Our EP-RPE is a Premium Grade RPE (reinforced polyethylene) pond liner that features a high puncture and tear resistance - stronger than EPDM, PVC and HDPE liners. As an added plus, EP-RPE has a high UV resistance and won't degrade when exposed to chemicals such as fertilizer nitrates and hydrocarbons. One of the biggest advantages of our RPE liner is that many different sizes are available, and because of it's lighter weight, single panels up to approx. 60,000 square feet can be produced. With regards to weight, EP-RPE is approximately 1/3 of the weight of Firestone's pond guard EPDM rubber liner. This weight difference makes it substantially easier to handle and install, especially in larger panels. We have this liner available in three different strengths: regular single-ply, extra-strength double-ply and a super-strength triple-ply. The number of ply indicates the number of layers of reinforcing fabric. The more ply, the stronger and more puncture resistant the liner is. Which version do you need? The single-ply is good strong liner. However, if your application has has special situations that require a stronger liner, such as in the case of a dog swimming pond where sharp claws may come in contact with the liner, the double-ply version might be a better choice. To see the exact specs of how much stronger it is, please see the chart below. Please keep in mind that since the extra strength double-ply liner has an extra layer of reinforcing inside the liner, it is a tad less pliable than the single-ply regular strength liner. If you need maximum flexibility, the single-ply might be a better choice.
Our EP-RPE liner is warranted to be free from defects in material and workmanship for 20 years from the day of purchase. This includes the ability of the liner to withstand normal weathering and environmental degradation when used as a primary containment membrane holding water. There are a few limitations however for the warranty to be valid: The liner must be covered at all times by soil or water, the warranty is not covered against damage resulting from acts of god, or catastrophic events such as earthquakes, tornadoes, or hurricanes. The liner is also not covered against punctures or damage resulting from improper installation, or use. Examples of improper installation or use include damage by machinery or other equipment, people, animals, ice, or sharp/rough objects in the soil or substrate.
Liners weighing less than 150 lb. are packaged into a box and shipped via UPS ground, which takes between 3 to 6 business days depending on your location in the USA. Anything larger is shipped via freight truck on a pallet. The liner comes packaged in a roll. The first step to installation is to place the liner in one one corner of the pond so that you'll be unrolling the liner in the long direction of the pond. For example for a 60' x 30' pond, the long direction will be the 60' edge. After unrolling, the liner is now accordion stacked, which means you can grab the top edge of the liner and pull it across the width of the pond. For every 12' of liner, it helps to have one person helping to pull. So for a 48' long liner, you'd want to have at least 4 or 5 people to help pull the liner across the width. If you're dealing with a very large liner that is very heavy, such as a liner that is over 150', you may want to unroll the liner down the middle of the pond instead of the edge. This way, you have less material to pull across the width since you would only have to pull the liner across half the width at a time. We have installed liners up to 250' x 250' using this method.
Once the liner is loosely laid over the pond excavation, you can begin smoothing the liner down to get it lying as flat as possible. This may involve folding and pleating the liner here and there. Try to leave at least 1 to 2 feet around the entire edge so that you can anchor the liner down by either digging an anchor trench, or by covering with fill (see pictures below).
After the liner is laid down and conformed to the bottom of the pond, it a good idea to cover the liner to make the pond look more natural, as well as to help protect the liner from long term UV exposure. For a pond with vertical walls, we like to stack rock to make an underwater rock wall around the edge. The top of the wall can then extend slightly above the water level to provide a nice rim around the pond. If building a larger pond or lake where the bottom slowly slopes down towards the deepest area in the middle, then we typically like to lay down a strip of geotextile fabric around the entire perimeter of the pond. The fabric provides some grip and protection when putting down a fill layer next. The fill can be anything really - sand, clean gravel, nice rocks etc. The basic idea is to put down some fill to hide the liner and make the pond look more natural. If the slope of the pond is anything steeper than 6 to 1, then the geotextile is fairly important to keeping the fill material from sliding down the slippery liner.
