How do I fix this liner problem!!


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Hi everyone! So once again I am having this problem with my pond edge after all of the ground freezing and thawing all winter. I went into the winter before this one with my edge rocks just placed on top of the liner. Several of them fell in the pond by the time spring came and the liner slouched down. I fixed all this by using waterfall foam to adhere every single rock to the liner and then I cut the liner off behind the rocks and mulched in behind it creating like an "L" shape to the liner so I could bring my water level to above the bottom of the rocks. It was perfect and I thought that since they were adhered then this year the rocks would all stay in place. Here is the before and after photo from last spring.

IMG_2914.JPG

Well that did not work. Now ground has shifted more and the liner and rocks have come away again. It's like a landslide. So I need advice on how to fix this once and for all this spring so I can stop having this nightmare every spring!!! Here are pics of how it looks right now.

IMG_2904.JPG IMG_2906.JPG IMG_2907.JPG IMG_2908.JPG IMG_2909.JPG IMG_2910.JPG IMG_2911.JPG

I have heavy clay soil. But I have also brought in a lot of black top soil for the garden part of this. Its mostly all in the back. I can only think of two options here, because as you can see, there is no extra liner. I think I either have to completely replace my pond liner, or use seam tape to adhere a second liner to the one that is already there. Replacing the whole liner will be a nightmare! I have two liners as it is, the main pond liner and then a second liner that overlaps that for the bog and waterfall. I did not use anything to seam the two liners. I simply left about a two foot overlap and have never had any problems. However I think it will be impossible to get the main liner out and replace it without having to completely remove the rocks in the back and the ones for my waterfall. I'm also worried that moving all of that will disrupt the soil settling where all of my plants are and where the ground slants upwards behind the pond. Here's pictures of the garden during summer:

IMG_2912.JPG IMG_2913.JPG

I really do not want to mess that up :(

So how do I go about fixing all this so that I don't continue to have this problem every spring?? Also keep in mind that my skimmer box is currently in the area where everything is messed up so I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to redo that area also.

If I buy a second large liner, could I just overlap it so that it reaches the pond bottom where I have rocks to anchor it? I was thinking of draining the pond. digging to reshape the front half. Removing the plant shelf in the front only so that wall of the pond is completely straight down and creating a slight slope at the ground level that slopes away from the water to place the rocks on. Like this:

brown line = mulch
thick black line = new liner
thin black line = old liner
blue line = water
grey = rock

Untitled.png


Thank you guys for your help in advance!!
 

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sissy

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Funny but I was thinking the same thing your pond was asking for a bog .Uou may need an extra piece of liner or new line in clay soil there should be at least 3 rows of rock around the edge .Clay soil freezes and thaws and that is why I had to change out my preformed .The soil should be a lot lower behind each row of rocks as if it heaved it would not come up as much .You can do like ponddigger did but instead of cement use rocks ,like he did with Rosemary's pond
 

sissy

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I think JW did her pond with a level of rocks lower in the water and then built out from there .
 
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I hate to say it, but I think your best option is to replace your liner. It's cut too short to do your edging correctly. The edge rocks need to be sitting on a stable shelf - a proper rock edge should be so stable that you can walk on the rocks without anything moving, both for safety and to avoid the problem you are having. Also, your rocks may be too small to do the job you're asking them to do - the weight of the water will pull on the liner, especially if it fits your pond too perfectly, if that makes sense. You want a little slack in your liner to allow for water weight and ground shift. A wider shelf with bigger rocks, or more rocks, will give your edge the stability you need. Make sure you tamp your edges down A LOT before you place rocks. Your clay soil should be like cement before you place rocks to avoid the shifting and settling you are dealing with.

Pond foam is definitely not meant to adhere rocks to liner. Even if it works initially, it will break down over time. The only purpose for pond foam in a pond is to keep water flowing over rocks instead of behind them. So fill spaces with it, but don't expect it to hold things together.

Could you do it by adding liner? Maybe. But it may be even more work than removing and replacing your current liner.
Also, I wouldn't recommend sloping your shelves backwards like that - you'll find that creates areas of stagnant water. Your shelves should be as flat as possible.

You could drop a new, bigger liner over the old one to avoid taking it out if that helps. Just make sure you cut lots of holes in the old liner to avoid any water build up between the two liners, causing your new liner to float.

Sorry! Maybe someone else has a better idea! Your pond and gardens are really pretty if that's any consolation!
 

sissy

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similar to this idea but with rocks .I never cut liner I just roll it under it's self
 

j.w

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Yep looks like to me you cut the liner off too much around the edges. Usually we like to save lots of extra liner around the edge in case we need it later. You can tuck excess underneath and then if something like this happens you can fix it much easier later. I made dirt berm all the way around mine and a short shelf in the pond w/rocks all around and then put the other rocks on the top edge. I have sandy soil.

IMG_6050.JPG
 

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I hate to say it, but I think your best option is to replace your liner. It's cut too short to do your edging correctly. The edge rocks need to be sitting on a stable shelf - a proper rock edge should be so stable that you can walk on the rocks without anything moving, both for safety and to avoid the problem you are having. Also, your rocks may be too small to do the job you're asking them to do - the weight of the water will pull on the liner, especially if it fits your pond too perfectly, if that makes sense. You want a little slack in your liner to allow for water weight and ground shift. A wider shelf with bigger rocks, or more rocks, will give your edge the stability you need. Make sure you tamp your edges down A LOT before you place rocks. Your clay soil should be like cement before you place rocks to avoid the shifting and settling you are dealing with.

