Pump For A Waterfall: What And How To Buy?

For waterfalls and streams, your pump waterfalls should pump at least 100 gallons per hour for every inch wide the waterfall is. For more noise and “white water” from your falls, increase the flow rate to 200 gallons per hour per inch of waterfall width. Continue reading, you will learn more facts about the pump for a waterfall.

What is the Pump for a Waterfall?

A waterfall pump circulates the water and moves it through your filtration system, spitter, or waterfall. It is akin to the heart of your pond. Your water will be properly filtered and your water feature will look its best if you choose the best pump for the job.

What Are the Types of Pumps for a Waterfall?

Pumps fall into one of two categories: external or submersible. Because they can be concealed easily and are used in skimmer boxes, submersible pumps are preferred for ponds. There are numerous types of pumps available, so the information below will help you choose the one that is best for you.

  • Mag-Drive: Perfect for small- to medium-sized applications like spitters and compact in-pond filters. Magnetic impeller power pumps like the Pond Guy MagFlo and others in this category. These typically have a long lifespan, and typically all the pump needs to be updated is a new impeller.
  • These are ideal for medium- to large-scale applications because they have higher flow rates at lower head pressures. Asynchronous and hybrid. Asynchronous and hybrid pumps, such as the Blue Thumb IllumiFlow and Atlantic Tidal Wave3 TT-Series, have a long lifespan and operate like direct drives while being more energy-efficient.
  • Direct Drive: ShinMaywa Norus Submersible and other direct drive pumps are made for applications requiring high head pressure and flow rates. To keep the impeller shaft moving correctly, the majority of models need oil or lubrication changes. These pumps are more affordable to buy because they have fewer moving parts, but they last less time than the other type of pumps.

How to Choose a Pump for a Waterfall?

When doing your shopping, here are some things to consider:

Measurements Needed

The pump required to power your water feature will vary depending on head pressure and desired flow rate. When water is pumped uphill or over great distances, friction is created. This is known as head pressure. The amount of water that flows through the feature will depend on the flow rate. Below are some tips for calculating these measurements:

  1. Head Pressure is the result of the vertical separation between the water’s surface and the waterfall’s peak, as well as the tubing’s length. One foot of vertical height or ten feet of tubing is equivalent to one foot of head pressure. With 16′ of tubing, a feature that is 3′ tall would have 5′ of head pressure.
  2. Flow Rate: For every 1′ of width, a waterfall typically moves 1,500 GPH of water. Consequently, a 3,000 GPH pump would be required for a waterfall that is 2′ wide. Calculate your flow using 2,000 GPH per foot if you want a heavier flow.
  3. Putting it All Together: You might have noticed that the flow rates for our pumps are listed at various head pressures; all you have to do is match the numbers. In our example, a pump with a capacity of about 4,000 GPH at 5′ of head pressure would be required if you wanted your feature to have a heavy flow. The Pond Guy RapidFlo – 4,000 GPH would be the ideal choice because it produces 3,900 GPH at 5′ of head pressure.
pump for a waterfall

Minimum Pump Size

A minimum of once every two hours is required for water to circulate through the filter. For example, if your pond has 1,000 gallons, you need a pump that can pump at least 500 gallons per hour or GPH. It is best to double the pump’s capacity if you have fish in order to keep your water clear. It’s a common misconception that the size of a pump is only related to the size of a pond; in reality, the size of a waterfall, stream, or fountain will usually determine which pump will work best in your feature.


Do you want to run a small fountain, a waterfall, or a UV clarifier with water?

  • Usually, a smaller pump is needed for fountains or spiders. Visit our category for fountain and spitting pumps to find pumps.
  • Calculations are needed to determine the size needed for waterfalls. More details on waterfall pump sizing are provided below. To achieve the desired flow, we offer a large selection of waterfall pumps.
  • A recommended pump size for UV clarifiers or pressure filters is typically provided. Check your manual or the product page to determine what pump size is recommended but note that head pressure will come into play

What Are the Waterfall Flow Rates?

Your pump should be able to pump 100 gallons per hour for every inch of waterfall width in streams and waterfalls. For more noise and “white water” from your falls, increase the flow rate to 200 gallons per hour per inch of waterfall width.

Waterfalls made of water gushing off of cut stone that are between 100 and 150 gallons per hour wide will work. 200-500 gallons per hour per inch wide of waterfalls will produce a nice white-water effect for waterfalls made of water falling off boulders.

Smooth edge stone or slate creates a “clear” waterfall. Jagged edge stone creates more “white water” waterfall. White water waterfalls are noisier than clear waterfalls.

In comparison to water falling onto stones, a waterfall landing in a pool of water will make a quieter sound.

Therefore, when creating waterfalls, first choose the style you want, then choose whether you want it to be quiet or loud. Make your waterfalls out of angular stone, for instance, and have the majority or all of the waterfall on a boulder or stone before entering a stream or pond if you’re trying to drown out road noise. Make your waterfalls clear with cut stone or slate if you want more peaceful waterfalls, and direct the water’s fall into a pool or pond.

A chart detailing the GPH (gallons per hour), GPM (gallons per minute), etc. that each of our pumps will produce at 5′ of the head, 10′ of the head, etc. will be placed next to each of the pumps. To comprehend this, keep in mind that water weighs 8 pounds per gallon and that a pump will deliver less volume the higher it must be pushed. Important: The distance between the pond’s water’s surface and the top of the waterfall is measured in feet of head.

What Size Water Pump Do I Need for My Water Feature?

To determine what flow rate you need, simply divide the total water capacity of your pond by 60. Divide 7000 by 60 to get 116.6 for a 7000-liter fountain, for instance. In this situation, a pump with a flow rate greater than 116.6/LPM is required.

pump for a waterfall

Can You Use a Fountain Pump for a Waterfall?

The majority of these pumps are made for fountains rather than waterfalls. Strong sunlight allows them to power a small fountain efficiently, but they cannot power a waterfall feature in the same way.

Conclusion on Pump for a Waterfall

3 points determine which Pond, Waterfall, or Filter Pump is needed: The purpose of the Pond Pump (circulating the pond water, powering a Pond Filter, Fountain or Waterfall), The size of the Pond Pump needed/wanted for the stated purpose, The type of Pump best suited for the application.