Inventor/ CEO


A little Bit of History

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My name is Douglas Hoover, the inventor, designer, patent holder and manufacturer of the SurvivorStill SS-6, a non-electric water distiller designed for emergencies and disaster survival.
In 1975, I learned of the health benefits of drinking distilled water and fasting from reading Dr. Paul Braggs books, "The Shocking Truth About Water" and "The Miracle of Fasting." After reading these books, I started drinking distilled water and fasted for 19 days. By the end of the fast, my severe case of gout vanished and as a bonus I lost 50 pounds and rid my body of nicotine and many other toxins that built up over the years. 

Consequently, I lost the desire to smoke and additionally discovered I was no longer susceptible to colds, sore throats or the flu. I  continued fasting every year since for 21 days and every four years for 40-days. As a result, I have never been sick, been to a doctor or taken any medication for as much as an aspirin for a headache. 

In 1975 I became a distributor for the Durastill water distiller company in Kansas City. Sharing the news about distilled water and fasting led to warning people about the chemicals showing up in Michigan's ground water.

It was discovered that the Detroit automobile industry was trucking their toxic chemical waste material into the countryside, pumping it into ditches along the road, and even while driving down a road, streams, rivers and vacant farm land. It wasn't long before these cancer-causing substances were showing up in local wells and water supplies. This was quickly becoming a national crisis with entire communities discovering their homes were built on top of toxic waste dumps.

I shared everything I had discovered from my research with a friend, John Messimer, who had inherited an IGA grocery store from his dad, Bill. After discussing the local situation in the community, John was more than willing to have me set up a water testing lab in his store and began testing samples of water from the local wells. Every sample showed serious signs of contamination from nitrates, pesticides, and herbicides to industrial chemicals and heavy metals and even DDT.

As a result of the growing outcry, I installed a commercial 42 gal/day water distiller in his store and fabricated a stainless steel filling station for 5-gal and 1-gal jugs. Within 30-days we had to install a second machine and by the end of the year, water sales were 2,500 per week. This was the only grocery store in America selling drinking water. Eight years later Glacier Water installed their first bottled water vending machine in 1983. By then we had machines in Krogers, IGAs, Safeway, Great Earth Vitamins in Michigan, Utah, and California.

I need to warn you about another product I purchased 4 years ago from the inventor. I bought this so-called distiller for approximately $279 which was advertised as being a non-electric distiller designed to distill polluted water for drinking in a disaster or emergency. At the time, I had a fairly good idea how distilled water is produced from being around a shipboard distillation plant in the Navy. Simply put, polluted (ocean) water is boiled and turned to steam; then the steam is condensed back to water in the condenser with the salts and pollutants left behind in the boiler. Ocean water has 35,000 parts per million of dissolved solids and the distiller reduces it to zero PPM or just plain water, H2O plus nothing.

When I received the Survival Still, the first thing I saw was a 12” x 3” stainless steel “Donut” shaped object. How could this possibly be called a distiller? There is no boiler or condenser. Upon further examination, it was clear that it was simply steam diverter and condensate collector and the directions said I needed to buy two specifically sized stainless steel pots.

Well, $300 later I was filling one pot with tap water, placing the “Donut” on top of it, and filling the second pot and precariously perching it on top of the polished, slippery “Donut” surface. Talk about a serious injury waiting to happen! That thought was magnified after this unstable, 50-pound tower was placed on the gas burner stove and the water began rapidly boiling.

By the time distillate began dripping from the “Donut's” spout into the collection container, which I also had to provide, my fears of a potential scalding hazard were apparent. I do not have small children, yet I was still very concerned for my own and my wife’s safety. Within just 20 minutes the temperature of the water in the top pot was at 150 F and the amount of steam had increased; however, the amount of distillate had decreased proportionately.

I immediately realized the need to continually dump this 25-pound condenser pot and replace it with cool water from the tap regularly. What a waste of water and a major project and hassle! I had to go to the store and buy oven mitts to handle the pots. Plus, I had to watch it closely because the condenser could quickly reach scalding temperatures near boiling. Even 150 F can cause severe third degree scald burns with only 2 seconds of skin contact.

To even get close to the advertised claim “12 gals per day,” I needed to change the water when it reached 135-140F or roughly every 20 minutes. The SurvivorStill adds cool water to the condenser continuously and automatically adds water as needed to the boiler. Plus the condenser stays at the ambient temperature. 