Pond foam is definitely not meant to adhere rocks to liner. Even if it works initially, it will break down over time. The only purpose for pond foam in a pond is to keep water flowing over rocks instead of behind them. So fill spaces with it, but don't expect it to hold things together.

Could you do it by adding liner? Maybe. But it may be even more work than removing and replacing your current liner.
Also, I wouldn't recommend sloping your shelves backwards like that - you'll find that creates areas of stagnant water. Your shelves should be as flat as possible.

You could drop a new, bigger liner over the old one to avoid taking it out if that helps. Just make sure you cut lots of holes in the old liner to avoid any water build up between the two liners, causing your new liner to float.

Sorry! Maybe someone else has a better idea! Your pond and gardens are really pretty if that's any consolation!
There is absolutely nothing that I can add to this other than stay away from even attempting to expand the existing liner by seaming. Lisak1 pretty much covers it all.
 
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I agree with much that has been already said above. With mine I did much wider shelves and deeper. I built small walls underneath the top stones. I can walk on every single stone. If you look under my waterfall you will see the wall is 2ft deep so it holds back the dirt, relying on only the liner then the top stones may have worked but it mostly would have settled causing issues. Good luck, your pond looks nice BTW



 
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I'm not sure. If I recall it came from Lowe's. I think EDPM. Where do you guys find liner? I did a quick search on Amazon and a 20x30 liner was $700+

From what I'm understanding from all of you it sounds like I'm pretty much gonna have to start over. Pull out the old liner, re-dig to make this a lot bigger to accommodate a lot more and bigger rocks. In order to still keep the volume of water I have now. Ugh. What a nightmare :(
 

Meyer Jordan

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I'm not sure. If I recall it came from Lowe's. I think EDPM. Where do you guys find liner? I did a quick search on Amazon and a 20x30 liner was $700+

From what I'm understanding from all of you it sounds like I'm pretty much gonna have to start over. Pull out the old liner, re-dig to make this a lot bigger to accommodate a lot more and bigger rocks. In order to still keep the volume of water I have now. Ugh. What a nightmare :(
Welcome to the Pondkeeper's Learning Curve!
 

sissy

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The ones from lowes are all pvc liners.Dr foster and smith is where I got mine and pet solutions is cheap and so is webbs water gardens .They start having big sales on them come spring .
 

sissy

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You can save that piece of liner for something else .I use the pvc liners around my filters as it has more give to it .Great question lou as it is hard to tell from pics .I took out a pond that was pvc and it is around my stock tank filter
 

Meyer Jordan

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The ones from lowes are all pvc liners.Dr foster and smith is where I got mine and pet solutions is cheap and so is webbs water gardens .They start having big sales on them come spring .
The Lowes here do sell EPDM liner but only in 10' x 15'. Not sure if all Lowes carry it though.
 

sissy

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none of the ones here in NC or VA that I have been to sell epdm they sell only pvc .I know online they sell epdm .Home depot here used to sell it off the roll but have not sold it for a couple of years now.I waited until presidents weekend sale last year and got free shipping and only paid 247 dollars after coupon it was a 20x25 but when it came and I laid it out to warm up and measure it it was bigger ..It was almost 30 long and close to 25 wide .Can't remember the exact size and I know I wrote it down in my book some where .
 
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UGH!!! So frustrating for you! I know your pain well. I have a similar problem. There is no way for me to hide my liner, other than to take my fish out and re-jig things too. And I just don't think I have it in me.

I had a thought, and I doubt its a good one, but I'll throw it out there anyways, as I doubt you want to buy another liner for $700+

What if you pulled the liner back up, and cemented those existing rocks to another row or two of larger rocks behind those. I'm wondering if the weight of the other rocks would stop the initial row from sliding into the pond? It might buy you a few more years ....... or might cause a bigger problem. I don't know. I've been known to bad ideas when it comes to ponds.

Thoughts anyone?
 
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I'm just going to put this out there - while it's a pain to do it all over again, you'll never regret doing it the right way. There are no magical fixes to these kinds of issues. Nature tends to follow certain standard rules - gravity being a big one. Trying to suspend a rock in essentially mid-air by gluing it to the liner will only pull the liner down with it. Because that rock is going to keep right on going where nature wants it to go. Down.

I guess one other thing you could do is to back fill behind the existing liner and create shelves that way. But you would reduce the size of your pond significantly in the process. And you'd have to make sure you were freeing up enough liner to actually make a difference in the end product.

Here's a lesson for all future pond builders - always leave WAY MORE LINER than you think you will ever possibly need! It's easy to conceal and you can't put it back once you've cut it off!

Sorry JenH - how about a pond party? Get a bunch of friends who know how to work hard and pay them in beer and pizza! You just need muscle! Like an old fashioned barn raising, except it's a pond!
 

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Maybe try looking at roofing companies or irrigation companies near you. That is where I got my liners but it was many years ago. Here is an example from a roofing company I just googled. They say there is a chemical difference between the roof and pond liners but I say poo as I bought mine as roofing material and I just rinsed it off real well and no fish died from that liner.
http://amwsc.com/pond_liners.html
So check around your area for roofing co. cuz it might be a lot to ship them from one far away. We just drove not far to pick mine up. Sometimes they have pieces for cheaper on end of rolls etc.
 

sissy

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do you have a builders discount center there where you live
 

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