and cut a hole in the centre. Now place this sheet inside the hole in the ground.


Step 7: Place the bucket through the hole in the sheet into the hole in the ground. The piece of sheet will prevent soil from falling into the bucket. Fold away the excess sheeting around the edge of the bucket.


Step 8: Take another piece of plastic sheet, but this time bigger than the first sheet, and again cut a hole in the centre. Place it over and inside the bucket as this will ensure the water flows back into the bucket.


Step 9: Cut wire mesh into a circle the size you want the base of the water feature to be. Cut a slit into the wire mesh so that you can put the pump through the mesh into the bucket.


Step 10: Check that the tap pipe is straight and mount it to the wall by means of the tap wall mount. Now you can screw the tap onto the tap mount.


Step 11: To protect the electrical wire of the pump, slide a section of hosepipe over the wire and let it go into the bucket until it reaches the pump.

I covered the entire length of wire that will go underground with hosepipe.


Step 12: Fold the second piece of plastic sheet over the edge of the wire mesh all around.


Step 13: Place the gum pole edging around the wire mesh.


Step 14: Unfold the plastic sheet and place some pebbles around the outer edge so that it keeps the sheet in place at all times.


Step 15: Finally, cover the entire base area with pebbles to hide the wire mesh and plastic sheet.

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