The Importance of Dam Liners
Dam liners are an extremely important part of modern water storage. Ultimately they prevent a decrease in water storage capacity from occurring. This is because the water is prevented from seeping into the soil which could also cause erosion. In this article, we will discuss everything that goes into the implementation and maintenance of dam liners, as well as which dam liner is best.
There are many aspects that go into designing, installing and maintaining a dam liner. It is therefore important to understand each aspect and make use of a manufacturer and installer that has experience in the industry.
While a dam liner might seem like a piece of plastic that is laid down before the water is filled into the dam, it is much more than this. Each dam is unique and therefore each dam liner is different and designed according to specific requirements. Some of the factors taken into consideration when designing a dam liner include:
- Size and Shape of Dam: Depending on the size of the dam to be lined, the size of the liner will be adjusted. The shape of the dam will also determine what shape the liner will be manufactured to be.
- Soil Quality: The quality of the dam's soil has a large influence on the dam liner’s design as this will determine the thickness of the liner to be used. Looser soil will typically require a thicker liner, while compact soil will handle a thinner liner.
- Water Storage Requirements: The amount of water to be stored in the dam will also have an impact on the thickness of the liner to be used. The more water to be stored, the thicker the liner needs to be.
The liner can be manufactured to exact specifications prior to the installation phase or it can be done on-site. Once the liner is ready to be installed, preparations for the installations need to be performed. This can include clearing the soil of any rocks or debris that could be present in the base of the dam. If this is not done, the liner could be punctured by these obstructions. One should then pour a layer of sand or gravel across the entire basin of the dam. This will provide a smooth surface for the liner to be laid upon. Once these steps have been completed the liner can be rolled out onto the surface and all wrinkles are smoothed out. The final step of the process is weighing the liner down with stakes or weights.
As with all things in life, maintenance needs to be performed. Firstly, it is important to regularly clean the liner. It is also advisable to perform constant checks and inspections to determine whether any damage has been done to the liner. If any punctures or tears are found they should be repaired immediately, as this could lead to the water seeping into the soil. If any repairs need to be performed, it is best practice to consult a professional as they will be able to perform patches and replace sections efficiently and effectively.
Geomembranes or Geosynthetic liners are known to be the best liners for dams. This is due to their immense durability and strength. Not only will this material withstand harsh weather conditions but they prevent easy tearing and punctures. This material is also resistant to UV rays which prolongs the life of the liner. Therefore, if you are looking for a dam liner that will require less maintenance and last you for many years to come then a Geosynthetic liner is the way to go.
PROLining is a company that specialises in Geosynthetic dam liners. They offer a turn-key solution that makes the dam lining process as easy as possible while maintaining a highly affordable price. All of their projects are supported by specialised engineers and they guarantee a high-quality dam liner. Based in South Africa, they have worked on earth dams, pollution control dams, landfills, concrete reservoirs, channels, and more. They are also able to supply a variety of materials required when manufacturing, installing, and/or repairing a dam liner.
Visit the AgrifoodSA directory to find out more about the dam liners supplied by PROLining.