Pond Liners Buyer Beware

Submitted by: Doug Hoover

Do you waste your money on lottery tickets? Feed your hard earned money to the one-armed bandits in the casinos? Drive without a seat belt? Then a pond liner is for you. You obviously like taking chances and are not too concerned about the outcome. Well, when someone spends thousands of dollars on a liner pond, they are playing the odds. Will their liner pond leak or not. From my 26 years experience in the pond business, I can assure you that the odds are not in your favor. This is an article the liner pond dudes do not want you to read. If you were not giving my industry such a bad name, there would be no need for this writing.

The liner pond gurus such as the “Liner messiah” with his own magazine and catalog, recruits unsuspecting followers with a “Build a Liner Pond Day”, and shows how easy it is to get something for next to nothing. Here is what these liner pond guys do:

o Lay out the pond with a garden hose

o Remove the sod and dig the hole

o Drop in our guaranteed line

o Fill with wate

o Drop in our pump

o Run our pipe

o Throw a piece of our liner on the pile of discarded dirt

o Stick in our filte

o Cover pile of dirt with loose rock

o Turn on our pump

o Throw in your fish

YouTube Preview Image

o Collect your money and split.

Does this sound a bit harsh on the pond liner industry? Well, here is “the rest of the story. “I am going to add a few more items that the liner pond guys omitted:

o Ground squirrels

o Gophers

o Mice

o Rats

o Chipmunks

o Moose

o Sharp rocks

o Heavy rocks

o Falling rocks

o Sharp objects

o Tree roots

o Plant & weed roots

o Leaky drain seal

o Leaky skimmer seal

o Kids with sharp or pointed objects

Did the liner pond guy offer you a discount if any of the above occurred in your pond? Here is what you would have had to do if any of them happened in your newly-built liner pond (and I know the Liner Guy did not give you this list):

o Take out the fish

o Turn off the pump

o Take out the loose rock (hope you did not use too many)

o Pump out the pond

o Take out the pump

o Take out the line

o Spread out the liner on the lawn

o Clean off the dirt and algae

o Inspect every square inch of the liner for holes.

(Sure, there are short cuts, but if you assume you have fixed the problem after patching a hole, put everything back and then discover there was more than one hole, you might be a tad irritated. Remember this rule of thumb: one pinhole and you can lose five gallons of water every 24 hours!)

o Patch the hole or holes

o Repeat the whole process over again, only in reverse.

Hey, sound familiar? It should, with the exception of laying out the garden hose and digging a hole, you have just built another water feature!

If it had been done the professional way to begin with, all this time to tear it apart and put it back together could have been used to design and build another permanent project with steel and concrete.

Can you imagine if this scenario was referring to a project involving large boulders that were set in place with heavy equipment such as an end loader or crane? Not to mention lawn sprinklers, flower gardens, trees and shrubs that were growing there, and sidewalks and hardscapes installed! It can cost 30% more to tear out a liner pond and replace it with a professional one made with rebar and concrete. Where as if they had built a professional waterfall and pond in the first place it would have only cost about 20% more. Does the term penny wise and pound foolish mean anything to you?

Look before you leap and research before you weep. Happy koi, peace and joy.

About the Author: Douglas C. Hoover, engineer, author, designer & builder of over 2,000 waterfall and ponds in CA (30 years). Author of Waterfall and Pond Construction Manual, was $49.00, but for a limited time only $14.95 as a downloadable e-book. for more free information and photos go to





Permanent Link:


Comments are closed.