A liner of some kind is essential for a brine pond because the water can’t be allowed to seep out through bare soil. While other containment ponds may only need a thin layer of clay, gravel, or concrete to stay intact for years, brine ponds require more durability from their liners. Flexible geomembranes are the best choice no matter the size of the pond or the exact composition of the brine you’re storing or processing. They’re more affordable than poured concrete, easy to install with minimal equipment, and can be tightly sealed wherever seams are inevitable to prevent leaks. Yet, not all pond liner materials can handle the challenging conditions of brine management. If you choose the wrong material, you’ll spend much more than what’s necessary on maintenance and experience durability issues within a few years. Find out what to look for in a geomembrane liner for your brine pond and then explore the BTL Liners products to find your perfect match.
Geomembranes, like PVC, were once widely recommended for lining evaporation structures like brine ponds, but the material’s lack of UV resistance made this poor advice. PVC simply can’t handle the amount of light exposure common to a salt harvesting pond where all or most of the liquid evaporates before any new brine is added. When it comes to resistance against the sun’s degrading rays, reinforced polyethylene (RPE) remains the best choice.
Chemical and Corrosion Protection
High-density polyethylene (HDPE) and low-density polyethylene (LDPE) geomembranes and liners both offer good chemical resistance. Unfortunately, good isn’t quite enough when you’re working with highly corrosive and potentially toxic brine. Both liner materials will break down rapidly in the presence of highly corrosive fluids, making them an expensive choice to keep replacing. RPE liners offer the greatest amount of corrosion resistance in a flexible geomembrane, making it the best choice of materials for a brine pond. That’s why we recommend our RPE products here at BTL Liners to anyone planning a pond that needs high chemical and corrosion resistance.
Seam Sealing Processes
Difficult seam sealing processes don’t just delay the installation process and therefore increase the costs of building a brine pond, they also make it more likely that a seam will fail or be improperly sealed from the beginning. Adhesives are one of the most time-consuming and unreliable methods of seam sealing, but for some geomembrane materials, it’s the only option. RPE is easy to thermally weld during both manufacturing and installation, creating tight bonds that won’t leak over time. The best way to reduce the need for seams is to order a geomembrane that can be custom manufactured in a continuous sheet. RPE can be manufactured to cover hundreds of thousands of square feet before seams are necessary, reducing the cost and time spent on installation and maintenance.
Brine mining ponds used for harvesting minerals and salt tend to experience more mechanical damage than other types of ponds. When you’re using heavy equipment to shape the mineral deposits into mounds and gather them from the surface, the liner you choose must be able to withstand this kind of wear and tear. PVC is simply not tear-resistant enough for this purpose. HDPE can handle the wear, but its thickness and lack of flexibility makes it difficult to install on large brine pond projects. RPE manages to offer both high resistance to mechanical damage and is lighter and easier to install than HDPE. You won’t have to patch rips and tears either immediately after installation or after every harvest if you choose a tough geomembrane.