Large pond liners are often used in larger scale projects such as elaborate landscape ponds, farm ponds, golf course water hazards, or even small lakes. Like smaller ponds, there are a few choices when it comes to choosing a liner. However, unlike smaller ponds, there are a few extra things you need to consider before making your choice.
Because leaks are difficult and costly to detect and repair, it's usually best to find a single piece of liner large enough to fit your entire pond to minimize the risk of a seam leaking. Although the liner may be harder to work with in a single piece, you can avoid a lot of potential workmanship issues right off the bat by not having to seam together multiple sheets on site. For example, our Premium Grade RPE Liners are an excellent choice for large ponds because they are available in very large sized panels up to 60,000 square feet in a single panel. As well, RPE liners are about 1/3 of the weight of EPDM rubber liners, which makes them much easier to place and install when dealing with a large size. As an added bonus, our Premium Grade RPE is about 3 times more puncture resistant than EPDM for a more reliable installation. To learn more about RPE, please have a look at the product in our store.
In some cases it may not be practical or possible to find a single piece of liner in the right size or shape to cover the entire project. In these cases, it will be necessary to seam multiple sheets together to create the desired size and shape. If good workmanship practices are followed, the seams will not leak, and can sometimes even be the strongest part of a liner system. However, if the process of seaming sections of large pond liner is rushed or done improperly, it is possible for problems or leaks to develop down the road. So do it right the first time! Or if you don't want the hassle of seaming a liner on site, order a Premium Grade RPE liner like mentioned above, which is available in very large sized pieces right from our factory.
The most popular materials for creating large pond liners include RPE (Reinforced Polyethylene), PVC, Polypropylene and Rubber (for a general description of these three types of liners, please have a look at our page on pond liners). Although rubber liners are popular for small to medium sized ponds, we at everything-ponds.com prefer RPE liners for larger sized ponds due to their lighter weight, high puncture resistance, UV resistance and fish-safe qualities, not to mention they can be purchased in very large sizes. Rubber liners, in addition to being less puncture resistant, can quickly become unmanageable in large sizes due to weight.
Bentonite is well suited as a large pond liner due to it's ease of combining multiple individual sheets to create one large liner system. Bentonite is a special type of clay and can expand up to 15 times it's weight when hydrated. Because of this unique ability, the seams between bentonite sheets will self-seal, requiring no additional welding or seaming to create a watertight seal. The one disadvantage of bentonite systems is the requirement for a certain amount of confining weight on top of the liner. Bentonite works by expanding and creating a watertight seal in a confined space. Therefore, without confinement, the product has nothing to expand against, thus loosing it's ability to create a pressurized seal. What this means in terms of your pond is that some kind of fill material will need to be placed on top of the liner to provide some confining weight. Depending on the look or function you're going for, this may or may not be possible. For example, for a decorative pond with vertical walls, it just wouldn't be possible to provide confining weight on the wall areas without pouring some kind of concrete skim coat. Even if the walls were sloped, care would have to be taken when choosing a balast material so that presentation and water quality were not negatively affected. However, if your application is a water hazard at a golf course, where the goal is to create a natual looking pond, then bentonite might be a good choice since the native soil or clay ballast material would help create a natural look at the bottom of pond.