What can soothe more than the sound of gently running water? Nothing. That’s why water features are so popular in landscapes. Asian cultures have known about water’s calming effects for centuries. That is why a water feature is part of most Japanese and Chinese gardens. Water is also one of the four elements of Feng Shui.
It would be nice if we could each have a babbling brook flowing through our property, but that’s impossible, so we do the next best thing and create the effect of a babbling brook.
Like everything in landscaping, each property owner has his/her own ideas of what a water feature should be. Some like a pond with a waterfall. Others are satisfied with a self-contained fountain. Several factors influence water feature decisions. The first, of course, is budget. The second is the amount of time you want to spend on water feature maintenance.
Ponds are the most expensive water features. Installation involves digging a hole in the ground and placing either a rubber liner or a fiberglass insert in the hole to hold the water. Either a waterfall or a fountain then has to be built to circulate the water in order to give it the sound you want. The water is circulated by a pump, and you need a filter to keep it clean. Rocks are generally used to give the feature a natural look and to hide the mechanical elements. Unless you are quite handy, you may want to consider a professional installation. We offer both design and installation service.
If your pond is a natural design, you will want to put in aquatic plants and fish. Some people like frogs, too. Fish and plants help keep the pond clean by eating algae and other material that can gum up the pump and filter, as well as making the pond look bad. Maintenance includes feeding the fish and cleaning out their waste and other contaminants.
At the other extreme are self-contained tabletop water features for your patio. In between are fountains and larger self-contained water features to accent your garden/landscape.
If you have been thinking about adding a water feature to your landscape, now is the time to check out the various options so that it can be installed in time for you to enjoy a full season of melodic sounds and added tranquility. A good place to start is to go back to our homepage and click on the “Gallery” button and see some of the water features we have designed into other landscapes.
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After reading many reviews on this site as
well as prep sites etc. I bought one of these units last summer (on Amazon, from
Big Fly Sports) just prior to the arrival of hurricane Irene intended as a safeguard in
case of potable water loss/contamination (and because our tap water tastes like algae anyway).
Well, I prepped the black filters as per the instructions and gingerly tightened the plastic nuts so that they were secure but without stripping them and filled it up; the
water tasted fantastic and I felt good about the investment.
There is no o-ring seal, it’s a rubber gasket and both the threaded portion of the filter outlet tube and the nut are plastic so you can’t really tighten them down
much plus the steel in the base of the upper chamber isn’t thick enough to keep it from flexing. I performed the red food coloring test and the water came out with a slightly pink tinge to it but considering that the dyed water in the top chamber was dark red, I thought that it was acceptable. We kept the Big Berkey on it’s own stand, filled it with water from a
pitcher, didn’t take it anywhere and it wasn’t mishandled.
About a month and a half or so later when I was
filling it, I noticed that the filters wobbled more than usual and one simply fell over
leaving it’s base and what appeared to be silicone adhesive behind; turns out the second filter was no longer adhered to it’s base either and was simply sitting there held down by gravity.
I was under the assumption that this product came from British Berkefeld, known for the
performance of their ceramic filters which are used to produce
safe drinking water from contaminated sources. After
some research online, I found out that Fairey
ceramics in the UK produce the filters for BB
and Doulton, I then located the UK contacts at British Berkefeld.
I emailed the company to tell them what had occurred and find out if they were aware of this issue with “their” black filters.
A very nice lady emailed me within a day apologizing for my
issue and told me that those filters and the units themselves were produced
by a company in Florida (New Millennium Concepts) which was not a subsidiary of British Berkefeld; she even went to the trouble to get
their contact info for me. I inquired as to whether I could
purchase the “real” British Berkefeld ceramic filters
to use with my Big Berkey and she told me that their “candles” would not
fit this unit. I didn’t bother to contact the company in Florida and get a new set of filters (which cost $100 for 2) because my primary reason for buying all of this was to filter contaminated water and make it safe to drink. How can I trust that there are not contaminants/protozoa/bacteria etc. that you can’t see or taste flowing around the adhesive
on the filters when I really need them to work or would the adhesive decide to completely let go and allow contaminated
water to pass freely? As far as I’m concerned, I paid $260 for 2 very nice looking polished steel containers that came with filters which WERE NOT produced by the company that this product is named after and whose quality I don’t trust.
For that price range I could have bought a
Katadyn pocket microfiter which is proven. I would use this
as a fancy water dispenser to filter funky tasting tap water but
I’m not paying $100 for those filters. My Berkey is in garage, we have a $25 faucet filter that uses $11 cartridges to make the tap water taste good and I just purchased an MSR Miniworks EX micro filter system (costs almost $30 less than a set of those black filter candles and can be carried in a back pack); it uses a proven ceramic filter with carbon and has a track record of reliability. The unit doesn’t make water quickly but I TRUST what is coming out of it.
MSR (Cascade Designs) states that it doesn’t filter viruses but I already have a Steripen and water purification tabs to take care of that if needed (I’m thinking that those black filters weren’t filtering out any viruses either). I decided to write this because I believe that many people considering these units are very serious about preparing for emergencies where your “must haves” include safe water to hydrate with and I wanted to relay my experience to those willing to plunk down a significant chunk of change for a reliable piece of insurance (plus, I really hate feeling like I was “suckered”). I do hope that this helps in your decision and am sorry to relay my bad news in the midst of all of these great reviews which I always read and use to determine my buying decisions, but I am just being honest.
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