PVC Liners vs. PPL-24 Liners

Question:

It’s time to replace the PVC liner in my large pond, but I’ve read that I shouldn’t use PVC again. Could you please explain why I shouldn’t use PVC, and what I should be using?

Answer:

That’s a great question, and one we’re asked frequently by homeowners, landscaping professionals and golf course pond designers.

Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) has been used in a variety of construction applications because it is cheap, easy to install and easy to replace. Although these factors give the impression that PVC would be ideal for many projects, PVC presents environmental and human health risks that outweigh its advantages. Here are a few of the many reasons that PVC is an unhealthy choice as a pond liner: 1) PVC has high chlorine and additives content, which makes it an environmental poison throughout its usage cycle. 2) PVC releases dioxin and other persistent organic pollutants during its manufacture and disposal. 3) PVC must have plasticizers added to achieve flexibility. These plasticizers are not bound to the polymer and can leach pollutants into water and air which presents further environmental and health risks. 4) PVC cannot be readily recycled.

As a pond liner, PVC’s characteristics make it far from ideal. Non-reinforced PVC is weak, has little to no UV resistance, and since it is glued together, has seams that are prone to leaking. Liners made with PVC are relatively heavy because they must be made thicker in order to achieve adequate strength. Seam failures, punctures and UV degradation are common problems that worsen as PVC liners age.

BTL’s reinforced polyethylene liner, PPL-24, is specifically engineered to be fish and plant safe, offers superior UV resistance and is one of the most flexible and versatile reinforced liners available. PPL-24 has greater puncture and tear strength, is lighter weight, is available in larger factory panels and is less expensive than most of the competition. Unlike much weaker PVC and EPDM, the puncture resistant PPL-24 doesn’t require a geotextile underlayment when placed over raked dirt, even if the surface has rounded rock in it. Polyethylene uses fewer problematic additives and has inherent chemical and hydrocarbon resistance. Polyethylene causes fewer problems after disposal, and reduces technical problems and costs during recycling.

PPL-24 is available in a variety of sizes, and because of its lighter weight, single panels up to 60,000 square feet can be produced. These large panels mean that there are fewer seams, simplifying installation and reducing the risk of leaks and other problems.

Both in environmental and functional concerns, a polyethylene liner is far superior to a PVC liner. Our PPL-24 reinforced polyethylene liner is the finest of its type, and will serve your pond needs for years to come. We look forward to working with you! Please call us today at 1-800-280-0712 for more information!

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