There are actually a few ways to detail the edges of a large pond. Here are a few ideas we use commonly:
|Single-Ply 24 mil||Double-Ply 24 mil||Test Method|
|Description||Black 12 x 12 Count Per Inch||1500 DENIER, Black 12 x 12 Count Per Inch x 2|
|Fabrication & Warehouse||Prineville, Oregon||Prineville, Oregon|
|Weight||13 OZ/SQ.YD.(+/-5%)||13 OZ/SQ.YD.(+/-10%)||ASTM D 751|
|Thickness||24 MILS (+/-5%)||24 MILS (+/-5%)||ASTM D 5199|
|Coating Thickness||4.0 Mils Each (+/-5%)||2.0 Mils Each (+/-5%)|
| Tensile Strength
|WARP 335 lbs, WEFT 388 lbs.||WARP 449 lbs, WEFT 405 lbs||ASTM D 5034, ASTM D 751|
|Elongation to Break||WARP 29%||WARP 29%, WEFT: 34%|
| Tear Strength
|WARP 83 lbs/in WEFT 86 lbs/in||WARP 74 lbs/in WEFT 94 lbs/in||ASTM D 2261|
| Bursting Strength
|740 psi||818 psi||ASTM D 3786|
|Hydrostatic Resistance||418 psi||609 psi||ASTM D 751|
|Puncture Resistance|| 97 lbs.
|641 psi|| FED. STD. 101C. Method 2065
ASTM D4833, ASTM D 751
|Moisture Vapor Transmission||.222 Grams/M2/24HRS.||.048 Grams/M2/24HRS.||ASTM E 96 B|
|Low Temperature Cold Crack||-40F||-65F||ASTM D 2136|
|Permeability||.0143 CM/SEC||.0134 CM/SEC||ASTM D 4491|
|Carbon Black Content||4.77%||3%||ASTM D 4218|
|Carbon Black Dispersion||A-1||A-1||ASTM G-151|
|UV Resistance||90% Strength Retained after 2000 hrs.||more than 80% Strength Retained after 2000 hrs.|
|Chlorine Tolerance||Rated to 2ppm (parts per million)||Rated to 2ppm (parts per million)|
The main advantage is the strength and weight of the liner. RPE is considerably lighter than EPDM, and even though it's thinner, it is more puncture resistant. In most cases, if the RPE membrane is being placed on regular soil or sand, then no protective underlayment is needed.
Despite being lighter and stronger, RPE is a little less pliable than EPDM. This usually isn't that big of a deal though for most ponds since the RPE liner can still easily be folded and pleated.
Because of it's high puncture resistance, the EP-RPE liner doesn't need a protective underlayment if being placed on regular soil or sand. In the case that the soil contains some small rock, as long as the rock is not too sharp, then you could still get away with no protective underlayment. In the event of laying the membrane on sharper rocks, gravel, or soil with large aggregate, then a protective underlayment should be used to prevent a possible puncture.
EP-RPE is a UV stable product. Below water level, it is not necessary to cover or bury the liner for extended performance. However, even though the liner is UV stable, we still recomend covering the liner above water level with something since even the most UV stable products can loose their flexibility over extended periods of times. Covering the liner above water level provides aesthetic benefits as well. By covering the liner with rocks, plants or other coverings, it helps to create a more natural looking landscape If putting soil or sand on top of the liner and the edges of the pond are sloped, it might be a good idea to place a geotextile fabric over top of the EP-RPE liner to prevent the sand/soil from sliding/slipping down the slope.
We recommend a maximum slope of 6 to 1 if there is no geotextile fabric over top of the liner. Anything steeper than that may result in the ballast material (sand, gravel, soil etc) sliding down the liner towards the middle of the pond. By adding a geotextile fabric over the liner, steeper slopes can be achieved.
Yes, it's a good idea to use something to anchor the liner to the bottom of the pond and prevent it from moving/floating. This can be achieved with sand, small gravel, or larger heavier objects strategically placed throughout the pond. If using small gravel, be sure to carefully place it to prevent damage to the membrane. If placing gravel, or rock larger than an inch, we recommend placing a protective geotextile fabric overtop of the liner.
For ballast material, we typically say gravel less than 1" in size doesn't require a protective layer over top of the liner. That being said, the smaller the better, with sand or clay being ideal. The larger the aggregate size, the more likely it is to damage the liner when spreading out the material , so if using a 1" piece, spread the material out carefully. If using ballast over 1" in size, we recommend a protective geotextile fabric to help prevent damage to the liner.
The liner is generally accordion stacked, and then rolled into a roll for shipping. To install, first start by placing the roll at the corner of the pond, so that it will unroll in the long direction. For example, if your pond is 20' x 40', the long direction is the 40' edge. After rolled out along the long edge, grab the top edge of the liner and pull it straight across the width of the pond. Depending on the size of the liner, you may need a number of people to help pull.