Every pond liner project is potentially unique and should be treated as such. Even though there are commonly accepted standards to use as benchmarks for specifications, we believe a consultation with the supplier or manufacturer up front is the most effective way to specify the correct materials and deployment for the project. Here are some of the factors to weigh before you even do your earthwork.
- Warranty is important because it shows the supplier and installer are committed to the best fit and best result on your project.
- Installation is a major risk area for any project. Poor installation can defeat the best materials specifications.
- Poor specifications for the project materials can themselves be a source of inferior performance.
- Shipping and handling of the different materials based on their weight and flexibility are a large factor in the costs of a
We’ve discussed many of the common Installation Pitfalls with liner projects. Western Liner uses its own personnel for installations because we want to be able to stand by our work with an extensive warranty. Many geomembrane liner projects can have a useful life of up to 20 years, and this is the duration of the warranty that we strive for – this is at the peak of industry standards.
While PSI is often used as a baseline specification in engineering terms, the practicalities of a project really focus on puncture and tear resistance. It’s the thread tightness that forms the greatest barrier to these types of failure rather than the coating, so overall tensile strength can be a misleading element in the choice of material. Knowing this, Western Environmental Liner produces liner materials with the tightest weave in the industry.
Delivery from factory to the project site is a cost factor in the project, and may influence the choice of material used – and this choice in turn can affect the type of installation and size of sheets, etc. Welding sheets in the field are one of the weak links in the chain, especially if the installation crew is not known in advance.
As for material options, HDPE remains the least costly per thickness and weight and the most widely used liner material. However, it’s quite stiff and doesn’t fold well, so it arrives in rolls, typically 22 feet wide and 780 unrolled length. This can limit how many can be carried on a truck, so maximum freight weight and size are a significant part of the overall cost.
RPE, although thinner and lighter weight, with an average weight and thickness about half of HDPE, can still be much stronger and therefore more affordable. We often use HDPE, but for many applications we’ll choose our specially formulated 30 mil Coex over a 60 mil HDPE because it’s stronger and performs better.
RPE can be folded and palletized as well, which can optimize the cost of shipping – and also the ease of handling during installation, which in turn can affect the choice of lifting equipment on site. Lighter material means larger prefabricated panels which means less welds in the field, less chance for leakage, and less installation cost.
All these factors should form a part of the overall specification for the best cost-effectiveness. Cost effectiveness means over the life of the project, which brings us back to warranty. Our consultations from the very beginning are aimed at being able to provide a warranted result that will endure through the project life.
Consultation before any work or specification should be the priority. It’s free and takes as little as a phone call to discuss your project with Western Environmental Liner.