Brainstorm about pond liners

After researching many different sites and raking my own brain I have discovered a large array of pond liners and ideas. Originally I was simply going to line my pond with hand poured concrete. However, after lining my streambed and experiencing the immense amount of labor, I decided not to. But I did not change my mind because of the labor; I changed my mind due to its permanency. I have been thinking that if all goes well with my pond I may decide to create a natural swimming pool in my backyard once my children are older. A natural swimming pool has many similarities to a pond except that it is large enough to swim in. A natural swimming pool uses NO CHEMICALS!!!! Plants are used to filter the water and keep it clean.

Now back to pond liners. Most home improvement centers carry the basic black plastic pond liners. Some also carry the premade pond forms. You can also check places like craigslist and the freecycle groups to see if anyone is giving them away. A good friend of mine lives between Indiana and Kentucky. She used the basic pond liner, she told me her father on the other hand is using an old swimming pool liner and it has lasted many years. Another idea occurred to me was to get the roof liner and simply glue it together to make it the size I need.

I have not made my final decision yet as cost is a factor. I want a beautiful long lasting pond as cheap as possible. I would rather invest in plants, rocks and the pump than the liner. I have made a decision regarding the underlayment, I will use newspaper. I have read that newspaper is one of the best. I am currently collecting newspaper now.

My house is basically on a sand dune. I literally have beach sand in my yards with some rocks, but they are not a big deal as with homes located closer to the mountain. In fact once I have dug about 13 – 16 inches there are no longer any rocks. Based on the natural soil composite of my yard I have read that I can by a thinner pond liner, but I would like it long lasting so I will continue to think about what I will do.

Another factor determining my decision is the color. I really do not want a black pond. I want my backyard to be an oasis with a greenish blue pond. I did run across a site yesterday that sparked some an idea. I will write about it in another post.

8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Ema Aggie
    Jun 08, 2014 @ 17:02:42

    Here’s the balmoreah natural pools. It’s a nice drive from El Paso, tx. I’m from El Paso and looking doing research too to get my back yard looking natural. My skin does not like chlorine either. Hope you are able to build your pond in this dry dessert.


    • elpasonovicegardener
      Jan 08, 2015 @ 14:34:02

      Thanks so much Ema. I have actually settled for putting an INTEX pool into the ground and using a salt water system .The salt water system is proving itself a little more difficult than I expected because I am still learning. I have not given up my dreams for a natural pool, the INTEX pool is definitely training me for a natural pool one day. Balmoreah is a wonderful drive for us El Pasoans.


  2. Chris Gore
    Jul 04, 2014 @ 20:32:43

    I live in Morongo Valley, CA, in the Mojave/Sonora Desert area on 5 acres and I am close to building a natural swimming pool/pond, and I am researching as you are. It is true that the Europeans are way ahead of us on this! American Tilapia has some inspiring ideas about liners, and although they are black, don’t forget that you can simply cover over the liner with sand and gravel. My plan is to build a deep pool area with cinder block and sand bag sides about 16′ x 10′ and 7′ deep, and then have a perimeter plant pond area about 10′ wide and about 1 or 2 feet deep. I think I will have a drain at the bottom of the deep part and pump to PVC pipe the water up to a waterfall which will drain back into the upper part of the pond area, or maybe two waterfalls on each end of the whole arrangement. I’m not so sure about how the pump works, or what type I need, but the rest of the design is pretty straight forward. You can call me at 760-668-3315 if you want to talk about this. Thanks, Chris


    • elpasonovicegardener
      Jan 08, 2015 @ 14:09:31

      Thank you so much Chris. For now I have stuck an INTEX above ground pool into my hole. I actually have a friend whose parents did the same thing for a pond over 20 years ago. I just needed something to keep my children occupied for now. Your property sounds amazing! I would love to have that much land to “play” with. Do you have a blog where you are posting your progress. Sorry about the late response.


  3. Anna
    Sep 14, 2014 @ 21:38:09

    Hi, thank you for the article, really interesting and beautiful pics.
    I found it as I am also looking at doing a natural swimming pool, but my question is, do I need to be next to a lake, water source, whatever to have the water supplied? Thank you in advance if you have the answer, Anna


    • elpasonovicegardener
      Jan 08, 2015 @ 14:02:44

      Sorry to be getting back to you so late. No you do not need a water source nearby. Some people allow their natural pools to fill through rain water. Some just use a garden hose. Chlorine has a very short life span in the sunlight. The chlorine that is in your municipal water will only last about 48 to 72 hours. I would have to fill my own natural pool with a hose. It does not rain here in the desert enough. If you do have a natural water source nearby, that would be an ideal way to fill a natural pool.


  4. James
    Jan 03, 2015 @ 16:03:12

    Hi, great blog! Did you find any answers regarding building in the southwest desert? I am in a high desert, morongo valley ca. Interested to see if you’ve come across any more information, I’ve found none. Pretty set on trying a shipping container pool with a natural pool cleaning system using gravel and plants…


    • elpasonovicegardener
      Jan 08, 2015 @ 13:46:59

      Hello! Sadly I did not. I have a huge hole and I dropped an INTEX above ground pool in it instead. Its been working out great actually. I did get a saltwater system for it though, but it is very annoying keeping it at a good setting. The salt system is dependent on the pump flow. I have a sand filter pump which is excellent but I need to work on keeping that flow strong as well. It is a learning process. I did come across a website though that recycles billboard liners. You can use them as your pool liner. I have not given up, just needed something to keep my kids busy while I kept learning about building a natural pool. The good thing is that in the meantime I am getting better at pool care. I will post a new blog about my crazy INTEX pool later today. I really like your idea. As long as it holds water it should work. I learned that with my partial in ground INTEX.


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