Used swimming pool liner for pond liner?

Discussion in 'Pond Construction & Equipment' started by CountryEscape, Mar 9, 2012.

  1. CountryEscape

    CountryEscape

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    OK, I read a couple of posts that said that swimming pool liners have an algeacide on them and they are dangerous for fish. is this the case still? Those forums were 3-4 years ago. My boss has an above ground pool, no leaks, but last year a storm bent up the supports so insurance is paying for a new pool. They are going to empty it and may be throwing it away. I'm wondering if it could be used for my new goldfish pond I'm getting ready to start digging. I won't take the chance if it could possible harm or kill the fish, sure not worth that, and free would be very costly. Just wondering if anyone else has used them successfully in the past. This one is over 10 years old, too, so maybe past it's prime.
    Thanks for input!
     
    CountryEscape, Mar 9, 2012
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  2. CountryEscape

    j.w I Love my Goldies

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    I don't know if I'd chance it CE, not because of chemicals but because of it's age. We had one for many yrs at our last house and when we were getting ready to move we were getting ready to take it down. We removed the edging and the thing was so brittle it burst and water went everywhere. The plastic was rotten and it just crumbled. Guess the only thing holding it together was the edging and the side walls.
     
    j.w, Mar 9, 2012
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  3. CountryEscape

    Waterbug

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    I've never been able to find a manufacturer state they added an algaecide or fungicide to any plastic. Vinyl, PVC, EPDM, roof liner, pond liner, shower pan liner, buckets. They do say things like "algae resistant". As the story gets retold "algae resistant" morphs into algaecide which morphs into "kills fish" to make posts more interesting. If anyone finds a manufacturer that adds a chemical specifically to be an algaecide I'd appreciate a link. Kind of a hobby of mine.

    Slick...For the most part when manufacturers say "algae resistant" or "fungus resistant" they're just saying these have a hard time growing on the material because they're slick. Algae certainly will grow on EPDM where there's standing water on a roof and certainly in ponds. Glass is "algae resistant" for the same reason.

    There are standards for "food safe" but none for "fish safe". Independent lab testing is the only way to be FDA approved food safe. Keep in mind even food safe containers leech or out gas, just at low enough levels.

    EPDM and HDPE I've seen that were food safe were white. Black almost always seem to not be FDA approved food safe. I think this is because non-white contains, or can contain, recycled material. The result is not white and a dark color is added to even it out. Every batch is unique, unknown, can't be called food safe. No reason to think these are not food safe...it's just that it makes no sense for the manufacturer to send every batch out for FDA approval. Food safe products are made with 100% virgin chemicals so they know every product is the same.

    I think it just comes down to one's comfort, understanding and income level. Lot's of people say "fish safe" liners should only be used, that roof EPDM kill fish. But lot's of people use roof liner in ponds. But shouldn't the "fish safe" people be pushing "food safe" EPDM?

    You could have the pool liner tested to determine if it's "fish safe" using the exact same test Firestone used. Sound expensive and complex? Not so much. Firestone's test was to put 6 goldfish into a pond with their liner. After 2 weeks the fish were still alive and the liner was deemed "fish safe". The report I read was less than a page, no mention of pond size or anything else. There's no laws for "fish safe" so they can set their own standard.

    It's of course all a bit silly imo.

    I agree with JW, vinyl is normally pretty thin and life is always limited. But I'd certainly use it if free, looked in descent shape, replacing it later wasn't a huge deal, and I could deal with the color. Anything you can do to protect it from UV would add to its life, especially any place above water. I normally don't think underlayment is very important for EPDM but for pool liner I'd be much more pro underlayment. I'd still use something like newspaper, but I'd be more careful no soil got between the underlayment and liner and I'd use more newspaper than normal.

    Hope to see pictures.
     
    Waterbug, Mar 9, 2012
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  4. CountryEscape

    CountryEscape

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    Yep, I'm leaning toward buying the EPDM and not worrying about it. I really don't want to worry about it failing, even if I were to use it in the stream. Thanks for your backup, and Waterbug, your wealth of info as usual. :) And I can't even think of any other use for it, as under patio area, I would want water to be able to soak in and away, not stand on top.
     
    CountryEscape, Mar 9, 2012
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  5. CountryEscape

    sissy sissy

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    My neighbor has a large pond made with a swimming pool liner and has had no problems ,but his liner is one of the older liners and is really heavy duty .They don't seem to make them as heavy duty anymore .I guess they don't want them to last .The newer ones are much lighter so people can put in the pools themselves .
     
    sissy, Mar 9, 2012
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  6. CountryEscape

    CountryEscape

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    Well, this one is probably 12 years old or more, I'd guess, since my boss has owned the house for 10 years, and it was already there when they bought it. But, the fact it's that old makes me leery.
     
    CountryEscape, Mar 9, 2012
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  7. CountryEscape

    sissy sissy

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    His was over 20 years old and you can feel the edge of it that sticks above the ground and it is heavy and thick .It feels heavier than a 45 mil thick liner and is still flexible .He had told me it took 4 people to put it in the ground it was so heavy .Him and his girlfriend could not even move the thing across the ground to the hole and even 4 people had difficulty with it .When he had the pool put in he paid extra for the heavier liner and he said it took 6 men to install it .You can feel the piece sticking up just how heavy it is .I looked online at pool liners and they do come heavy duty ,but they cost mega bucks also .I saw where it said they use the heavier ones to reline concrete pools that leak .
     
    sissy, Mar 9, 2012
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  8. CountryEscape

    Waterbug

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    They certain make different thicknesses just like EPDM, PVC, etc. Always comes down to what people want to pay.

    I like to make mini bogs around my yard where I can plant marginals like Canna, sedges, Horsetail rush, etc. These worked great in San Jose CA and have been working great here in Phoenix. Turns out lots of marginals are used in people's yards here, which surprised me. So I'd use the pool liner for that. Also for lining the inside of decorative pots to make them water tight.

    I've gotten into a couple of roof liner vs fish safe threads in different forums recently and thought I'd pull together what I've learned into a
     
    Waterbug, Mar 9, 2012
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  9. CountryEscape

    j.w I Love my Goldies

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    Ok Waterbug is that a future page that you are going to make cuz when I click on your link it says page not found?
     
    j.w, Mar 10, 2012
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  10. CountryEscape

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    Why don't you check how thick it is ce, that would help you with your decision. If real thick and heavy I would use it.
     
    addy1, Mar 10, 2012
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  11. CountryEscape

    CountryEscape

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    Well, good point, Addy. I'll have to drive to her house and check it out. Then, I will have to tell them I'm there to help take it down, since I'm ready to put it into my hole .... when I get the hole dug that is. They have 3 kids, and are always on the go. They are going to get caught with the new pool on the way and the old one still in place! They have lots of work to remove the old pool, and I would be happy to help them out if I got the liner and it was extra thick one. It's very possible it is a thick one, as the previous owner had really nice things in and around the house. I'll keep that in mind!
     
    CountryEscape, Mar 10, 2012
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  12. CountryEscape

    Waterbug

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    Waterbug, Mar 10, 2012
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  13. CountryEscape

    j.w I Love my Goldies

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    I have never used the so called fish safe liners from the pond companies. First time I bought liner I used the roofing EPDM that I bought right off the roll in the roofing co's parking lot where they store it outdoors. I could choose from various thicknesses. Worked great for several yrs and my fish lived through it all. Next time I bought at a different place cuz we moved too far from the first roofing co. to buy it there again and I couldn't use the old one as it was too small for my bigger pond dig. So a neighbor across the road told me about a company near us that sold it for a good price to him for his koi pond and we could just go pick it up ourselves. The company was an Irrigation construction company and that liner is in my pond now being used w/o killing my fish just fine also. So I consider myself tested on using this type of industrial EPDM liner and it has passed w/ flying colors!
     
    j.w, Mar 10, 2012
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  14. CountryEscape

    John T. Clow

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    I never tried that before.. because a swimming pool liner is made for swimming pools. But its true that it get algae.. I don't think it will be a good idea to take risk about the fishes health.
     
    John T. Clow, Feb 17, 2014
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  15. CountryEscape

    John T. Clow

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    any other views?
     
    John T. Clow, Feb 20, 2014
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  16. CountryEscape

    CountryEscape

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    Haha, John, this is an old thread, started back when I was building my second pond, so most are probably no longer following it. :)
     
    CountryEscape, Feb 21, 2014
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