December 12, 2007
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Thursday, October 04, 2007
Upcountry Water Features

Lisa Shaw

Waterscaper creates “natural,” therapeutic waterfalls to soothe the soul.

What if driving three to four hours through East Maui to feel that soothing essence of a waterfall wasn’t necessary? What if you could experience that peace and tranquility from your own home? What if you could envision a three-tiered waterfall while looking out your dining room window? What if falling asleep to the sound of trickling water happened every night?

Sindhu Rumpler, owner and sole proprietor of Upcountry Water Features, creates “natural” waterfalls, irrigation systems and landscaping to Maui residents and businesses.

“Running water is therapeutic,” said Rumpler. “Our minds go too fast. The water will make you slow down and remember where you are. Sometimes people forget that.”

People always think Rumpler’s Upcountry Water Features are natural. “Many people can’t tell, which is a big compliment,” he said. His work has reminded clients of Twin Falls and the pools in Hana.

“The secret is to avoid straight lines,” said Rumpler, who uses living color with his gardening experience to tie it all together. “That’s another secret—to provide wildlife and nature. I must think about the bugs, toads and mosquitoes along with the water, and the effect all will have on each other.”

Rumpler uses Ulupalakua rocks, a‘a lava, to provide the crooks and crannies in a natural form. “Sunlight, shade and smells also play a part in the grand scheme of things,” said Rumpler.

“The main thing is that I would like people to relax. I create an intimate space for them to do this. We are all so wired up—we need a break sometimes.”

Needing a break is what prompted the career move for Rumpler almost two decades ago. Rumpler used to spend his nights bartending, as a disk jockey, and part owner of a club. “When I started gardening, I gained my sanity,” he said. “Gardening saved my life.”

Rumpler moved to Hawai‘i 21 years ago, and made Maui his home 17 years ago. He started out mowing lawns, until his equipment was stolen. That incident, as well as the request of members of the Baldwin family for his expertise, pushed him into gardening. “It has just expanded over the years,” said Rumpler.

Starting as a gardener, Rumpler concentrated on landscaping. “The beginning of my career was doing these crazy designs of organic vegetable gardens,” he said. “I have always been a farmer.” Rumpler is best known for his “Incredible Roses” formerly located at Hasegawa’s Upcountry. The rose farm lasted for seven years.

“It was always in my mind to do water features,” said Rumpler. “This is a creative process. It is not work for me. I want to get up in the morning and do this. I am surrounded by fish, orchids and greenery. I love working with water. It is such a surprising element. When building, you are only using the imagination. You don’t know how it will finish until you turn the water on. I am constantly working in reverse. I believe that I am an artist—that is my canvas.”

In three years of doing water features, many things have developed for Rumpler. Irrigation, tree treatment, gardening and landscape are all part of his everyday job.

“Multi-tasking,” he said. “One just leads to the next. I would not do only one. Waterfalls hold most challenge and creativity though… and the client with expectations.”

Rumpler must search the psyche of his clients on which sounds, smells and feeling they are looking for in a water feature. The sound of the water can be quiet and meditative, to the roaring of a big waterfall. He uses a small pump through the filter and a big pump that moves the water. The difference in sound depends on which pump, or both, are used. Both are satisfying and beautiful.

There is 7,000 gallons of water running through the system in one hour with both pumps on. It is conservative, and wastes not. The circulating water refills itself. “There is more water waste in washing your car than through one of my waterfalls.”

Another plus to a waterfall from Rumpler’s Upcountry Water Features is that property value automatically increases. “Yes, many of my clients were excited about that, too.” The waterfalls range in price from $16,000 to $19,000.

For more information, visit or contact  Rumpler at 283-5713 or


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