Realizing how unstable both the condenser pot and the boiling pot are and how easily they could be pulled over easily or knocked over accidentally, I did not want to use it or sell it to an unaware victim. I cannot believe the inventor can knowingly take donations from people for the purpose of giving this to poor people with children in developing countries.

I read the reviews on Amazon for this “Donut and pots thing” and was not surprised that it received only 3.5 stars. Some were suggesting that rather than continually lifting the 25-pound condenser pot of scalding water, to dump and refill with cool tap water to just add ice cubes or block ice to cool it down and produce more distillate.

Really? During an emergency or disaster, Ice? Why don’t you forget the “Donut” distiller and just melt the ice and drink the water? I finally trashed this so-called distiller since I couldn't in good conscience sell it anywhere to some unsuspecting buyer.

Do you now see why I could not be a distributor and instead set out to discover a scald-free, non-electric water distiller? Shortly after making that decision and commitment, God downloaded the entire engineering plans into my brain one morning at 5-AM. I spent that day putting the SurvivorStill together and then drove to the ocean in LaJolla, CA to get ocean water for my test.

Ocean water tests out at about 35,000 PPM (parts per million) of dissolved solids. The results of my first test was an astounding 28 PPM! The answer to why it was not zero, came to me instantly like a lightning bolt, add 2 inches to the mysterious T-shaped baffle-device. I did just that and the second test results were at ZERO PPM! This website contains the rest of the story.

As horrible as some of these photos are, they are not here as a scare tactic to sell SurvivorStills, nor to malign the inventor and manufacturer of the Survival Still. These are simply to illustrate the potential that the Survival Still has for causing such horrid unthinkable injuries to unsuspecting adults and especially children. 

WATERFALLS & PONDS by Douglas Hoover


Doug Hoover, with his wife Alice, has resided in San Diego, California, for thirty years.  Previous to settling in California, he was a custom home builder and designed and built restaurants.  He designed and built one in Michigan; he built the first two of a chain of Pony Express pizza stores in Provo and Salt Lake City, Utah.  In La Jolla, California he built two restaurants on Fay Avenue, The Bagatelle French Cuisine, and Pizza  Jolla Italian Restaurant.

 Doug Hoover has well over 2,000 waterfalls to his credit.  The largest of these is 135 feet high on Mt. Soledad in La Jolla.  His experience includes dozens of waterfalls constructed to spill into existing swimming pools, waterfalls for pool contractors, the conversion of swimming pools into koi ponds, and more.  His work stretches from California to the Midwest.  

Doug Hoover is also an inventor of several pond products such as FountainliteTM, FountainPotTM, AquafillTM electronic float control system.  There is now one available for new swimming pools and a retrofit model for existing pools.  Also, there are Aquafills for hot tubs, ponds, and fountains of all types.

Doug Hoover's work has appeared on the front cover of many magazines, including Ponds, Ponds USA, San Diego Living, San Diego Family, San Diego Home and Garden, Living in Style, and the May 2005 issue of Better Homes and Gardens "The Spring Planting Guide."  He was on the front cover of the October 2003 issue of San Diego Home and Garden and that project won "Garden of the Year" award.  Doug currently is a freelance writer for six magazines and is the author of a first-of-its-kind construction manual for contractors that teaches every aspect of the professional waterfall and pond construction. at

Waterfalls & ponds by Hoover

Built 2000+ Ponds & Waterfalls


His work was featured on 9 magazine covers including San Diego Home & Garden and also featured in Better Homes & Garden Magazine.

WaterFalls Naturally 1979-2009


Doug Hover is on record as building the tallest man-made waterfall in the US (165ft. Mt. Soladad,  & the builder of the first pondless waterfall in Fallbrook, CA in 1985.

Display real testimonials


The only course that teaches  digital design & step by step how to construct all aspects of professional pond and waterfall construction. 

Design a pond

Detail your services


If customers can’t find it, it doesn’t exist. Clearly list and describe the services you offer. Also, be sure to showcase a premium service.

Announce coming events


Having a big sale, on-site celebrity, or other event? Be sure to announce it so everybody knows and gets excited about it.

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Are your customers raving about you on social media? Share their great stories to help turn potential customers into loyal ones.

