tougher than it looks

Pardon me for a few sick days. Back at it now — and lookie, we have achieved pond liner!

finished pond liner

The best part: Joe and David did it without a single excuse not to! Want to see how?

First the cat took one final roll in the sand. I don’t understand why she never used the pond as a giant litter box. I certainly would have. But for whatever reason, she didn’t…

one last roll in the sand

Our friend Joe has some experience in dealing with rubber so we took complete advantage of his expertise. First, he gave the sand a final rake, being sure to curve the sand up the walls slightly…

the sand gets one last raking over

Then he and David laid out a base layer of heavy-duty geotextile fabric across the bottom of the pond and up and over the walls. It had to be done in two sections to fit our wacky L-shape…

a base of GeoTex geotextile fabric

Next, they added a layer of felt (again in two sections) as extra protection for the rubber liner…

and then a layer of felt

The boys were careful to keep the corners and overlapping bits as neat as possible. With the geotex fabric and the felt in, it almost looks like they’re done. But no. Hard part still to come.

pond all geotexed and felted up

Next up: the .045″ EPDM Firestone PondGard rubber liner. Luckily our neighbor has a green, rock-free lawn where they were able to roll out the rubber and cut it into two sections. Thanks, neighbor!

EPDM rubber liner gets trimmed to fit

As they did with the geotex fabric, Joe and David fit the rubber over the tops of the walls with plenty of overlap…

liner gets positioned so that it overlaps the wall

The steel bridge supports were slipped into their grooves atop felt in the hopes of protecting the rubber liner…

steel bridge supports are set in felt atop the rubber

As you’d imagine, it’s hard to be precise with a rubber liner. It’s bulky, awkward stuff to work with when you have squared up walls and corners to contend with rather than an organic shape. There was also the matter of seaming together the two pieces of liner without it looking like a hack job…

rubber is carefully dealt with on cantankerous corners

Thank god they managed the corners and seams with a great amount of care. And colorful language.

neat and tidy seams

The overlapping seams were joined by cleaning the surface area, then brushing on Carlisle Low-VOC primer.

Carlisle Low-VOC Primer adheres the liner to the seam tape

The primer softens the EPDM enough for 3″ peel-and-stick seam tape to fully adhere the rubber together. On top of the 3″ stuff, the boys cleaned and primed the surface again and applied 6″ uncured rubber tape that comes in this crazy, super-sticky roll…

super sticky peel-and-stick 6" uncured rubber tops off the seams

The binoculars in the background were not used to see what the sunbathing coeds down the street were up to. That would be unseamly, right?

the boys finish off the seams

So now the two-pieces of liner are fused into one L-shaped piece of leak-free liner. Knock on wubber. It rained yesterday and I see no leaks.

pond liner — finished and rained on

The water, bridges and plants should be enough to mask whatever imperfections are sure to keep David awake at night. Looks fine to me. Jim Egan and his crew should be here some time this week to deal with plumbing the pond, capping the walls with stone and finishing up the patios. Can I get a whoop-whoop?!

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6 Responses to “tougher than it looks”

  1. john says:


    When do you get the frogs?

  2. Graham says:


  3. Brook says:

    good question. can you have frogs if you don’t have mud?

  4. Brook says:

    two WHOOP-WHOOPS makes it official!

  5. john says:

    When do you get the mud?

  6. Brook says:


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