April 7, 2018
The bentonite-based sealing material has been successfully applied in several canals, levees, reservoirs, dams, and around pipelines.
AquaBlok is a composite particle typically consisting of crushed aggregate, polymer, and bentonite. The material swells when hydrated and coalesces to form a flexible, but cohesive, low-permeable seal. Hydraulic conductivity of 5X10-7 or higher can be achieved without mechanical compaction. Several municipalities, as well as the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), have approved AquaBlok for applications, such as dam construction and rehabilitation, due to its superior ability to:
- Provide a low-permeable seal without mechanical compaction
- Remain pliable after hydration
- Provide reliable, targeted placement
In West Norriton, nearly 75 tons of AquaBlok were used to cut off chronic seepage around two geothermal lines associated with an overflow system in a large basin reconstruction project.
The anti-seep collar consisted of three 6ft lifts, each one being completed in 3-4 hours. The project, including site work, post demolition, and pipe placement, was completed in less than one week.
Since completion of the project, the outfall reconstruction has remained stable, even through multiple, significant storm events. It shows no signs of degradation and is functioning as intended.
Many basins, canals, levees, and reservoirs suffer from a range of conditions that cause ongoing leaks. Such conditions include porous or permeable soils, compromised soil liners, faulty control structures (i.e. pipes, spillways, and dams), remnant field drainage tiles, and other natural or construction-related issues.
Once a leak is identified, few options exist to create an effective seal without first draining the water from the basin. The cost and disruption to life in the system is particularly significant in more mature waterways. Additionally, in holding or settling ponds, such as CCR basins, and similar settings, significant safety issues exist. Disruption of operations can also occur, if the basin needs to be drained or taken out of service for repair.
Recent successful applications of AquaBlok material also include use as an anti-seep collar around pipelines to limit erosion from the migration of water along bedding materials.
"What's perhaps most exciting about AquaBlok is its versatility in the field," says the company's Geotechnical Sales Manager Kevin VanTuyl. "As the installations and uses of the product have expanded, its attributes become more known to engineering and professionals in erosion control and construction industries. We are finding an increasing number of applications where time and cost-saving advantages over conventional practices and remedies have been proven."
AquaBlok is currently available in both 50lb paper bags and 2400lb flexible intermediate bulk container (FIBC) bags for larger applications.
Pricing for AquaBlok is comparable to bentonite alternatives. Specific pricing is available upon request and is dependent on the quantity purchased. Contact AquaBlok for more information.
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