Long waterfall with strong flow

Are you looking to build a calming water feature on your property? One that doesn’t come with a high price tag or level of maintenance?

A pondless waterfall may be just the solution. Not only is it cost-effective and less labor-intensive than installing a standard garden pond, but its design also offers creative freedom for those who are dreaming of taking their outdoor space to the next level.

In this post, you can learn about pondless waterfall costs nationally and in Kansas City. You can also start finding out a bit more about these water features. By the end, you’ll feel more comfortable about the idea of buying a pondless waterfall.

How Much A Pondless Waterfall Costs To Install

National Pondless Waterfall Costs

At the absolute minimum, a pondless waterfall can cost $400 to build, though it may not turn out how you envision it. Large pondless waterfalls can go as high as ,000 and include a stream, multiple drops, lights, and more.

Pondless Waterfall Costs In Kansas City And Surrounding Areas

You can expect to pay $9,000 to $80,000 or more for a high-quality, natural-looking pondless waterfall. This can include multiple drops, boulders, river rocks, LED lights, and natural detailing. Find out more about Gradex’s pondless waterfalls.

Cost By Size

Here are the prices for high-quality pondless waterfalls in the Kansas City area:

  • 8-foot basic pondless waterfall – $9,000
  • 16-foot average pondless waterfall – $15,000
  • 40 to 60-foot high-end pondless waterfall – $80,000

Cost By Brand

You can buy pondless waterfall kits if you want to build one yourself. There are several brands to choose from, some of which professionals use.

Aquascape- We recommend using Aquascape pondless waterfall kits and Aquascape products if you decide to DIY your pondless waterfall. Their kits can cost anywhere from $1,500 to $5,000. These kits are intended to build realistic-looking streams and waterfalls. This brand is a contractor favorite.

Universal Rocks- $750 to $4,100 for their rock waterfalls and $2,900 to $7,000 for their modern waterfalls. If you want something quick and simple, this might be the product you’re looking for. Their products are intended for use with pools.

Rico Rock- These pondless waterfalls can cost $2,500 and up. Like with Universal Rocks, these are also meant to be used with pools. Unfortunately, they don’t have pricing on their website.

The Cost Of Running A Pondless Waterfall

Waterfall closeup

The first step in calculating the cost of running a pondless waterfall is determining how many watts your pump uses. Most pumps will list their wattage somewhere on them, so this should be easy for you to find. You can also look it up on Google or contact your installer.

Once you know how many watts your pump uses, divide that number by 1,000 in order to convert it into kilowatts (KWh). For example, if your pump is 500 watts, then it would be 0.5 KWh.

Now that you know the KWh usage for your pump, multiply that number by 0.10 (which represents $0.10 per KWh). Multiply that number by 24 hours and 365 days to calculate the total cost for 12 months of continuous use (assuming there are no interruptions).

For example, if your pump is 500 watts, then it would be:

0.5 KWh x $0.10 per KWh x 24 hours x 365 days = $432 for 12 months of continuous use (assuming no interruptions).

In addition to wattage and cost per kilowatt hour, other factors can influence how much power a pondless waterfall will consume. These include:

  • Head height: the vertical distance from the water source (i.e., reservoir or streambed) to the point where water is being discharged
  • Tubing diameter: generally speaking, the larger the diameter of the tube, the more power it takes for it to cycle the water through the feature
  • Actual use: how long do you plan on having the system running each day? Will you turn it off when you go on trips?

All these factors can affect how much power is consumed and thus what kind of bill you’ll see each month.

Factors That Can Change Pondless Waterfall Prices

Multi drop pondless waterfall with lights


Generally speaking, larger ponds require more materials, labor, and equipment, which increases the price. If you want to save money, you can install a smaller one and increase the size later. You can also install additions later on, such as lights.

Tier Of Contractor

The cost difference between a low, mid, and high-level contractor can vary greatly depending on the size of your project and its complexity.

A low-level contractor will charge the least. They usually either don’t have a lot of experience or don’t know how to price correctly. These “Chuck-In-A-Truck” contractors aren’t known for having high levels of customer service. You may not be happy with the final product, either.

