Learn current advances and trends in the importance of geosynthetics, and earn six (6.0) PDHs.
Wednesday, October 24, 2018
Saginaw Valley State University
7400 Bay Rd, University Center, MI 48710
DOWNLOAD NEWEST WEBINAR: Effect of Wrinkles on Geomembrane Performance - Presented by R. Kerry Rowe

Dedicated to advancing the use of fabricated geomembranes through education, research, and technology transfer.

Factory fabrication reduces field welding, reduces installation time and costs, allows modular construction and provides consistent seam and liner quality.

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FGI Creates Polypropylene Specification

The FGI has created a Standard Specification for Polypropylene Geomembranes that covers both reinforced (fPP-R) and unreinforced (fPP) flexible polypropylene geomembranes.

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New Webinar!
Effect of Wrinkles on Geomembrane Performance

Presented by R. Kerry Rowe
of Queen's University - Kingston, Canada

DOWNLOADall webinars

Geomembrane Test Method Videos Now Available

FGI has created videos on the following Test Methods:

ASTM D5994 Thickness (Textured), D5119 Procedure B Thickness (Smooth), ASTM D7408 Seam Peel Strength, ASTM D882 Tensile Properties & D7408 Seam Shear Strength 

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Geosynthetics in Civil Engineering Applications Short Course

Wednesday, October 24, 2018 - 8 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Saginaw Valley State University

We are a non-profit organization providing education, research, and support for the flexible and fabricated geomembrane industry.

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Geomembrane Guide

An interactive list of geomembrane products for various applications. Read more

The FGI Equipment Guide

An interactive list of welding equipment and products for fabricated geomembranes. Read more

The FGI Pond Leakage Calculator
Geomembranes v. Compacted Clay Liners

Fresh water is a precious resource with demands rising daily and supply greatly fluctuating. Only two (2) percent of all water on Earth is fresh water with the other 98% being salt water.  This 2% of fresh water is comprised of: 87% ice, 12% groundwater, and 1% rivers and lakes.  Thus, only 13% of the available freshwater is readily accessible.  Therefore, it is imperative that we capture and hold these limited water resources for agriculture, domestic use, and industry and also protect valuable groundwater from surface or subsurface contamination.

The FGI’s Pond Leakage Calculator is a Microsoft EXCEL spreadsheet based on Darcy's Law of Seepage and provides a comparison between leakage rates from a canal, pond, or reservoir constructed with compacted fine-grained soils and a geomembrane liner system. The Leakage Calculator allows the user to input the size of the containment basin (including length, width, depth, side slope angle and freeboard), the anticipated level of hydraulic conductivity of the compacted soil or geomembrane liner, and the relative cost of water in dollars per acre-foot of water.

The Calculator then calculates the volume of the basin in gallons, a comparison of leakage rates between the compacted soil and geomembrane liner systems in gallons, and the cost of the leakage based on the cost of water per acre-foot to replace it. This Calculator is designed to help consultants, engineers, architects, and end users decide how to line their canals, ponds, reservoirs, and basins to capture and/or protect valuable fresh water.  The Calculator does not consider variances in construction quality and operational techniques on the long-term effectiveness of the chosen liner system. The FGI has additional research and publications to help with other aspects of successful water containment applications.

Types of Geomembranes
Four (4) popular types of geomembranes are available for pond liner systems.  These four (4) geomembranes in ALPHABETICAL order are: (1) EPDM, (2) reinforced polyethylene (RPE), (3) Polypropylene (PP), and (4) Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC). EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer) geomembranes are unreinforced and have been used for the construction of ponds of varying kinds. EPDM geomembranes are made from rubber and can be welded together with tape and primer. EPDM can be reinforced or unreinforced.  RPE geomembranes have a high tensile strength and puncture resistance because they are reinforced. RPE geomembranes also can be welded with heat.  PP geomembranes can be unreinforced or reinforced depending on the application. Reinforced PP geomembranes also have a high tensile strength and puncture resistance because they are reinforced. PVC geomembranes are also unreinforced and have been used successfully for decades in water canals, ponds, and reservoirs. PVC geomembranes can be welded with heat and/or solvents.

