Any water feature can sit
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Any water feature can sit at ground level, but there has to be a reservoir to collect the water and house the pump. This is called a water feature sump. Usually this is a plastic container that you bury into the ground; larger features may also need concrete foundation to help support the weight.
With a sump base you generally dont see any water. If your garden already has gravel, stones or chippings then these can be used to cover the top/grid that goes over the sump base. If you buy my sump base the price includes the smaller slate pieces, to cover the sump lid.
For maintenance you can access the pump through a hatch in the lid of the sump base. When watering the garden in the summer make sure to top up the reservoir. A water feature treatment liquid can be added monthly if required. Simply turn off for winter.