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Build an Outdoor Water Feature

06/05/14, by Kim Downing

This clever water feature adds surprising appeal to any yard. That’s because the tipped-over watering can never runs out of water! What’s the secret? As you can see in the illustration below, this watering can is actually a fountain complete with a reservoir and a recirculation pump. Water pumps through a hidden hose up into the can and then sprinkles back down.

Water Feature

Simple Supplies
Gathering salvaged supplies allows you to make your fountain unique. Ours started with a cast-off watering can (photo below, left) that was beat up but still held water. It sits on a rustic bench found at a garage sale. With items like those in hand, all you need to create a fountain are a pump (photo below, right), tubing, a storage container, metal mesh, and decorative stones. You can find all of these supplies at most home centers.

Water Feature Supplies

Easy Installation
Setting up your fountain is simple. Start by finding a location that’s fairly level and then positioning the bench. Now you can dig a hole for the container. It should be just deep enough to position the rim slightly above ground level to keep soil out. After burying the tub, drop in the pump, and then run the cord and water tubing out so they won’t show. Drill a hole in the bottom of the watering can, and slip the tubing in.

Time for a Test
Before you finish everything up, fill the tub, plug in the pump, and check the flow of water from the sprinkler head. We ended up enlarging some of the holes with a drill bit to get the trickle we wanted. When you’re happy with the flow, seal the tubing to the can with a bit of clear silicone. Then tuck the tubing out of sight. Add the metal mesh and stones to hide the container.

As far as maintenance goes, you’ll just add water on occasion (pour it through the rocks). Also clean out the container if the pump gets clogged.

Smartpond 130-170 GPH Fountain Pump #248380
Smartpond ½” Vinyl Pump Tubing #63082

Expanded ½’ x ½” x 24” Metal Mesh Sheets #168753
26-Quart Plastic Tote #84720
Clear Silicone Sealant #119235

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