One of the Easiest (and Coolest) DIY Water Features

by Amy
7 Materials
4 Hours

In just one afternoon, you can build this easy and super cool pondless water fountain. What’s so interesting about this is that the basin is “invisible” so it looks like water from the fountain is just seeping into the ground. Detailed instructions can be found on my blog at

Step by Step Video

Steps to create this pondless fountain

  • 1- Dig a hole to fit basin
  • 2- Place basin in the hole
  • 3- Assemble the pump
  • 4- Cover pump with cloche or cheese cloth and anchor to bottom of basin
  • 5- Place metal grate on top of basin level with the ground
  • 6- Cover the grate with hardware cloth (screen)
  • 7- Cut a trap door into the hardware cloth for servicing the pump
  • 8- Make the pump easy to access in the future
  • 9- Bury edges of screen with soil
  • 10- Add rocks to the screen area above the basin
  • 11- Fill your basin with water
  • 12- Turn on & enjoy

Cost: This project should cost you a total of $75 – $100 depending on what materials you need to purchase. You may have some of these items at home, already! If you decide to go with a solar pump, it will be more expensive ($200 - $250).

Dig a hole to fit your basin. I actually built my fountain inside a raised garden bed, which worked out great…. A lot less digging. But, you can put this anywhere. Just make sure that you bury the basin but keep the top of the basin level with the ground so that you can set the grill on top at exactly ground level.Put your basin into the hole and backfill the outside to make sure it’s nice and secure.Assemble your pump and place it at the bottom of the basin.Cover the pump with cheesecloth or a food cloche and then place some rocks/stones along the edges to hold the mesh down so it doesn’t float away when you fill the basin with water. Like I said, this is an optional step but it seems to make a lot of sense and will keep any debris from getting into your pump and causing it to clog up.

Place metal grate on top of basin level with the ground. Make sure it overlaps the edge of the basin so that any rocks or other items you place around the fountain won’t fall in.Once your grill is in place, cover the grate with the hardware cloth (screen). This is basically chicken wire, and adds an extra layer of support for any rocks. Since the hardware cloth has really small gaps between the wires, you won’t have to worry about smaller rocks falling through the grate.An additional optional step you can take at this time is to cut a “trap” into the hardware cloth for servicing the pump. I did this by measuring my pump and cutting 3 sides of a rectangle into the hardware cloth to create an opening I can put my hand into. I then folded the cloth back down, but if I ever need to access my pump I know that I can reach it through this hole without having to take the entire fountain apart.Make the pump easy to access in the future. Make sure after you create this hole that you know where it is, and that when you are placing your stones you don’t make it too difficult to access in the future. This will save you a lot of trouble when you have to take your pump in for the winter, or have to replace the pump in the future.Use the garden stakes to secure the hardware cloth to the ground so it won’t slide around.

-Bury edges of screen with soil. Cover the edges of the hardware cloth and grill with dirt.Place decorative rocks or other objects onto the hardware mesh/grill area that is above the basin. This is where you can get creative and even make a waterfall, pump station, or any other awesome idea you find on Pinterest. Experiment with all of the sprayers that come with the pump and see which one you like. You can also purchase packs of additional fountain nozzle heads if you’d like to. This type of fountain works the same as the regular pond fountains so go crazy!Fill your basin with water. Now is the time to fill up the basin so you can turn on your pump & enjoy! Make sure you check the water level of your basin from time to time so that you don’t burn out the pump. Since the water is underground, you are less likely to have evaporation so you shouldn’t have to fill the basin up too often.

Closeup of the fountain in action.

I told you this was an easy DIY project. And there’s just so much room for customization and creativity. Just think, in an afternoon you can have a beautiful, soothing water feature to relax to all summer. Just dig a hole for your basin and put your pump in, cover it with a grill and hardware cloth, and decorate with rocks or other found objects. I can’t wait to see what you guys come up with…Visit my blog for more photos and detailed instructions

Suggested materials:
  • Medium Submersible Fountain Pump   (
  • Alternative: Solar Pump   (
  • Battery Backup for Solar Pump (highly recommend)   (
See all materials
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
3 of 4 questions
  • Sara Sara on Jul 16, 2020

    Off subject, but what’s the name of the music you have playing in the background during the speed up? You did a great job balancing the volume. So many tutorial videos on YouTube that have annoying music playing loudly during their time lapse or while they’re explaining the process. Not yours, I like your choice of music, so thank you.

  • Sandra Sandra on Jul 27, 2020

    What is cost

  • Willow Willow on Jul 09, 2021

    Where did you get the metal grate?

Join the conversation
3 of 14 comments
  • Teresa Teresa on Oct 25, 2020

    Love, love your foundation⛲️! My little pond will be replaced with your foundation (after I fill in the hole). With your amazing foundation no worries about creepy crawlers in your water😳🐍...I think I have all of the supplies I need to get started. I agree with Sara about the music 🎶 in the background, it’s just right. Thank you for your amazing foundation idea ⛲️and awesome video. Thanks again🤗

    • Amy Amy on Oct 25, 2020

      So happy you like it. Would love to see a picture 📸 when you're done! -Amy

  • Mira Mira on Jun 09, 2022

    Awesome awesome awesome, very creative.... i want to build this with a solar pump.... cant wait