Choosing a pond liner, confused, so many kinds!

springfield area, MO(Zone 5b)

I need a liner next spring. Trouble is there isn't anyone close here that sells them affordable, so I am looking at maybe ordering something online. Last time I ordered one from Ebay, but I can't remember from who. I am doing one that is about 13X19 and the last one was much smaller, so this one will cost alot more of course and I am more concerned about getting the right one. Here are two links to a couple I am looking at.

So my question is, should I get a 45 mil or a 60 mil and is there a difference in the quality between the two brands. One states that it has a 20 yr warranty, the other a 'lifetime' warranty.
Is there a 'name brand' liner or are these 'generic' liners or does that matter? The LIFEGUARD brand seems like a 'knock off' to me?
Would love any advice!

Danville, IN

I've always used 45 mil liners with no problems at all. My first liner pond is over 20 years old, and still no leaks or tears, and it's 45 mil. With the popularity of ponds today, almost every big box store carries liners and pumps. Also, with the cost of postage (45 mil liners are heavy), it might be worth the drive to a Springfield, where I'm sure there are garden centers and pond places. I would think that a pond supply place would be your best bet for prices as they are in the business of selling just pond supplies. Locally, the pond place sells 45 mil liner for 84 per sq. ft. if that helps you determine a good price.

springfield area, MO(Zone 5b)

Ok thanks, that may help me out.
I thought about going to Springfield but I'll have to look into that. The nursery here wants so much for a liner that I can order on line AND pay shipping and still be cheaper. How weird is that.
I will probably go with the 45 mil. The 60 mil might be better but it is so much higher priced.
I looked at Lowes, they sell a 'box' liner but it is only 20 mil and NOT the EPDM or whatever, it is the cheaper plastic kind. I have heard those are bad, so I want to stay away from them.
I do go to Springfield occasionally so I might call around next month and see what I can find.

Danville, IN

You are right to avoid cheap liners that are not EPDM. They don't last and are not safe for fish and other critters such as frogs. Another option is to go to a local farm supply store to check out rigid water troughs that are made of some type of plastic composite. They are tough (have to stand up to cattle and horses), last forever, and come in different sizes and depths. They can be "linked" with a long, narrow piece of liner to create a stream between them. They are very inexpensive compared to many liners on the market. You might even check around to find a used one.

This message was edited Dec 24, 2009 7:11 PM

Danville, IN

Here's some info I found on an old thread. This guy used a building material that is really cheap, and looks like the same thing as expensive pond liner. See what you think after reading this quote I copied from the thread:

Roofing rubber is real heavy sheets of rubber that roofers use, it's usually called epdm roofing membrane. Check it out...Firestone is the major supplier of the pondgard pond liner, they are also the major supplier of epdm roofing membrane. Some say they are the same thing, only the pond liner has been given a name, comes uncoated and with a very expensive price tag to rip the ponder off. Firestone insists that they are cured differently, the reason for the price difference for the pondgard membrane. Ponders swear the only difference is the coating which the pondgard does not have. This coating is a powdery substance so if you buy roofing rubber YOU MUST WASH THIS OFF OR IT WILL KILL YOUR FISH!.

All my ponds are lined with USED roofing rubber I get for FREE from a roofing company in my area. All I do is wash it off using a water hose and brush on my hands and knees. With it being used there is very little powder left on it if any...and the price is right!

springfield area, MO(Zone 5b)

Well I already have most of it dug, so I have to get a liner, a rigid form will not work for what I am doing.
I called around about the roofing liner when I did my last pond, and it was even higher priced than just buying the liner on E-Bay. So how does the used kind work? Maybe I'm not getting here, but doesn't it have holes in it? :)

Danville, IN

Not sure of the details. I would think "used" meant scrap and odds & ends. Otherwise, it would have holes, I guess, come to think of it.

Well, good luck.... and Merry Christmas!

Deer Park, IL(Zone 5b)

Not necessarily all used liner is scrap. I redid my pond after one year to add in a bottom drain and aerater and it is deeper and wider than the previous pond so the original liner wouldn't fit. I have a "used" good liner sitting in my garage that only was used 14 months. The thing is how do you know and trust that you are getting something like my liner with little wear and tear???? I would hate to put in all the work and effort and install a used liner and find out it leaks!!! That would be an incredible let down.

I still don't know what I will do with this left over liner but hate to part with it. . .

Stamford, CT(Zone 6b)

I ordered from It pays to look at their site. It had a lot of info, they were very nice to deal with and I found them reputable. They have a large range of products, and it's easy to get them on the phone. Their prices were competitive.

Industry standard is 45 mil.

Ocoee (W. Orlando), FL(Zone 9b)

There are lots of good deals this time of year on ebay. 45m is the standard and lasts a very long time. Don't forget to count in the shipping price when deciding how much it will cost you.
Remember to add the depth of the pond walls as well, when determining the size you need. Say you want a 5x10 pond that is 4 feet deep (being in MO, you will need it deeper than someone in FL, where we don't get long hard freezes) You will need to add feet of liner to each side of the for a 5x10, it would be a 13x18foot liner.

Hammond, LA(Zone 8b)

Hi, I have a question and this looks like a good thread to ask it in. Beware: I am new to this, and know next to nothing about ponds/liners. Here's the ???

If I have one of the hard "preformed ponds" do I still need a liner? Is one better than the other? It seems like the preformed ones would be more durable, but like I said, I don't know too much.

Thanks :)


Danville, IN

You definitely do not need to use a liner if you have a preformed pond. The only time you would incorporate a piece of liner would be if you decided to add a waterfall at the edge of your pond. Then, you would pile up some soil, and use the liner to "sluice" the water that came out of the falls back into the pond proper. There are tons of books showing this, probably one or two at your local library, but also at big box stores or on-line. Have fun. Rigid preform ponds last forever and are easier in many ways to using a liner. It's a little harder to disguise the edge, but it can be done. Just avoid the "necklace" look if possible. I'm sure there are plenty of DGers with great photos of preform liner ponds to share.

Hammond, LA(Zone 8b)

Thanks for the information, that cleared up alot of questions.

Mount Vernon, MO(Zone 6b)

Webb's Online has never done me wrong.

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