Home > Building a Pond > Fitting and Filling a Liner

Fitting and Filling a Liner

By: Dr Gareth Evans - Updated: 27 Aug 2010 | comments*Discuss
 
Flexible Liner Pre-formed Liner Moulding

Fitting the liner is the moment when the pond is born; before this all you really have is a hole in the ground; after it, you have something which will hold water – with all the future promise that entails. Like all births, things can go wrong – so it is worth taking a bit of care at this stage to make sure the new pond gets the best chance of a long and useful life.

Whether you have chosen a pre-formed or a flexible liner for your pond, the initial stages after the excavation are essentially the same. Having finished digging your hole – going an inch or two further than the intended depth of the final pond – the next step is a final check for any sharp stones or other objects which might damage the liner or moulding. Once these have been removed, a protective layer needs to be applied to make sure that nothing will harm the pond structure.

Traditionally, this has been a thick layer of sand or wet newspapers, some two or three inches thick, but recently, purpose made geo-membranes – once the preserve of landscaping professionals – have become cheap enough to be used for domestic ponds too. Most good liner stockists sell these cushioning geo-textiles also, which are really best suited for use under flexible liners, since a sand layer is better at bedding in a pre-formed pond. If you are fitting a pre-formed liner, now is a good time to make a rough check of the fit and then one final check that the top surfaces are level.

The Flexible Liner

For anything other than the smallest of ponds, this is the one part of the proceeding where the pond-builder is well advised to recruit an extra pair of hands if at all possible – and trying to pick a day without too much wind is a good idea too!

The first step is to begin gently fitting the liner into the hole, folding the material so that it lies properly within the excavation. There is often a tendency for a lot of little folds to appear as this process continues – which should be gradually worked along the hole, starting at the bottom, to form a smaller number of larger pleats. Some heavy stones laid around the liner edge will help hold everything in place and stop it sliding down into the excavation.

Once the liner is laid to your satisfaction, it is time to fill the pond. Place a hose in the pond, anchoring it at the bottom with a heavy flat stone. As the weight of water increases, the liner will be flattened against the walls; continue to smooth the sides as best you can, folding and tucking in any excess – but avoiding any urge to trim the liner material until the pond is finally full.

The Pre-Formed Liner

The key to fitting a pre-formed pond liner is in making the excavated hole as close a match to the contours of the moulding as you can – allowing the protective sand layer to make up any discrepancies and finally adjust the level. A certain amount of back-filling is to be expected, but too much should be avoided if possible as soil tends to become compacted over time – which could lead to shrinkage and a lack of support for the fabric of the pond – so it is far better to dig the hole accurately in the first place. Once the moulding is positioned properly, it too can be filled with water, which can sometimes cause a little bit of movement in some of the semi-rigid types, so it is a good idea to start off slowly and keep checking the level as filling progresses.

With the pond lined and filled, all that remains is to edge it – and then be patient while the water chemistry settles down. While you are waiting, however, there is always the lighting, fountain or waterfall to install, not to mention mulling over which plants and fish you plan on adding – so the time does not have to be wasted!

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Woody
    Re: Choosing Rock, Stone and Gravel for Your Pond
    Can I use sandstone in the fish pond? I was told not too because of ph.
    8 October 2017
  • Becky
    Re: Your Top Pond Questions Answered
    I have an almost 20 yr old raised goldfish pond. A tree fell on my house during the recent hurricane and big limbs landed in…
    6 October 2017
  • Davo
    Re: Your Top Pond Questions Answered
    Why do i have continual white froth on top of my small patio pond. I have now only got 3 very old goldfish left in it The…
    23 September 2017
  • fishy
    Re: Raised Ponds
    hi ive built a raised pond, the top edge is perfectly level but the one end is lower than the other buy at least a couple of inches... will this mean…
    23 September 2017
  • Puzzled
    Re: Your Top Pond Questions Answered
    We have just cleaned out, relined and filled a garden pond which was filthy and leaking (we moved into this house a year…
    20 September 2017
  • PondExpert
    Re: Choosing the Right Fish for Your Pond
    Bill - Your Question:What fish will not eat frog spawn or tadpoles Our Response:We don't know of
    12 September 2017
  • Bill
    Re: Choosing the Right Fish for Your Pond
    what fish will not eat frog spawn or tadpoles
    10 September 2017
  • Linjay
    Re: Fish Diseases and Ailments
    Like Lyndy 2Jun Our fish are dying with no visible signs of anything wrong. The water is clear, ph fine, Any ideas what could be…
    3 September 2017
  • johno
    Re: Digging Your Pond
    good morning all, hopefully someone can advise me on my issue filling a preformed pond I have dug the hole, packed with sand at the bottom,…
    29 August 2017
  • talora
    Re: Aerating Your Pond
    I want to use "Paddle Wheel Aerator" in my small pond. May I put my queries?
    25 August 2017
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the PondExpert website. Please read our Disclaimer.