Comparative analysis of lining materials for reduction of seepage in water harvesting structures

Farm ponds are becoming a popular way of harvesting runoff. This water is later used in exercising supplemental irrigation as well as providing water for livestock during the dry spells. The major challenge experienced by pond owners is the huge loss of water emanating from evaporation and seepage. The objective of the study is to compare different lining materials that can be used in ponds to reduce seepage losses. Some of them include: a water-soluble nanotechnology- based compound, Terrasil used together with Zycobond, a submicron acrylic co-polymer emulsion treated soil then used to line ponds among others. Clay and a combination of Terrasil treated soil and a thin geomembrane were other material used for lining. The lining efficiency was highly dependent on the soil type because sandy loam soil gave disappointing results for all tests while black cotton soil was quite promising. 0.6649, 0.6226, 0.5642 & 0.27968 were the storage efficiencies for clay, Terrasil, Terrasil & geomembrane, and control
lining respectively for black cotton soil while sandy loam soil extremely failed recording low efficiencies of 0.2608, 0.04998, 0.00987& 0.00135 for Terrasil &geomembrane, Terrasil, clay and control pond respectively. A sensor was used to monitor soil moisture which showed rapid changes in moisture in the sandy loam soil whereas the changes in the black cotton soil were slower.

The affordability of each material was also evaluated in consideration of how efficient the material was in seepage reduction. The cost incurred in lining the pond was inversely proportional to its storage efficiency. Some linings had low seepage but the cost related was very high. E.g. Black cotton Terrasil lined pond. The lining on the clay had a great impact on seepage reduction yet not expensive. Most of the water quality parameter results from ponds lined with different materials ranged in the required standards for irrigation and livestock but caution should be taken when used for human consumption.

This report shows the outcomes of BSc research on different types of pond liners. The report can be found here: Wamboi 2017 comparative analysis of pond lining

Share this article

Last modified: April 13, 2018