When brine ponds are designed for short or long-term storage rather than evaporation or alternative processing, covers are often used to contain the water. Since these covers also come in contact with the corrosive brine and are often tightly sealed to the liner to control gases and fumes, they need high chemical resistance and resiliency. If you’re looking for a durable brine pond cover, we can help here at BTL Liners. Consider the following potential reasons to add a matching cover to your lined brine pond design.
Slows or Stops Evaporation
Brine pond covers are primarily installed to reduce evaporation as much as possible. When brine is being stored for use or reuse in fracking, ore processing, or lye production, losing any water volume is a loss of valuable product. Unexpected evaporation also changes the characteristics of the brine and may lead to the need for added water to reduce the salt concentration. Controlling evaporation in the first place is a much more efficient way to stabilize brine that’s in storage. Flexible cover materials are often paired with floating ball ballasts to keep the liner from moving in the wind if it’s not anchored at the sides.
Acts as a Form of Security to Prevent Animals and Birds from Access
Installing a cover over a brine pond also acts as the first line of defense against unauthorized access to the water’s edge. Irrigation ponds in many parts of the world contain so much selenium that water birds landing in the water pass birth defects along to their offspring. Covering these ponds reduces the impact on wildlife, especially since highly concentrated salt solutions are often toxic even without secondary contaminants to complicate the matter.
Temporary Use to Prevent Dilution
Covers are even occasionally used for evaporation brine ponds when there’s an unusual amount of rain in the forecast. Temporary covers and sump pumps keep rainfall from reaching the pond and filling it up, which both dilutes brine that is undergoing evaporation processing and can prevent flooding that contaminates the surrounding soil. These temporary brine pond covers are generally made from a flexible geomembrane since the material can be spread out easily by hand or machine and secured along the edges temporarily with ballasts or spikes.
Matching the Liner to the Cover
It is possible to install a flexible geomembrane cover over a concrete lined brine pond and get good results from the combination of two different materials. However, it’s much harder to maintain an airtight seal around this kind of dissimilar bond. For a tight seal that doesn’t let air or gas leak out between the cover and liner, use the same or compatible materials for both layers. A complete enclosure for long-term brine control with minimal evaporation requires a tight seal. RPE liners and covers can be sealed together with heat or solvent-based adhesives, giving you plenty of options for simplifying installation as much as possible.
Increasing Reuse Options for the Surrounding Land
Capping a brine pond with a durable cover can prevent wind shearing that spreads brine from the surface across the surrounding area. If a storage pond is located in an area with sensitive agricultural land surrounding it, preventing saline spray can make the difference between successful future reuse or long-term remediation processes to remove the salt. Covers aren’t as necessary for protecting soil quality as liners, but they still play an important role when flooding or wind spray could become a problem.
Meeting State Regulations
Many U.S. states with cold winter temperatures store large amounts of salt, often in the form of brine, for deicing roads in the winter. These states tend to set strict regulations on how to enclose these salt collections to keep the sodium from running off or mingling with the ground water. Liners are required almost everywhere salt is stored by state and local Departments of Transportation, but covers are also widely required too. Most states simply stipulate the use of something like a waterproof tarp. Our flexible geomembranes here at BTL Liners more than meet that requirement.
Covers for brine ponds may be optional, but it’s a good idea to at least have a temporary cover on hand for emergencies. Large brine ponds may be too large to cover temporarily without specialized equipment to stretch the material across the surface. Measurements for pond covers are easier to calculate than those for the liners because you simply need the surface area. Liners must include extra material to accommodate the depth of the pond, while the cover simply needs to stretch over the surface. Consider one of the many BTL Liner cover materials to keep your brine pond’s evaporation under control and reference their helpful online calculators to determine the exact size you will need.