Cable Wakeboard Parks

Water skiing and other high speed water sports used to be available only to those lucky people with access to (and money for) a boat and a large body of water. Recognizing the limitations of such requirements, one dedicated fan of water skiing, Bruno Rixen of Munich, began working on the concept of water ski cableways as early as the late 1950s. The first prototypes of cable ski parks were built in Hamburg, Germany, and on the Baltic Sea. The first commercial Rixen water-ski cableway in Benidom, Spain, opened in 1966 and is still in operation.

Since the 1990s, an incredible shift has taken place in the cable ski park world. Formerly known just for water skiing, kneeboarding and occasionally barefooting, the sport of wakeboarding has virtually taken over. In fact, in 2004, the World Cable Wakeboard Commission published a survey of nearly all cableways around the world and found that nearly 95% of all patrons at cable parks worldwide are wakeboarders.

Wakeboarding itself has roots in the extreme sports of snowboarding and skateboarding. Originally, wakeboarding was performed, as its name suggests, in the wake of a power boat. However, cable parks have proven to be a superior venue for the sport. Cable is drastically less expensive and more convenient than traditional boat wakeboarding and it is environmentally friendly, efficient and quiet. Participants enjoy a much higher “uptime” than when riding behind a boat, and most significantly, every trick that can be performed behind a boat can be performed on a cable, and more!

Cable wake parks are spreading across the United States and across the world at incredible speed. Not limited to natural bodies of water, cable wake parks can be constructed around man-made lakes in virtually any location. BTL has had the privilege of fabricating and installing liners for several leading wake board parks across the country, including one recently in Woodland, California, encompassing over 500,000 square feet (BTL-40)!

No matter your next project, whether it’s a cable water park or a golf course pond, contact BTL Liners at 1-800-280-0712 for guaranteed containment!

Lining a new cable wake park in Woodland, CA

Audubon Certified Golf Courses

Golf courses can provide valuable natural areas and wildlife habitats in the communities they serve. Now, Audubon International has created an award-winning certification program that helps golf courses protect our environment and preserve the natural heritage of the game. The Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program advises course managers on how to improve efficiency and minimize the potentially harmful impacts of golf course operations, through the reduction of chemical use, enhanced water conservation efforts and water quality management. More than 2000 golf courses from around the world have joined this program and more than 500 courses in the US have been designated as Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuaries.

Some of the efforts that Audubon sanctuaries might undertake include incorporating more native plant species, adding bird boxes, minimizing areas that need irrigation, or establishing wetlands for natural water filters where appropriate. There are rewards for participating in such efforts that go beyond public perception and reputation. In fact, an effective environmental management program can result in reduced insurance premiums, as well as reduced costs for energy, water, pesticides, fertilizers, equipment wear and labor.

BTL Liners has a long history of working with golf courses in construction and maintenance of ponds, and we can play an important part in the implementation of an Audubon certification plan. Our liners are fish and plant safe, lightweight, long-lasting and recyclable. Our state of the art fabrication facility can create the largest single panels possible to minimize seams, making installation faster and reducing the risk of leaks. Our RPE and RPP liners are ideal for environmentally conscious installations, where water conservation and water quality are important. BTL is also a member of the the GCBAA (Golf Course Builders Association of America) and the GCSAA (Golf Course Superintendents Association of America). Call us today at 800-280-0712 for more information!

Audbon Certified Golf Course

Floating Islands—10/1/2012

I’ve heard that floating islands can play an important role in treating wastewater and controlling algae. How is this possible?

Floating islands, sometimes called Floating Treatment Wetlands, are a fascinating technology that are being used in a variety of applications, including nutrient and pollution removal, wildlife habitat and wetland restoration, storm water management, management of effluent ponds and wastewater treatment.

The islands begin as a matrix of buoyant recycled material (such as shredded plastic drinking bottles) that resemble a loofah. This recycled material is then covered with a geotextile layer, soil and other materials to complete the physical structure. Plants appropriate to the growing conditions are added, and the island is either set free to drift or anchored in a convenient location. Roots from the plants grow down into the water, providing shelter and food for fish and beneficial microbes, while the surface provides a habitat for birds and other wildlife. Floating islands can be any size, and can be engineered to support a significant load. Since the island floats, it is not affected by changing water levels such as flooding.

The key benefit of floating islands comes from its interaction with the water. In many ponds and lakes near farm lands, as well as in manmade ponds, algae is a big problem. Fertilizers washed off during rains flows into natural ponds, groundwater and manmade catchments such as storm water runoff ponds. Algae flourishes in water that has an excess of nutrients such as phosphorous and nitrogen, and chokes out other forms of life, leaving an ugly, smelly mess. The plants growing on floating islands, however, readily absorb excess nutrients in the water and even cleanse the water of many types of pollution, including some heavy metals. Among the submerged roots of the island, colonies of microbes form that treat the water by consuming and thriving on large quantities of otherwise harmful nutrients.

The potential uses of floating islands for wastewater treatment, wetlands restoration and algae mitigation have spurred a variety of research projects regarding the specific capabilities of different plant types to absorb and cleanse the water of harmful substances. Floating islands are cost-effective to build, easy to use and maintain and are largely made from recycled materials. The BTL Liners team is excited about the continuing development of this technology. For more information about BTL’s Green Geotextiles, click here.

For more information about floating ponds, please visit

Since 1981, BTL has designed, fabricated and constructed liners and containment systems for projects all over the world!

Applications include: Recreational Pond & Lake Liners & Containment Systems, Energy Industry Liners & Containment Systems, Ranch & Farm Tarps, Liners & Containment Systems, Environmental Covers, Containment Systems, Pits and Conservation Solutions, Commercial Containment Liners, Waterscape Projects, Storm Water Containment, Government Projects, Hazardous Containment Projects and more!

BTL Liners • 3451 SW Empire Dr. • Prineville, OR 97754 • US only 1-800-280-0712 • 541-447-0712 • FAX 541-447-0759