Please click below to access FGI’s Pond Leakage Calculator.
Effect of Wrinkles on Geomembrane Performance
Presented by R. Kerry Rowe




The Fabricated Geomembrane Institute (FGI) presented a live-streamed short course at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) on 3 August, 2018.  The short course was organized by the FGI and was streamed on-line by the Geosynthetic Materials Association (GMA). The short course was offered as a set of six continuous webinars, with a one-hour lunch break separating the three morning sessions and the three afternoon sessions.  The all-day short course drew 210 registrants, with over 100 attendees streaming at any one time.

The excellent and timely presentations focused on the challenges and environmental concerns with containment and engineering technologies and how geosynthetics and geomembranes can be used to mitigate the concerns and risks.  Andy Durham of Owens Corning served as the emcee for the short course; introducing each speaker, as well as moderating the live question and answer section at the end of each presentation. The beginning portion of the short course focused on geomembrane life and performance.  Dr. Kerry Rowe, of Queens University focused on service life of geomembranes, while GlenToepfer, of CQA Solutions provided insight into the latest advancements in geomembrane testing and certified quality assurance (CQA) procedures.  Finally, Dr.Kerry Rowe concluded the morning sessions with an informative presentation on the effects of wrinkles on geomembrane performance.  

The second half of the presentations focused on various applications of geosynthetics in civil engineering applications.  For example, Sam Allen, of TRI Environmental reviewed the best practices for zero leak containment.  Gary Zych, of American Electric Power in Columbus, Ohio gave an informative presentation on effective disposal techniques for Coal Combustion Residuals using PVC geomembranes.  Finally, Dr. Timothy Stark, of the UIUC wrapped up the live-streamed event with a presentation detailing elevated temperatures in containment applications.  

Many attendee questions, comments, and experiences made the course a great success. The topics and speakers from the successful short course are shown below:


Service Life of  Geomembranes – Kerry Rowe (Queens University)

Testing& CQA Procedures – GlenToepfer (CQA Solutions)

Effectof Wrinkles on Geomembrane Performance – Kerry Rowe (Queens University)

BestPractices for Zero Leak Containment – Sam Allen (TRIEnvironmental)

Containmentfor Coal Combustion Residuals - Gary Zych (AmericanElectric Power)

ElevatedTemperatures in Containment Applications – Timothy Stark (UIUC)

The FGI is dedicated to advancing the use of fabricated geomembranes through education, research, and technology transfer. The FGI is an industry sponsored consortium of manufacturers, fabricators/installers, designers, regulators, and material suppliers of fabricated geomembranes. For more information on the FGI, please visit

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FGI Accomplishments and Current Activities – A Midterm Review

This article highlights a few of the accomplishments of the current Officers and Board of Directors, as well as the projects in which the FGI is currently engaged.

It has been over a year since the Fabricated Geomembrane Institute (FGI) inducted new Officers and a new Board of Directors, which occurred in March of 2017 at the ASCE Geo-Frontiers Conference in Orlando, Florida.  Officers and Board of Directors currently serving are: 

President – Patrick Elliott (Raven Industries, Parker, Colorado), Vice President – Laura Storey (Consumers Energy, Saginaw, Michigan), Treasurer – Ed Silva (Engineered Polymer Technologies, Hillside, New Jersey), Secretary – Andy Durham (Owens Corning, Granville, Ohio), Dale Kemnitz (Leak Location Services), Ray Peebles (Cooley Group), Bill Shehane (Seaman Corporation), and Duff Simbeck (Simbeck & Associates).  A few accomplishments of the current Officers and Board of Directors are highlighted below:


·          Increased participation – We have had some great meetings with new ideas and open discussion from new members and the new Board. This has already led to four new FGI members this year.

