Here you'll find instructions on how to install a
pond liner. Every pond liner is basically installed the same way but
will occur depending on how you decide to landscape the edge of your
pond. I will briefly discuss some of those later.
We recommend using a garden hose to outline the design of your pond as it
is flexible enough to create flowing curves, "solid" enough not to make
squiggly curves (like string or rope would do), and heavy enough that it
won't blow away. You can use chalk or spray paint to mark the outline
and while you're at it, outline your bog and marginal shelves, too (if
you don't know what these are, I recommend going through our Pond
Informational Course.) Once you have your design made, you can start
If your pond is large, start digging from the middle and work
your way to the edge. Dig to your desired depth and put the dirt in a
wheel barrow or other container and haul it to your waterfall area or
wherever you planned. By working from the middle out you make it
easier on yourself so that you can have the wheel barrow next to where
you are digging and solid ground to transport it.
For those with a
small pond I recommend digging your pond in the same fashion but you
will have to decide what is best. Dig to your specified depth including
bog and marginal shelves, and the end opposite of the waterfall,
if planned, dig the pond slightly deeper to help create better water
circulation and flow to where your pump will be. If you plan on having
a bottom drain, design and prepare for that as well. Dig your edges of
your pond at approx. a 20° to angle to
give support to the side walls.
dug working from the middle out, including bog and marginal shelves.
The mound of dirt at the opposite end will be
used for a waterfall. More dirt will be added later.
While you are digging
your pond, take into consideration that you should have 50mm of light sand
on each horizontal surface to help prevent rocks, roots or debris from puncturing
your liner. After you have completely dug your pond, level each of
the shelves and thoroughly go through the entire pond and remove any
rocks or debris that may be protruding. Add approximately 50mm of sand
inside the pond to act as a "cushion"
You may also wish to use an underlay* as further
protection for the liner. * Could be carpet underlay (new or used)
Once everything is
levelled it's time to put in your pond
liner! Open the liner and with the assistance of some friends or family
members, carefully drape the liner across the pond making sure it
overlaps and has equal distance on all sides. (Your pond liner will be
larger than your pond when you drape it over.) Secure the edges with
rocks or bricks and start to fill it with water.
over pond ready to be filled. Gravity allows the liner to "sink"
especially in a large pond. The water pressure will cause the liner to
contour around the edges within your pond.
By the way, you don't
have to walk into your pond and manually contour the liner to the edges,
the water will do that while it is filling. Try to have any folds or
wrinkles out when you start to fill it. While the pond is being filled,
you can tug and move the liner a bit to work out any folds that
develop. Once the liner is taut, you can reposition the rocks or
bricks at the edges
allowing for the liner to sink down and fill with water.
filling your pond with water. Be sure to straighten out any pleats or
folds in the liner as it is being filled. Some pleats are inevitable,
but the less the better.
Take some pictures of
your pond during different stages of creating it and while the pond is
||The pond is
completely filled with water. This pond took approx. 40 hours to
fill over the course of 3 days (it is over 110,000litres). The excess
liner has been trimmed around the pond and will be buried and covered up
Once the pond is filled with water, you can trim the excess liner off.
If you calculated the size of your pond liner accurately and positioned
the liner correctly, you should have a little excess liner that needs to
be cut off. You can cut the liner relatively easy with a knife or sharp scissors.
Depending on how you decided to landscape the edge of your pond, you can
dig a small trench around the pond and bury it with dirt or you can hide
it with coping stones, boulders, etc. One important note to consider
when creating the pond is the edge of the pond and landscaping around
Do you want a very pronounced and defined edge with bricks or
coping stones or slate? Or do you want a natural border with
cobblestones, rocks or boulders? The edge of your pond helps defines
it's "mood" as well as the landscaping around it, so give it some
thought. You will need to decide these things while calculating the
size of the pond liner, in case you need extra liner.
what material your pond's edge will be, make sure that it's edge is
at least 10% higher
than the ground around
it. This will help prevent water from rain or sprinklers from going
into your pond and any chemicals or fertilizers in the soil around it.
If you have your pond in part of a natural hill, you may have to create
a trench on that side of your pond, fill it with pea gravel and sand,
which will help divert the water from your hill from going down into
your pond. In this case, you may need a professional landscaper with
experience in creating ponds to do the work for you. Once again,
definitely have the edges of your pond
at least 10% higher
than the ground around it. You can easily do this with the dirt that
came from digging out your pond. This edge must be
too, or else you will have water leaking from the lower areas.
excess liner off with a Stanley knife or sharp scissors. The liner can
be buried in a little trench around your pond or with coping stones and
boulders depending on your landscape design around your pond.
has a cobblestone edge, which have smooth edges. Part of the
cobblestones go into the water and a "lip" was created while the pond
was being dug to hold back the cobblestones from entering the pond.
One important note to
make about putting cobblestones or rocks around the pond's edge. The
cobblestones, no matter how much you rinse them off with a hose, will
add a lot of dirt to your pond and you'll be so
disappointed especially after seeing the crystal clear water in your
pond from the garden hose.
You will have to put your liner in, fill
your pond up with water, add the cobblestones to your pond and then
drain all of the water out, rinse off the rocks even more, clean your
pond out and then refill the pond. This is a big step and can be very
time consuming and cause your water bill to go up, but you have to do it
and in the order which I described. The cobblestones have to be cleaned
and this is the only way to do it (unless you have a small pond and want
to wash each cobblestone off in a bucket of water!) Naturally other
rocks, coping stones, etc. should be cleaned as well.
landscaping is not complete in this photo. Three waterfalls will be
created at the end of the pond. You can see one waterfall in this
picture and the cobblestone edge. Bog and Marginal Plants will be
planted within the pond as well as landscaping done around it.
of the pond "in process". The waterfall is incomplete and
was being constructed. The pond is 9m wide x 12m long
x 1.5m deep. Hoses will later be buried and hidden within the landscaping.
Water hyacinths are seen floating on top of the pond.
Well, there you have it -
instructions on installing a pond liner. If you need additional information
you can check out our
book range that are filled with information and illustrations of
designing ponds and water gardens as well as waterfalls, streams, and water
fountains. If you need more advice, contact a local professional landscaper
who has experience in creating water gardens.
Good luck on creating your
pond! May it give you beauty, peace and enjoyment!