Liner Used For Water Catchment

Please consider answering this question as best you can. I'm planning on buying a pool liner and using it for water catchment cistern in Hawaii. I've seen this done with good success there when buying a complete pool set and yet I would like to do this on a budget which means building my own containment for the liner.

I would like to use 3/8 OR 1/2 PLYWOOD WHICH AT PRESENT CAN BE PURCHASED FOR UNDER TEN DOLLARS A SHEET. I would use 2by material for framing or 4 by if needed.

My question to you then is what should I be considering as my highest priorities in terms of maximizing my liners life when placed over plywood for pool walls. I will cover the pool so UV exposure will be negligible. Please help me by answering my question as best you can.

Your help will be invaluable to me.


I have a friend living in Hawaii who has an above ground pool used only for water storage. He says they are very popular there for that purpose.

I once built a pool for a crane company that wanted to sideline in the bungee jumping business. They just needed a large pool, in the ground, with a very deep center, for a safety net under the jumpers. I heard later that when the gates were closed the employees would lower the settings so they could bounce in and out of the water.

The pool was 32' across and 48' long with an 8' deep center. I started with 4 x 4 posts set in concrete every 4'. I nailed 5/8" plywood to them creating a 4' wall around the entire perimeter.

My next step was to staple wall foam onto the plywood. It is

similar to base foam, or happy bottom, and is used to insulate the side walls of above ground pools. It works out great for placing over wood. The rest of the project was all about digging and shaping the deep area and ordering a custom liner to fit this monster.

We picked the liner up at the airport and they used a forklift to load it in my truck. This thing was heavy. It was a beaded liner that fit into the receiver we had nailed to the top of the pool wall.

So, as for you project, it's very possible. If you are doing this on top of the ground be sure it's well structured. You can get by with thinner materials if you are backfilling dirt around the pool like we did.

Be sure to use the wall foam to cover the wood. Your next consideration will be the liner. Beaded liners are a little more expensive but might be the better option for you. You would just attach the receiver to you wall and snap the liner into place. Be sure to check the exact measurements of the liner before you get to far along. You want to build a pool that will fit a certain liner, because the alternative is ordering a custom liner that will fit your pool, and these get real expensive.

Overlap liners will be the cheapest. To use one of these I would simply pull the excess liner over the pool structure and sandwich it between a couple of 2 bys. On the pool I built a 2 x 6 was used to connect all the 4 bys and cap the top with a finished look. You could probably start with a 2x4, pull the liner over, and cap that with a 2x6.

It’s all very possible. Best of luck.

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