Materra (Derived From Root Word Ma = Mother, Terra = Earth) builds all water features including Natural Saltwater Pools, Ponds, Pondless Waterfalls, Recreation Ponds, Fountains, Splash Pads, and much more! Demand in Colorado keeps us 90% busy with Ponds, Waterfalls, and Fountains with the remaining on Pools – though demand is increasing every year!
Looking for a Pond or Water Feature?
Materra does not just build water features, we build ecosystems. This allows for much less maintenance of your new water feature than any other installation. Materra is partnered with Aquascape and is an exclusive Aquascape dealer in Colorado – we standardize on Aquascape for all water feature distribution needs. Materra is certified with Aquascape as a Master Contractor which requires lengthy training programs & strict renewal requirements. Materra also holds special licensing by the State required to clean & maintain storm water ponds, and is a licensed Nursery with the Colorado Department of Agriculture. Materra’s techniques are based on years of research & testing allowing us to build the perfect pond. Our ponds promote the growth of beneficial bacteria, promote healthy aeration, and limit algae growth. Materra does not sell you useless bottom drains or other accessories that you do not need.
In 2023, Materra was awarded it’s second “Top Frog” Award from Aquascape. This recognizes Materra Waterscapes one of the top 20 contractors in the nation (#4). This is the second year in a row receiving a top frog award.
We are not your typical Landscaper
Materra Waterscapes does not focus on general landscaping – we focus only on pools & water features along with the area surrounding the area. Many if not any landscaper would sell you a water feature – they have the equipment & laborers to put one in, they know where to source materials, but they really don’t understand many parts of a proper installation. About 80% of the water features Materra touches were installed by landscapers incorrectly and we were hired to fix or redo them entirely – which almost always costs more than the initial installation. Customers complain of high maintenance, filter problems, equipment malfunctions, algae problems, leaks, and many other issues.
Materra does not cut corners
Materra has serviced and installed many water features. We have learned from our own past mistakes but mostly we learn from others mistakes causing leaks on water features. For this reason, Materra standardizes using EPDM liner, protected and reinforced with Geotextile, and with no concrete. In Colorado, our freeze thaw cycles instantly make concrete a big problem. Many contractors from California and Texas swear on this method for a properly built feature and do not understand our climate. Materra standardizes on a .45 Mil EPDM liner which is strong, durable, stretchy, and UV resistant. This liner is not readily available in such quality – generally hardware stores carry PVC which is not UV resistant and becomes brittle very rapidly or .20 Mil EPDM which is much thinner and not as strong as the .45 Mil (DIY Grade). Materra also uses Geotextile underlayment to ensure the protection of the liner. This prevents rocks, weeds, and critters from putting holes in your liner. We also standardize on a polyurethane based waterfall foam to control water. Never should foam be used to retain water or prevent leaks, only to control it and keep it moving over rocks and around the feature as desired. The liners job is to retain the water and keep it within your feature – the liner is secured between boulders and earth (dirt) giving a natural look where it seems the earth eroded away the rocks and exposed the feature.
Common Mistakes Building Water Features
- Insufficient Basin size for your water feature. If the waterfall turns off, does your pond over flow? This is a common issue that I generally see with landscapers.
- Insufficient Basin size making it difficult to start your feature. If you turn on your feature and the entire basin goes dry before it’s running – this is a design flaw. It makes it necessary to “prime” your water feature to turn it on, and never can you turn it off without flooding the bottom of the feature and re-priming it to restart.
- Improper Liner – a .45 Mil EPDM liner is the best. Not PVC. Not .20 Mil EPDM, Not .60 Mil EPDM. .45 Mil EPDM gives us great strength, UV Protection, and is the right thickness to make clean folds. PVC is not UV resistant and often becomes brittle within a year. If you step in your pond, no doubt you will create a hole with PVC.
- No Liner Protection. Materra uses a Geotextile Underlayment under all liner installations. In scenarios where there is a basin with aquablox, we’ll use it on top of the liner too! For waterfalls we’ll use it to move the rocks in but do not leave it so we can make a clean seal between the rock and foam.
- No Filtration. Materra utilizes biofiltration in the form of a wetland or biofalls. All to often we see ponds with no filtration and a heavy fish load. The biofiltration will help consume the fish waste and keep your ecosystem healthy!
- No Skimmer. When debris falls into your pond, without a skimmer it will end up on the bottom of the pond eventually breaking down and feeding algae. Skimmers pull in that debris and also house your pump for protection so it’s not getting filled with debris (or fish!). Ponds that leak without a skimmer also tend to drain the entire pond killing your fish and flooding the nearby area. With a skimmer, your water level cannot go lower than the lower opening on the skimmer.
- No Diffuser. On a pondless waterfall or even ponds without biofalls, we often see the water shooting out into the rocks at the top of the feature. This causes rocks to get pushed down-stream and expose liner. A diffuser will ensure the water comes out evenly and softly as to not erode away your feature.
- Wrong Water Piping. Materra standardizes on Freeze & UV Resistant Flex PVC for all installations. Other companies often utilize a corrugated pipe which is very thin, flimsy, and not UV resistant. Give it a year and it will eventually break and start squirting water all over. It’s also to ensure your contractor chooses the proper pipe size to maximize your flow rate. You can’t run 10,000 gallons per hour over a 1″ PVC pipe!
- Wrong Pump. Materra does the math to ensure we get the most out of your water feature when it comes to your pump size. Not only with the piping, but the head height rating on the pump. Pumps have a sweet spot they like to operate in and if it’s outside of that area, pumps will not perform well and may strain the pump reducing it’s lifespan. This means you’ll be buying a new pump every year and installing it either yourself or paying a contractor to do so.
- No Pump Vault. On a pondless, we often see where the pump is inaccessible for service. Pump gets clogged or dies and we have to tear apart the feature to get it up and running again. All pondless installations should have a pump vault that pulls water from under your water storage level for easy maintenance!
- There’s a lot more! Ensure you are hiring a Certified Aquascape Contractor – otherwise you’ll likely fall victim to one of these mistakes.
Materra Stays With You!
Materra’s Monthly Maintenance program runs year round to help you keep your pond & pool healthy. We will show up every month, check your pond for quality issues and help it as required. We don’t build you a pond, hand you the remote and say good luck! We give you the education and tools required to keep your pond healthy and low maintenance!
Looking for Professional References?
We are known all around town as a premiere water-feature specialist. Feel free to contact the Better Business Bureau (A+), Home Advisor (4.7 Star Rating), Google (5 Star Rating), Ewing Irrigation Supply (Highlands Ranch), Santa Fe Stone & Gravel (Littleton), Jared’s Nursery (Littleton), or True Pump (Denver). You may also contact Aquascape directly and verify our Master CAC status with them! And yes, are licensed and insured – we even licensed with the Colorado Department of Agriculture.