There are several phases of preparation of landfill base liners, starting with the positioning of the membrane, until these can be covered with several metres of refuse. These membranes may be damaged during preparation, but can also be inspected and repaired. It is advisable to undertake inspections at regular intervals.
Unlike base liners, surface liners are not buried at some point under many metres of waste and instead are usually protected over the course of many years only by a 1-metre thick mineral layer. As a result, there can be uncertainty about the integrity of their leak-proofing characteristics, particularly if the land is subsequently used for other purposes; however, at the same time, repairs are also possible at reasonable cost if the location of any damage can be established.
It is also possible to retrofit a monitoring system in existing surface sealing liners without impairing the synthetic liner sheet or the immediately adjacent functional layers. For this purpose, cable trenches must be dug in the recultivation layer above the drainage layer. The detection cables are then laid in these trenches.
For reasons of environmental protection, basins often need to be leakproof, e.g. seepage basins on landfill sites. However, it can also be important to ensure, for example, that valuable water does not escape into the subsoil undetected.
Areas used to store substances which could represent a hazard if they escape into groundwater must also be leakproof in case accidents occur.
In the mining industry, dams are built in order to create large storage basins.