Fresh Water Swimming Hole : VF 380 Pure Polyurea

MARKET: Pond Liners : Fresh Water Swimming Hole / Fish Pond
SYSTEM: VF 380 Pure Polyurea
PROJECT: Design & Construction of Fresh Water Swimming Hole
OWNER: Private Client
CONTRACTOR: Durable Coating Systems, Austin TX

Durable Coating Systems led by Eric Marsh recently constructed a very unique fresh water swimming hole using VersaFlex VF-380 Pure Polyurea.

The project was to construct a fresh water swimming hole for fish and humans. Durable Coating Systems is a leading contractor and installer of koi ponds and water features in Texas. Their years of experience in designing and building water features using polyurea made them the best choice for the project.

This swimming hole used no chlorine or salt water. The plan was to have a habitat for the fish and an attractive, safe and functional area for the human visitors to sit and enjoy the pond and interact with the fish.

“The filtration is more of what you would expect with a koi pond than a swimming pool. It’s combination of dirt and concrete helps to maintain the shape of the walls and shelves,” said Eric Marsh.

The total area of the swimming hole was just over 5,000 sq. ft. There is a large lower pond and an upper sitting area. Water is pulled from the pond and circulated through the sitting area with a pair of 5hp pumps. Durable Coating Systems used composite pre-sprayed polyurea panels made from VF-380 and geotextile fabric. They used the same VF-380 to seam all the panels together into one large, durable, monolithic and seamless pond liner. The color used was mocha to blend with the surroundings.

“My equipment is old but still works for this kind of job,” said Eric Marsh. “I spray with a Glascraft MX and 200 feet of hose. I assembled my rig myself from a 1994 Chevy P30 step van, a pull-behind airman rotary screw compressor and a Generac 15kw gas generator. I’ve been using this rig for 10 years now.”

This is a secondary business for Eric. He is a semi-retired software engineer and owns a music venue. “I probably do 4-6 pond jobs a year. This year has been pretty active,” says Marsh.

It was about a three week job. Normally it wouldn’t take nearly that long but the summer heat was fierce; 107 degrees during the day. “We deemed it wiser to work part days than to suffer a heat injury. I also had an equipment failure that cost me a few days to fix.” The first part of the job took about four days with 4-5 guys to cut and fit the pieces of liner into position. The remainder of the job was seaming the polyurea liner. Three people were involved in this part of the project; one watching the pumps, and two doing the coating work.

The biggest challenge was the heat according to Marsh. After that there were some logistic issues with having only 200 feet of hose relative to the application area and the location and reach of the equipment.

“There is no way we were going to get the proportioner and drum sets down the the hill so it was all strategically located and had to be moved for the upper area. Material use was a little higher than I’d calculated for but I wanted to make sure that the seams were really strong” concludes Eric.

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