How to Build a Bubbling Boulder Bird Bath
Dig a hole approximately 16″ to 18″ at the deepest point. (Note: the deepest point needs to be close to the edge of the excavation for easy access, this will be the location of the pump vault.)
2. Length and width of the hole needs to be at least 24″ longer and 24″ wider than the boulder to catch any splash. (Note: small boulders with a gentle flow only need 18″ extra on each dimension.)
3. Smooth the soil and remove any sharp rocks that may cut the liner.
4. Install a protective membrane for the liner of either geo-textile fabric, heavy duty weed cloth or old carpet.
5. Install 45 mil EPDM (rubber) liner on top of the protective membrane. Thoroughly check to ensure there is no damage or any holes in the liner.
6. Install another layer of protective membrane, on top of the EPDM liner of either geo-textile fabric, heavy duty weed cloth or old carpet. (Note: this is to protect the EPDM from the fill gravel.)
7. Install the pump vault/strainer in the deepest point of the hole. A pump vault will be either a five gallon bucket (for small features) or a piece of large diameter reinforced pipe (for larger features). (Note: the pump vault must have adequate holes to allow water to flow to the pump.)
8. Backfill the hole with large washed gravel (#2 or larger). (Note: ensure the pump vault is placed on the bottom of the hole and gravel is placed around the sides to stabilize it’s position.) Fill the remainder of the hole to the required level.
9. Attach the hose to the pump and place the pump in the pump vault.
10. Thread the hose through an upper hole in the side of the pump vault and lay in a trough formed in the gravel to and under the boulder area.
11. Place a cover over the vault to stop any gravel getting in.
12. During placement of the drilled boulder; thread the hose through the hole of the boulder ensuring the boulder does not crush the hose. (Note: to ensure the hose is not ‘pinched’, check that you can move the hose back and forth, under and through the boulder.)
13. Cut off any excess hose to ½” below the surface level of the boulder.
14. Wedge the hose in place to ensure the flow of water will be straight up.
15. Seal around the outside of the hose with silicone (between the hose and the boulder) to ensure water cannot run down between the hose and the boulder.
16. Fill the feature with water until full.
17. While the feature is filling; cover the fill gravel with decorative gravel or stone of your choice.
18. Relax and Enjoy!