Image: The Reichl mid-pond.

Image: The Reichl mid-pond.Image: Reichl waterfall and steps.Image: Reichl waterfall and pond.Image: the Reichl waterfall.Image: The Reichl waterfall in winter.The Reichl’s water feature demonstrates the way in which a focus on solving client problems can result in an efficient, effective, and beautiful outdoor environment that retains a naturalistic feel in spite of the science behind its functionality. The Reichl’s landscape solution met the three original challenges of the project: improve the health of the pond, improve aeration for pond residents, and prevent erosion.

The Reichl project begins with an aesthetically pleasing wetland bog that also serves as the headwaters for the beginning of the stream system. The water feature includes a two-pump system, and the first pump disperses its water into the bog system here. In addition, run-off water from the property’s front yard is directed here during major weather events. The wetland bog is approximately eight feet long by twelve feet wide and roughly five feet deep, filled with rocks of various size for filtration purposes. The filtration that the wetland bog provides effectively solves the problems of pond health that the Reichls had been experiencing.

Past the headwaters and wetland bog, a stream meanders past the Reichl’s outdoor living spaces, including a fireplace, patio, and bridge. This part of the stream is quiet and tranquil. The water runs closely alongside the patio to minimize the border between patio and aquatic environment, increasing the family’s enjoyment of the water feature. This section of stream flows into the mid-pond, another key component of the filtration solution.

The mid-pond is approximately twenty-five feet long by eighteen feet wide and has a maximum depth of five feet. A second wetland bog is located here to increase the flow of water over the falls for a dramatic presentation. In addition, the second bog further enhances filtration to ensure downstream pond health. Boulders and other rock material are places strategically both in the mid-pond and surrounding stream for visual appeal and to enhance the sounds of flowing water.

Following the mid-pond, water spills over a falls that improves the health of the pond’s underwater residents by further increasing aeration. The waterfall is also a part of the water run-off management strategy while beautifying the family’s outdoor living spaces. At approximately twenty feet wide and thirty feet long, water in the Reichl waterfall flows over a fifteen-foot drop and spills into the existing pond. The falls themselves are constructed of various types of indigenous Minnesota fieldstone to both continue the naturalistic feel of the landscape and to visually complement the staircase and boulder wall located just to the right of the falls. In the waterfall, as in other areas of the total water feature, rocks are placed in a random and naturalistic pattern to duplicate similar naturally-occuring falls found throughout the region. The waterfall also maximizes the potential of the Reichl property, leveraging the existing the hill that—prior to the water feature—was nothing but an erosion headache.

Designed for beauty and functionality throughout the seasons, the Reichl’s Pond project provides the family with year-round enjoyment. In the winter months, interesting shapes in ice form on the waterfall, adding an additional element of visual interest to the Reichl property. While the overall structure remains consistent through colder seasons, the addition of ice subtly changes the look and flow of water so that clients may enjoy the changing seasons reflected in their water feature.