Man-made water features must be sealed with artificial linings if they lie in permeable soils with an insufficiently high water table. The information in this chapter is mainly related to the construction of ponds for general wildlife, conservation and educational interest. However, the techniques used are similar to those used for larger water features, including amenity lakes, reservoirs and canals. Artificial linings are widely used in industrial and other developments for water supply and storage, sewage treatment, control of pollutants and other applications.
Factors to consider when evaluating different types of lining include cost, availability of materials, labour requirements, durability and ease of repair. The advantages and disadvantages of each type of lining are discussed below.
The integrity of artificial linings is easier to maintain if water levels are kept high, so that as much as possible of the lining is kept underwater. Lowering of the water level exposes the artificial lining to potential damage.