A mid-level contractor could charge a more moderate fee. They tend to be pretty on top of the game, though some things may slip through the cracks. It’s likely that you’ll be at least satisfied with the experience and final product.

Now a high-end contractor will likely charge the most depending on their expertise. But you can get a beautiful waterfall that’ll bring tears to your eyes, as well as a wonderful experience.

Custom vs. Stock

The pondless waterfall design you choose will affect the cost. Custom designs tend to cost more because they require extra labor and materials and usually a contractor to build it. Stock designs are typically less expensive because they come pre-made and don’t require much customization work.


Features can include having your waterfall end in a small pool or a gravel basin, extra water drops, the waterfall water flow (such as sheet or tumble down over rocks), and other main features. The more features you have, the higher the cost will be, but you can get enough enjoyment from your pondless waterfall to make it worthwhile.


Some additions may include special lighting fixtures, additional filters, aquatic plants, and anything that needs to be installed separately. They do add to the cost, but they can make your pond look and perform better, meaning less work and more enjoyment.

Material Choice

The type of material used for your pondless waterfall will also determine its overall price tag. Materials such as concrete, stone, and brick are more expensive than plastic or fiberglass alternatives. However, they are also usually more durable, long-lasting, and natural-looking.

Pondless Waterfall FAQs

Multiple waterfall drops

Can You Add A Waterfall To An Existing Water Feature?

Yes! Whether you already have an existing pond or a pool in your landscape, it can be easily transformed with the addition of a waterfall. A contractor will first need to assess the space and determine where the pump should go and how much material is needed.

How Long Can It Take To Build A Pondless Waterfall?

Depending on how big your project is and what materials are used, it can take you or a pond builder anywhere from 1 day to 1 week for construction to be completed. Keep in mind that this does not include any grading or landscaping that might need to be done beforehand. Those tasks can take several days on their own. The timeline can also change if you’re adding it to an existing water garden.

Do I Ever Need To Turn Off My Waterfall?

If installed properly by an experienced contractor, your waterfall should run 24/7, 365 days a year, without ever needing to be turned off or adjusted. This is due in part to its low-maintenance design—there are no fish or other aquatic life forms that need to be taken care of—as well as its efficient pump system, which ensures maximum water circulation at all times.

We do recommend having a contractor perform winter maintenance if you want to leave it running. This way, there will be less of a chance of anything failing due to water freezing. Watch out for ice dams around the waterfall spillway and other areas that can send water trickling into your yard.

What Level Of Maintenence Are Pondless Waterfalls?

On average, a pondless waterfall will require 1-4 hours of maintenance per month at most. It’s mostly just cleaning debris from the skimmer box every now and then. Additionally, it’s recommended that homeowners hire a professional pond contractor twice per year (or more often if necessary) for more thorough maintenance, like cleaning out filter pads and replacing filter media.

What Does It Cost To Have A Waterfall In My Backyard?

The cost of installing a pondless waterfall depends on numerous factors such as the size, complexity of construction, DIY versus professional installation, etc. Generally speaking, expect prices to start around $400. When budgeting for your project, make sure that you also factor in costs for landscaping (if needed), any additional lighting fixtures or pumps required for operation, as well as ongoing service costs for regular maintenance visits from a qualified professional contractor.

How Do Pondless Waterfalls Work?

At its most basic, a pondless waterfall is simply a re-circulating waterfall without the accompanying pond. The waterfall is pumping water contained in an in-ground reservoir. Water flows from one end of the streambed and cascades down rocks and ledges before eventually disappearing underground. The water then gets pumped back up to the top of the streambed, where it begins its journey again.

Find Your Water Feature With Gradex Company

Now that you understand a little more about what goes into the cost of a pondless waterfall, take some time to think about your own backyard and budget.

If you’re still unsure about what style or size water feature would be perfect for your home, contact Gradex today. We offer custom design plans and can turn your vision into reality. Give us a call or fill out our online contact form, and one of our team members will be in touch soon to discuss your project in detail.