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How we help with garden pond builds: types rubber pond liner we're using

Feb 5

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Monday, February 05, 2018  RssIcon

A garden pond can be of any size from a container to one covering a larger area. The shape, size and intentions of a garden pond should all be within budget and time management affordability as well as the space available. When planning a garden pond build, other points worth consideration is position for maximum amount of daily sun, list of all material requirements including type of pond liner and accessibility of an energy supply to run a pond pump and filter.

A garden pond ideally needs around 8 hours of sun daily particularly if you intend growing water lilies. They need sun to photosynthesis and produce a magnificent display of colour when in bloom. 

Due to soil type, the majority of garden pond builds in the UK will require a pond liner to stop water lose through ground seepage. There are a variety of pond liner materials available on the market with cost and durability under extreme conditions differentiating them. Russetts Developments Ltd (RDL) are renowned for their use of synthetic rubber pond liners with Epalyn (EPDM) and Butyl being the most durable options for containing the water in a pond.

RDL role in garden pond builds


RDL step in where garden pond builds are of a more complex design, of a formal vertically sided shape or cover a large surface area requiring professional expertise in pond liner installation. Russetts Developments Ltd (RDL) have over 40 years of experience in the water containment business and have worked alongside landscapers in pond construction. 

  • Raised vertically sided, curve shaped pond - RDL was approached to line the concrete and brickwork with a 400g/m2 protective geotextile underlay and pond liner which were then both held in position by rivets drilled into the brickwork. The design brief for this uniquely shaped pond was to install a pond liner without any folds or creases.
  • National Trust garden pond build was leaking and required the installation of a suitable pond liner without damaging the surrounding landscape or disturbing the flagstones around the pond, some of which featured inlaid ceramics that had been designed and installed by the original owners. The refurbishment had to be achieved without lifting these. 
  • In-ground, shallow, formal garden pond with a design brief that requested no folds or imperfections. The customer initially considered a flat sheet pond liner but realised that the creasing would be substantial in a shallow pond. Instead, RDL was contracted to fabricated the pond liner on site using hot air machines to create a smooth finish in keeping with the formal pond design.
  • RDL was approached regarding the refurbishment of Buscot Park’s famous Peto water garden feature (Grade II listing), which consists of a series of formal ornamental ponds, weirs, cascades and canals. The design brief was to install a suitable pond liner ensuring it terminated at water level to avoid covering the original stone features. The shape and size (135m long) of the water feature meant that the pond liner would have to be completely fabricated onsite to ensure a perfect fit. 
  • Formal shaped ponds where a box-welded pond liner is ordered from RDL. RDL will be prefabricate the pond liner to the customers bespoke requirements using either 1.0mm Epalyn (EPDM) or 0.75mm Butyl pond liner. The box welded pond liner will come with a 25 year guarantee provided it is installed above a protective underlay. All box-welded pond liners are fabricated to fit the exact shape of the garden pond design with an overlay lip upon which flagstone or other edging material can be placed to secure the liners in place.

These are just some of the examples of RDL's role in helping with garden pond builds. We use a rubber pond liner for all the positive features they offer as we have listed here.

A rubber garden pond liner offers the following unique features: very durable and more flexible than PVC, can be made to any size, UV resistant (PVC liners are not UV resistant and therefore should not be exposed to sunlight) and readily forms into the contours of any pond shape with the ability to be folded and pleated over.

It is highly advisable to use a protective underlay liner to place between ground and pond liner to protect from damage by stones pushed up through ground movement. 

Epalyn (EPDM) rubber pond liner


This type of synthetic rubber pond liner is of the highest quality and is likely to last a lifetime provided a Geotextile underlay liner is installed beneath to shield from sharp stones and gravel. More expensive relative to a PVC liner, but if you are serious about your garden pond build then this type of pond liner is highly recommended for all it's superior physical properties. Epalyn (EPDM) is flexible, resistant to sunlight and adverse weather conditions with no cracking or physical damage. Other features include:
  • can be readily shaped to fit the unique contours of any pond allowing for design flexibility
  • less expensive versus Butyl (cheaper to manufacture) - both of which have similar properties
  • won't release toxins into the water therefore fish and aquatic plant friendly
  • puncture resistant

Butyl rubber pond liner


A synthetic rubber membrane, which is without doubt of excellent quality, however, since the emergence of EPDM (sold under the brand name of 'Epalyn' by RDL), many pond suppliers no longer supply Butyl as a pond liner. Butyl is expensive because of the rising cost of the rubber polymer used to make this liner.  It is flexible with fantastic stretch qualities and is highly puncture resistant.  



A rubber pond liner can be welded together for more formal garden pond designs. For ornamental ponds and koi carp ponds, the best option by far is a box welded pond liner because there are no folds in the material. Folds can trap debris and cause bacteria to build up, which can adversely affect the water quality and health of the pond. 

For more information on how we can with garden pond builds, please get in touch.

Russetts Developments Limited 
27 Burners Lane 
Kiln Farm 
Milton Keynes 
MK11 3HA
Tel: +44 (0)870 770 2800
Fax: +44 (0)870 770 2801


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