The “Best” Solution for Pond / Waterscape Leak Prevention or Repair: Diversity

By Kevin Root, Spray-Lining zone 2 distributor, Vancouver Lining and Coatings

The application of solid or spray-on liners to ponds and waterscapes seems to be competing tactics through forums. I build waterscapes and I know that as long as it’s a clean and solid surface, flexibility & adhesion matter. A solid sheet of any compound may adhere but should freely move as a pond settles over time. Lining sprayed-on is supposed to adhere to a pond’s surface yet as settling can slightly move it, coating must remain unbroken. To work without leaks on concrete, EPDM sheets, polyurea, epoxy or rubber sheets are in debate. A Spray-Lining or Coating designed for a live waterscape is another solution. I’ve used them.

A product called polyuria hybrid provides a practical and variable solution. Polyureas and hybrid coatings are used by professionally trained Spray-Lining applicators. There are harder and softer ones for lower vs higher humidity or movement in soil. Dealers and franchises of Line-X (mainly for truck beds) use polyurea or other forms or poly/hybrid Spray-Lining product. Some Line-X Spraylining dealers have experience, some don’t. Usually a spray-on bed liner is okay for waterscapes but few quality ones are available as a DIY. Polyurea can be determined by reviewing the spray-on lining MSDS or spec sheets.

Over time your waterscape likely won’t remain leak-proof. Regardless of the presence of temperature, fish or cascades all ponds can leak. A spray-on lining solution, epdm, rubber, plastic sheets, etc all function but nothing is forever. That said, you can repair, or prevent leaks in several ways.

The DIY route:



3- ,,

4- Let the pros do this – find 2 good & 2 bad reviews on prof applicators / go big on references & referrals i.e. there should be many refs a “pro” has… He should be more than willing to allow you to contact & see his work.

Coatings clientele can be easily misled or ripped off. Consider the risk of a disappointment with spray-on or solid lining sheets a learning experience if it fails. Spray-Lining gets complaints from scammed dealers of Vortex Spray Liner on faulty product as well as koi pond owners ripped off by fake, uncertified Spray-Lining dealers.

YOUR POND IS DIFFERENT THAN OTHERS. Don’t let an avenue go unnoticed. A homemade leak-proofing alternative, plugging or covering a leak can do the trick. Laying down plastic sheet lining (over the leak or the whole area), getting a spray on lining poly / hybrid professional or a total rebuild are worth contemplating. Professionals with good reputations aren’t available whenever you want them and are the most expensive. With a DIY, there are no guarantees.

Just weight these all out, use logic, you won’t be alone.


Pond Repair Advice — 5 Comments

  1. ON LEAKY POND AND CASCADE: Is SLC run or owned by Flexible Lining Systems? My pond supply store told me its called “Spray-Lining & Coatings. Is tghis all the same company?

  2. Billy N: Spray-Lining & Coatings is also known as SLC, SL & C, S-L & C, or FLS. Although some percentage of inquiries think SLC, Line-X or Rhino are the same owners that’s false. Flexible Lining Systems, GTST and 4 private parties own SLC. None are now involved with Line-X Corp or Rhino Linings Corp. On your leaky pond: Seal Tite was created & is now manufactured by SLC for fish, life and koi pond, non-fish pond, fountain, cascade waterscape lining & coating. While no solution or alternative can be 100% leak proof, any flexible polyurea applied correctly has proven to be the most reliable technically.

    Seal Tite can be applied to itself and will re-cure under water. It’s designed as easily repairable but in any container holding under 60,000 gallons or under 270 tons will not leak unless it’s drilled, purposely punctured or some powerful action strikes it. In average koi ponds any certified SLC dealer warrants Seal Tite with Lifetime Unlimited Warranty- … ALSO SEE:

  3. I’m neighbor of Billy N. Several neighbors here in S. California who have landscaping with waterscape are friendly. We all communicate nicely on our pond, fountain or cascade issues. I used a professional SLC certified polyurea applications crew to line my first pond about 9 years ago. It never leaks so I recommended them to Billy. Certified SLC pond crews cost almost triple what they charged, over $20/ sq ft now. Can you clarify why a polyurea for aqueous purposes or live habitats, with pricing between $2 to $3/ sq ft costs over $20/ sq ft to install? Are there less expensive applicators near San Diego?

  4. PONDERIFFIC LANDSCAPING IN Cherry Valley seemed great – They were expensive but had decent experience in Southern California. Kens Flexible Armor had better experience with new pond / cascade builds. Ken and Norm advised within my budget to build only the cascade where I’d handle main pond myself. I’m also a landscape designer but don’t have cascade or fountain experience. I dug it out, installed pumps, circulation system, filters, fittings, etc… Then toseal it with “leak free” goal he advised using Northwest Coating and Lining Service. That’s a Seattle-Spray Lining company; to quote 2080 sq ft of polyurea liner product at 75 mil thick. With under 100 gallons of sprayable coating, Ken lent me Graco E10 plural component proportioner equip to spray it. He provided the manual with written instructions. My family decided on having koi fish too. All properly designed koi ponds are made with serious filtration, pumps, jets, etc to allow free circulation throughout each nook and cranny, avoid any dead spots so there is no stagnant water. Ken with Norm clarified that now our cascade would have another purpose of keeping the water moving looking / sounding beautiful.

  5. My name is Larry Dinglo. I’m a Pond Builder, now as a sideline business. This should help any pond owner to prevent leaks or repair them. Starting with my own koi pond, my crew rebuilds ponds also. There are few polyurea application professionals with this experience. The few I’ve hired travel thru USA for large jobs only. I learned about hard liners vs polyurea sprayed-linings here: AND learned problems with PVC liners HERE: … This guy called Koiman seems to know a lot: … Koiphen may be most legitimate social media to learn from: … Last is this video that clarified better leak prevention by using an SLC dealer: Hopefully this summery of R & D will help you also.

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