How to Select a Pond Liner
The pond liner keeps the water in your pond so it doesn't leak out into the soil. Natural ponds and lakes don't have liners, but they typically have a water source to replace the water lost from seeping out. When it comes to pond liners, you have two options: a preformed liner (has a set shape) or a flexible liner (create your own shape). Learn more about choosing the right liner for your pond project, from type to size and material.
Why Do You Need a Pond Liner?
You may be wondering: can't I just dig a hole in the ground and fill it with water? The problem with using natural sand, soil, and rocks as the liner in your pond is that they need to be watertight. The water can seep through them and into the ground. A liner will make sure the water that you fill your backyard pond with stays in your pond. You can easily hide the liner so it's barely noticeable in the water.
Types of Pond Liner
There are two main types of pond liners, the traditional flexible sheet and the preformed shell. The traditional liner can fit many different types of ponds, both in and above ground. A traditional pond liner can be cut to fit any pond shape, while a preformed shell determines the shape and size of the pond. You can secure a flexible liner with pond rocks, disguising the edges. Once you add more rocks, plants, and water, it will be barely noticeable.
The preformed shell pond liner is ready-made, and some water gardeners find it easier to install as they determine the pond's design. Shells are often made of plastic and sometimes reinforced with fiberglass to add durability.
Make sure you buy the right size liner for your pond. Liners can be cut to fit different pond shapes. First you’ll need to know the exact measurements and size of your pond. Once you know that, you can calculate what size liner you need using this formula:
LENGTH + (DEPTH X 2) + (2 FEET of overlap) = LINER LENGTH
WIDTH + (DEPTH X 2) + (2 FEET of overlap) = LINER WIDTH
After you know the size liner you need, you see which smartpond liner is the best option.
The least expensive option when it comes to a flexible liner is PVC. PVC stands for polyvinyl chloride, a type of soft, lightweight plastic. PVC is commonly used in construction. It's not the most durable pond liner, but often the least expensive option. Cold weather and direct sunlight may cause the liner to wear down more quickly. A thicker liner will be stronger than a thinner liner and less prone to tears. Some PVC liners contain chemicals that can harm fish and pond life; make sure the liner is meant for use in fish-filled ponds.
smartpond Pond Liners
smartpond pond liners are RPE, reinforced polyethylene pond liners, aka PVC 2.0. The liner is made with reinforced mesh, making it stronger than traditional PCV and lighter than EPDM. It's puncture and UV resistant, so it will not tear or fade. The smartpond® liner is created to have a textured surface, which promotes beneficial bacteria growth. All smartpond liners are safe for fish, plants, and wildlife.
Pond liners are the important first step for backyard ponds that do not have a constant water source; without a pond liner, the water seeps out. If your liner gets a tear or puncture, you will notice the water levels dropping and need to repair it. Some liner materials are more durable and less prone to tearing than others. You can choose between a preformed pond shell or a flexible liner and create your own design. Once you have your pond liner installed, you're almost finished!