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The Ultimate Training Course includes a DVD training video. I will personally teach you step by step how to transform a photo into a tropical paradise. I will show many different examples and then complete an entire project 

Take a digital photo of yard...


You simply download a photo into the program and start adding rodks water and plants...over 1000 possibilities using jpegs from the digital library included. Each component can be changed to your specific design.

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This digital design package is an invaluable part of the course whether for personal use to show a contractor what you have in mind or to take your landscape business to the next level.

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The Professional Pond & Waterfall Construction Manual is Included




Contents of UTC Download

  • Digital library of JPGs Mar 18, 2016
  • Introduction-Digital Design Demo Movie.wmv Mar 18, 2017 192MB
  • Before & After.wmv Mar18, 2017 51MB
  • Before & After Mar 18, 2017 33MB
  • WaterFeatureLbry Mar      18, 2017 15MB
  • WaterFeatureLbry.wmv Mar 18, 2017 94MB
  • Water Gardens Designed wmv.wmv Mar 18, 2017 487MB
  • Construction Manual .pdf Mar 18, 2017 5MB
  • Articles 46 .pdf Mar 18, 2017 497KB
  • Bio-Filter Plans.pdf Mar 18, 2017 3MB
  • Digital Image Starter 06  Mar 18, 2017 115MB
  • UTC Intro2 Letter.jpg Mar 18, 2017 2MB
  • Ultimate Training Group Cover.jpg Mar 18, 2017 819KB
  • Water Garden Authority-ereport-master.pdf

construction manual Download


Professional Pond & Waterfall Construction Manual by Douglas Hoover



This manual contains 30 years of experience of a Master Pond and waterfall designer builder. You will learn how to build a pond the professional way using rebar and concrete, NOT RUBBER LINERS! You can be sure ALL rubber liners will eventually leak! They don't build dams with liners!

Pond Construction: Concrete vs Liners

Many people are still searching the internet for information on how to build a waterfall or koi pond. Unfortunately, there is very little information regarding professional construction. There are thousands of websites involved in marketing pond products to uninformed and unsuspecting customers.The majority of these sites promote and advocate the use of rubber pond liners. Why? Because they sell them. Rubber liners are profitable, primarily because of the add-on products related to the pond liner industry. 

For example, when you construct your pond using a pond liner, you have no choice but to buy all of the related accessories such as a bio-filter, special skimmers and drains, and the large variety of energy-sucking, inefficient, short-lived sump pumps.

Rarely do pond liner dealers or installers tell you the whole truth about the unpredictability of liners and sump pumps. Rarely do they acknowledge the truth about the vulnerability of liners after they are installed - whether it be attacks by rats, mice, ground squirrels, gophers, chipmunks or the sharp claws of animals that can puncture the liner in their attempt to get out of the pond after accidentally or purposely entering it. Animals burrow under the liner through the easy access of the loose rocks piled around the pond and waterfall. Against the coolness of the liner, they build their nests and raise their families that can then chew holes in the liner.

Over the past twenty years I have replaced countless leaky waterfalls and ponds constructed using rubber liners with concrete and rebar construction. In thirty years of building over 2,000 waterfalls and ponds, I have never had one crack or leak.Liner advocates tell you their liner has a thirty to forty year warranty, but fail to mention it is against factory defects only. They don't mention the other issues like rodents, heavy rocks stretching and ripping the liner, and damage from children with sharp sticks or garden utensils. 

I've seen it all! Many water garden contractors will misrepresent the liner as the best construction material by saying concrete is expensive and it cracks. Yes, that is true, if you don't build it properly using 3500 psi concrete and rebar 8 to 10 inches on center. Plus, they say the alkali poisons the water. That is true only if you don't seal the concrete with a sealer after it is poured. Concrete construction costs 20-25% more than a liner, but it lasts for decades. 

You only have to replace one liner for the concrete pond to cost considerably less in the long run. In the past five years there have been scores of lawsuits against pond liner contractors and their clients win every time.

Watch a HowTo video at YouTube 

Douglas C. Hoover, CEO of Aquamedia Corp, Master Waterfall Builder, architect, engineer, freelance writer, author, designer & builder of well over 2,000 waterfall and ponds in CA (30 years). Author of "Waterfall and Pond Construction Manual" and developer of the "Water Feature Digital Design Library 4.0" Free downloads, no sign in. Invented the AquaFill electronic water level control system for ponds, pools, fountains and spas.

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