Retrofitting Existing Groundwater Lagoons

Failed, or leaking, groundwater lagoons aren’t necessarily beyond repair. If you’ve used naturally lined lagoons or clay liner products in the past, you can still add a flexible, multi-layered RPE liner at any time to retrofit the structure and improve its water holding capacity. As long as the lagoon or pond is still stable and hasn’t developed collapsed banks or sinkholes, a liner is likely the fastest way to restore it to use. These tips will help you plan a retrofit, renovation, or upgrade to your groundwater lagoon.

Taking Advantage of Existing Excavation

Excavation costs are often the single, largest expense of a lagoon project. If you’ve already spent thousands of dollars on digging out an existing pond or lagoon, you don’t want to waste that investment by simply filling in a damaged structure. Retrofitting older lagoons with new layers of flexible geomembranes from BTL Liners, allows you to recoup your excavation costs and restore an existing space. We can guide you through the process of selecting a liner based on the lagoon’s uses and size. Custom fabrication options allow you to minimize seams on even the largest lagoons and ponds built to contain millions of gallons of groundwater and wastewater.

Expanding and Changing Lagoon Parameters

If you’re interested in expanding the size and volume of your existing groundwater lagoons, it’s also the ideal time for adding a more reliable liner. Since it’s necessary to drain most lagoons and ponds before expanding them, it’s easy enough to install a new liner over the existing one. Even if the older lagoon was sealed with concrete or clay liners, flexible liner materials work just as well when installed over the top. If you’re excavating fresh soil next to or around a lagoon, that features a concrete or clay liner, you may need to remove it all to get an even surface for covering with a new flexible liner. If it is not removed, and you try to excavate the new soil surface to be level with clay or concrete, it could lead to future soil shifting. These shifts have the potential to causes partial lagoon collapse and liner damage.

Integrating Treatment and Measurement Equipment

Many older lagoons are simple structures without the advanced treatment and measurement equipment integrated into today’s installations. A retrofit often involves adding an aeration cell, filtration system, testing well, or sump pump to detect liner leaks. Changing environmental regulations often lead to closed groundwater storage lagoons until certain upgrades can be added. Keep up with changing demands with a timely lagoon renovation. Aeration and treatment chambers definitely require reliable lining, so that wastewater stays in storage long enough for the processes to complete. Water quality testing wells are more accurate when they tap into lined lagoons and ponds, since there’s no water mingling from nearby groundwater sources diluting the results.

Adding a New Liner

Most storage lagoon renovations involve new liners, since the majority of older ponds feature no liner or only an aging clay layer. Clay liners are prone to cracking when used for groundwater storage lagoons that fluctuate in volume over the year. Even concrete quickly cracks within a few years of use, leading to unwanted leaks and the related environmental impact fines. Retrofitting efforts should begin with a flexible liner product to ensure all upgrades function as intended. If there are protrusions or large gaps in the existing liner, you may need to fill in the material first before adding a new liner. Multi-layered RPE is easy to fit and seal around any existing equipment like filters, skimmers, and sump pumps; greatly reducing the chances of leaks.

Allowing for Dry Down with a Crack-Proof Liner

If a groundwater storage lagoon is only used for storing excess water on a seasonal basis, it’s likely to dry down at least once each year. Clay lined, and unlined natural ponds, tend to crack and develop serious seepage problems even when they’re allowed to dry down one even once occasion. Adding a flexible liner protects the lagoon’s base and walls from cracking even when dried entirely. This is ideal for seasonal and occasional storage lagoons where seepage could lead to contamination problems.

Don’t let a failing groundwater storage lagoon or pond go to waste. Retrofitting and renovation efforts can be easier than you think with the help of flexible liners from BTL Liners. Talk to our lagoon and pond experts to find out which product is right for your specific needs.


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