The 60-mil liner is not a new invention, but it's one that still draws interest from liner aficionados for its installation technique, which drastically differs from the standard backyard procedure of laying in a premeasured, prefabricated vinyl glove and hanging it from the sides.

Contrast that with the method employed here: welding long, 60-mil PVC strips over a pool surface. The installer uses sheets that are cut to fit on site, welded together using a hot air gun and then glued to the pool.

It's much more common to see these liners in commercial renovation applications such as this one, a fountain basin in Yards Park, located in Wavshington, D.C.'s Capitol Riverfront neighborhood.

While the pictures here depict an impressive fountain and basin, the installation wasn't so impressive just over a year ago, when Membrane Concepts of Massachusetts came in to repair the flaking, peeling paint (there were paint chips floating in the water) and cracked surfaces of the crumbling basin.

The fountain-pool has distinctive dark granite walls around the entire perimeter, and in order to maintain a unified appearance between the basin and its gorgeous stone walls, a black PVC material from i2M in Mountain Top, Penn., was used to line the fountain.

"The black material was the perfect choice as it complemented the overall aesthetic of the park area beautifully," says Roman Laufer, director of design at i2M.

According to Otis Williams, the director of parks for Capital Riverfront, which manages Yards Park, not only has the PVC liner solved the original problem of floating paint chips and cracks, but it also has provided additional benefits to his park as well.

"The new PVC lining has really helped in terms of holding water," explains Williams. "In the past we had to fill up the fountain with water every other day. Now we add a little water every two weeks at most. I am guessing that we had a slow leak somewhere within the fountain that was corrected by the PVC lining.

"As the director of parks, I'm extremely pleased with the PVC liner," he adds. "Park users regularly compliment us on the lined fountain, telling us that it is really comfortable to stand in, the floor has a cushioned effect, which comes from the felt lining under the PVC itself."

These thick PVC membranes are more common in Europe and Canada than in the U.S., but manufacturers are investing in growth here. Proponents claim the 60-mil membranes can last for more than 20 years, which would make them one of the more durable pool surfaces available.

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