Minimizing Losses from Evaporation using Floating Cover Systems

Water is the world’s most precious natural resource without it life as we know it would cease to exist. In areas where there is a large amount of water loss due to arid weather conditions, there is a real need to protect the existing water supply to ensure survival. There is a myriad of water conservation methods available out there however, the best solution for open ponds, lakes and tanks is through the use of floating covers. Here is how.

How it Works

Floating covers are basically geomembranes created from sturdy plastic geotextile materials. As the name suggests, floating cover systems float on the surface of the water and therefore prevents evaporation from occurring by stopping dry air from getting into contact with the pond, reservoir or open tank system.

Floating covers also reflect a part of the incoming solar radiation and act as a barrier to the passage of vapor.  Moreover, floating pond covers can also stop evaporation from wind and is therefore considered an effective means of water conservation in open systems like ponds etc.

Many floating cover systems may be made up using black or white reinforced polyethylene with black on one side and white on the other. White floating covers are effective in the summer months or in areas like hot desert climates. It is effective because it keeps the temperature down and minimizes radiation by reflecting sunlight as opposed to letting it be absorbed.

In an open water setting such as ponds, storage tanks or irrigation water sources, further evaporation can be reduced depending on the kind of material used. The system works best if the material is made with a low transmission ratio, as well as with high reflection and absorption ratios.

Odor Reduction

Aside from preventing evaporation, floating cover systems also reduce gas emissions from lagoon systems which in effect reduces odor emissions that can be harmful to both animals and plants.

Floating covers are an effective means of conserving water in an open water setting especially in climates that are drought-ridden. It is important therefore to select a system that is best suited for the environment for which it will be used to achieve maximum effect.

What To Look Out For in Cover Systems

While it is true that protection from the external environment to prevent evaporation or to keep odors and other noxious gases in are considered top considerations when looking for a geomembrane for your open water system, chemical resistance is also another important factor to consider. It is essential that the geomembrane you ultimately select is sturdy enough to the point that it will not degrade from contact with the substance.


According to modular tank covers experts, geomembranes offer a variety of containment uses and therefore with each application a specific set of requirements for them. Chemical resistance is one of the most important features to consider especially if you are looking to contain gases within. It is important that you look to a reliable provider that offers top of the line geomembranes that are certified to be durable against a host of volatile organic compounds. Chemical resistance is considered a top priority especially in the gas and mining industries.

The number one factor that is given credence in this case is protection from the possibility of deterioration. If you know how difficult it is to look for locations that are far away from residential communities you will know how important it is to ensure that your lagoons, ponds and  irrigation ponds are safe from leaking noxious chemicals.

Chemical and corrosion resistance liners or cover systems ensure the safety and quality in applications where concern for the environment is considered a very high priority. Having good chemical resistant properties on your system will keep your costs down in the long run as the buff will increase its lifespan and prevent early deterioration which usually occurs during the 1st year of use. This feature is of paramount importance especially if there are harmful chemicals that may seep into groundwater if allowed to leak.

What to Select

According to floating tank cover experts, both reinforced ppolyethylene as well as reinforced polypropylene have very good chemical resistant properties. This makes it ideal for many chemical containment applications.  For example, RPP liners normally has a wide spectrum of chemical resistance and are therefore indicated for applications where there is a potential of leaking into precious natural water sources.

Recovering Methane Gas: A Boon to the Environment

Methane gas is produced from the anaerobic degradation of organic compounds.  It is a greenhouse gas that if properly utilized can help save the environment instead of contributing to its demise. It comes from the manure of livestock and other animals and is also available in huge amounts deep in the earth.  Here is why recovering methane gas is good for the environment.

Environmental Benefits

According to lagoon covers experts the collection of biogas can prevent methane from going into the environment and turning into a greenhouse gas. Biogas can create heat and electricity and therefore can reduce the operating cost of a farm and the surplus may be used to power a small town or city.  Using biogas may minimize the need for other fuels. This means lesser pollution from mining, drilling, burning and transporting. Using it also reduces the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere an important factor in climate change.

How to Recover Methane Gas

According to gas collection covers experts a practical way of harvesting methane gas is via the installation of an anaerobic digestion system. This approach is beneficial to the environment because it uses methane as electricity which lowers energy cost as well as reduce odors and improve the handling of manure in a farm setup.  Moreover, using one also minimizes the risk for groundwater and surface contamination.

Kinds of Digesters

Covered Lagoon Digester

This is mainly used  on large-volume, liquid manure lagoons which have less than 2% solids.  In order for the methane to be collected, a floating lagoon cover is necessary as well as a gas pump. It can be used for dairy and swine operations and is ideal in areas where manure is handled as a liquid. Among the different systems available this is the simplest and cheapest one. However, it is not recommended for use in cold temperate zones.

Plug-Flow Digester

This is used for ruminant animal manure that features 11% to 14% solids. The plug goes through the digester in 15 to 20 days and features only few moving parts.

Complete Mix Digester

This is essential for manure with 2% to 10% solids. A mixing system will keep the solids in suspension which will speed up the process of digestion. They cost more to build and operate than lagoon digesters.