Written by Michael O'Brien
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The addition of a creek is a great way to add a more natural touch to a backyard landscape, if you can properly pull it off. In order for one to be effective, more space is needed. A bigger backyard is a must. A lot of structural and water usage planning is also necessary.

Creek Building 101

Creeks need to begin with a source of water. This should be an elevated structure, like a waterfall, where water will flow downwards. Down is the key word here. The water flow needs to be sloped in order to work. Checking the area where it's being installed for variations in elevation is essential.

Once the top of your little stream is ready to go, the rest can flow from there. These structures should ideally be trough shaped and lined with concrete or plastic liner made especially for pond construction. This will prevent water from seeping everywhere as it flows. Rocks and plants can then be placed over the lining to form the natural landscape.

Pump it Up

The water flowing down through your little river needs to end up somewhere. A pond makes a great tributary, and will even allow for the addition of fish and floating plants. (Although a flow of water that is too strong can be harmful to plants and fish, so be careful.) Even if a pond is not what you are after, there has to be an area where the water ends up flowing back up to the top through a pump. The addition of some plumbing near the water is going to be needed. Streams can be a little expensive and hard to design, but are well worth the effort if you can pull it off.

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