·          Successful Short Courses – The short courses offered at The Ohio State University were two of the most successful short courses offered by the FGI.  The Fall, 2017 Short Course was sold out (92), and therefore, a second course was offered in April, 2018 (78).  Success was due to a slate of excellent speakers, as well as Owens Corning offering a production facility tour following the short course.

·          New Website- The FGI website has a fresh new look, updated content, better graphics, allows tracking of usage, and is now mobile friendly. Please visit our new site and tell us what you think –

·          Webinars – The FGI has completed three very successful webinars in collaboration with GMA:  Fabrication, Installation, and Testing – October 19, 2018, Slope Stability Part I – February 27, 2018, and Slope Stability Part II on May 31, 2018. 

·          Pond leakage calculator – The FGI created this excellent spreadsheet tool that calculates water loss of a Geomembrane vs. Compacted Clay Soil Liner and cost associated with water loss. The calculator can also help with pond sizing and volumes. Learn More

·           Increased Participation in FGI Summer Internship Program – In 2017, the FGI provided internships to six Civil & Environmental Engineering students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to four different member companies. Learn More

·           New samples to Minnesota DNR study – The FGI expanded the long term geomembrane durability study in Hibbing, Minnesota to include eight additional geomembrane samples. This is a long term commitment and should produce unique data from several membranes over the next 20 years.

·       New Geosynthetics Magazine Articles Published– The FGI published following articles over the past year:  Long-term Durability of Geomembrane Materials and Seams in April/May, 2017, Protecting Geomembranes From Animal Damage in June/July, 2017, and the FGI Expands Summer Internship Program in November, 2017.

·           Polypropylene Specification Development – The FGI developed a new specification for supported and unsupported flexible polypropylene geomembranes that represents an industry standard for high quality products.  The FGI Polypropylene Specification is available to download from the FGI website. View All FGI Specs


In addition to all of the accomplishments above, the FGI is working on the following projects:


·           New PVC Specification – The FGI is working to create an updated PVC specification that will provide the end user with a more consistent and high quality industrial grade PVC.

·           Columbus Reservoir Paper – A journal paper on the largest containment project in the world that shows factory fabricated seams are more consistent and at least 10% stronger than field seams.

·           Video library of ASTM test methods – The FGI is in the process of developing a library of high quality videos for our website and YouTube channel that explain and demonstrate all of the different ASTM test methods used for testing flexible geomembranes.

·           Short courses – The FGI has two additional short courses scheduled for 2018 that will address Geosynthetics in Civil Engineering Applications:  Friday, August 3, 2018 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (will also be recorded and live-streamed) and Wednesday, October 24, 2018 at Saginaw Valley State University (in collaboration with Consumers Energy and Plastatech).

·           Summer Internship program – In 2018, the FGI plans to continue to expand its internship program by developing new partnerships with other Universities (e.g. Colorado State University and The Ohio State University) to provide more geographically friendly interns to its members.

·           Clay v. Geomembrane Costs Paper – Conference paper is being written to highlight the benefits and cost savings of using geomembranes over compacted clay soil for containment applications.

·           RPP Project Case Study – The FGI is working on a case study of a premature failure of an RPP pond liner system, along with a new installation of an RPE system including mechanical attachment, venting system, ballast system to prevent uplift if ground water becomes an issue, anchor trench, underlayment, pipe details and panel fabrication.

·           Installation Details – The FGI is creating a library of installation details for engineers and clients to download from the FGI website in both JPEG and DWG formats.


The FGI is dedicated to advancing the use of fabricated geomembranes through education, research, and technology transfer.  The FGI is a consortium of manufacturers, fabricators/installers, designers, regulators, and material suppliers of fabricated geomembranes.  For more information on the FGI, please visit


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Pond Leakage Calculator

Use our Excel calculator to learn what measurements are needed to properly plan for your pond liner project.



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Specifications & Guides

FGI, ASTM and IAGI material specifications in one place for your reference and convenience


Geomembrane Guide

A comprehensive guide to industry and our member material offerings for fabricated geomembranes.