I had two bags of sand kicking around in need of using up (we never got around to levelling the patio at our last house) so I used it to cover and level the surface of the exposed concrete patio foundation. The rest went into the the very bottom to level it off as it was just too confined a space to get a spade in properly and too hard for the trowel. As it had rained the previous night making the clunch disgustingly sticky, I also used a bit to coat a small area that I needed to walk on while getting the underlay into position.
We had intended using old carpet to line the pond but after reading up about it I realised that (a) it was going to rot away completely as it was hessian-backed and (b) it was going to be phenomenally difficult to get in place. As we would need geotextile underlay anyway and the liner would work out cheaper than expected, we decided to forgo the carpet and invest in a better quality underlay.
Under this liner two layers of geotex underlay were carefully positioned then we were able to open out the liner and heave it (yes heave, it was incredibly heavy) into position. Hopefully the underlay didn't move out of position but we were unable to check.
We chose EPDM over butyl as it is a more modern product (we had just had a flat roof covered with it too), seemed to be better as far as reviews were concerned and was much cheaper. You can also patch any punctures in-situ without draining the water out.
I gather that Firestone 1.2mm EPDM is the best liner to get, but also that the extra thickness makes it rather difficult to fold. Given the rather complicated shape of my pond I went with 0.7mm Greenseal EPDM
Once we had it more-or-less in the right place we decided it would be easier to start filling it and arrange the pleats and folds as the water pressed it against the sides
Due to the size we simply had to use to use tap water, we just don't get enough rain...although maybe if it had been in place this time last year..?
Once it was full we positioned the stone-faced liner on the beach
Most of the excess liner and underlay was cut away
A layer of turf was stripped from beside the pond, the liner and underlay were inserted and the turf replaced
Stones remain at the moment to stop the patio edge flapping about until it is properly trimmed back and more pebbles were piled up against the bare earth of the lawn edge to stop too much soil crumbling into the water. Hopefully it will consolidate itself quite quickly as this is not the final resting position of the pebbles. Probably.
I am really very please with how it has turned out so far and the liner ended up looking much neater than I hoped for.
Our first occupant arrived before any plants were added. A diving beetle, can you see it?
There it is!
The underlay and the stone-faced liner were from Pondkeeper and the EPDM liner from Flexible Lining products as they provided the best value for money at the time for exactly what I required.