How to Install a Pond Liner

A pond liner goes a long way to protecting your pond base as it stops water from leaking into it. Additionally, a pond liner doesn’t only stop water from leaking into a pond base.  These tools also help to protect and keep the pond clean by preventing debris and sediment from seeping in.  However, to fully enjoy its benefits, you must first learn how to install a pond liner. So below, we’ve compiled a step by step guide on how to install a pond liner to make the process much easier for you.

How to Install a Pond Liner

Things Needed

Before you begin the installation process, you must ensure you have all the necessary tools required for the process. These include;

  • Pond liner (should match the size of your pond)
  • A trencher to make a trench for installation
  • Optional Geotextile material to protect the pond liner from tears caused by debris such as rocks (this is favored for pond liners that are not made with tear-resistant materials)
  • Sandbags to hold the liner in place in case you unroll it but don’t install it on the same day
  • Rake
  • Soft-soled shoes

Pond Liner Installation Guide

Now let’s move to the actual installation process.

Step 1

Unroll the liner from its packaging – most new liners will come with unpacking instructions based on how they are shipped.

If you will not install the liner on the same day, you want to secure it with sandbags to prevent it from blowing in the wind or ripping.

Step 2

The next step is to lay the shape of the pond liner on flat ground. You can use a garden hose to help hold it down – this makes it easier to install it into the ground. Then, dig a trench using a trencher or hire a professional company.  A trench is useful as it allows you to bury the liner around the perimeter to secure it. 

You also want to consider the depth of the trench based on the plants and fish you intend to have in it. Typically, a trench will measure anywhere between 6 and 30 inches wide and 4 and 21 inches deep.

Step 3

Use a rake to smoothen out the ground to level it.

Additionally, you can even choose to create a ridge with two sides – a deeper level for fish and a shallower one for plants – based on your preferences.

The reason why a trench is dug up immediately before the installation process is to prevent altering the pond size in case of rain or strong winds. When you are done, walk around the interior of the pond trench to tamp down the soil.

Step 4

How to Install a Pond Liner

Install an underlayment or geotextile at the bottom of the hole to act as an insulating layer that protects the pond liner from tears and abrasions from debris such as rocks. Alternatively, if investing in an underlayment is expensive for you, you can opt to make one at home. Use sand, newspaper, or old carpeting to create a half an inch thick layer before you place a pond liner over it. 

Step 5

After layering the underlayment, spread the pond liner across the trench and push it down to the bottom by stepping on it. Make sure it covers the entire trench securely – including the sides and edges. The, pleat the edges of the liner from the trench edge to the ground.

Step 6

To seal the pond liner, lay a circle of large stones or bricks around the edge of the trench.

Step 7

This is where you begin to test the workings of the pond liner. Fill the pond with up to a 2-inch layer of water to allow the liner to settle permanently. If it stretches too much, remove the stones/bricks on the edges to allow it to naturally settle then, replace the stones/bricks on the edges after the liner naturally settles.

Step 8

Trim any excess pond liner that exceeds more than a foot away from the stones/bricks.  The excess pond liner can be used in the future to patch it up in case of future punctures or tears. 

Step 9

Cover the smaller bricks/stones with a larger ring of decorative rock. Trim away any remaining excess liber for a more immaculate look. Add plants around or inside the pond, then, fill it with water.

Tips On Installing A Pond Liner

  • When working on installing a pond liner, you want to wear soft-soled shoes when working inside the pond. This prevents you from creating punctures on the pond surface.
  • Never install a liner on a windy or rainy day because it can be easily damaged. Additionally, rain caused the pond liner to be weighed down; making it easier to move.
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