How to Install Pond Liners

A backyard pond expands your gardening experience. image by halazem:


A backyard pond can be the visual center point of your landscape; and, thanks to the wide array of pond liners available today, you can construct one in almost any location. Pond liners are made from a variety of materials but the most durable and long lasting are those made from EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer). EPDM liners are flexible and non-toxic and when installed correctly, last for at least 20 years. Expand your gardening experience and provide a home for fish and wildlife with a well-constructed backyard pond.

Step 1

Pick your site. An ideal pond site must have at least 4 to 6 hours of sun a day. Select a site that is not subject to yard runoff. To reduce the time spent skimming leaves from your pond, set it outside the leaf drop area of large trees.

Step 2

Plan your shape, size and depth. If you plan to keep fish in a northern climate, your pond must be at least 3 feet deep to allow fish an unfrozen area to hibernate.

Step 3

Dig your pond. The bottom should be as level as possible, with curved corners and edges that slope at approximately 20 degrees from the bottom of pond. Remove all rocks, roots and other sharp objects from the hole. Firmly tamp down the soil after you have finished excavating.

Step 4

Add protective material. A 2-inch layer of sand will protect the liner from punctures or tears and allow the liner to conform more easily to the shape of the pond bottom. Other suitable underlays include commercially available fabric, old carpet or felt.

Step 5

Install liner. Place the liner in the center of the pond and unfold it. Arrange the liner so that there is at least 2 feet of overhang on all sides. There will be wrinkles in the liner at this point, but the weight of the water will flatten them out.

Step 6

Begin to fill the pond. As the water fills the pond, flatten and adjust the liner as necessary. Temporarily weigh down the edge overlaps with stones but do not cut any overlap at this point.

Step 7

Once the pond if filled to its desired depth, finalize your edging, hiding the overlap under edging stones, gravel or rocks. Excess can be tucked into a small trench if edging stones will not be used.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Rake
  • Sand or underlay
  • Pond liner
  • Edging stones


  • Build A Pond
  • Texas A&M: Water Garden Construction
  • Absolute Ponds: Installing A Liner
Keywords: pond liner, koi pond, pond techniques

About this Author

Moira Clune is a freelance writer who since 1991 has been writing sales and promotional materials for her own and other small businesses. In addition, she has published articles on VetInfo and various other websites. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Hartwick College.

Photo by: halazem: