Measuring Performance of Clay Containment Barriers

by Walter E. Grube, Jr., U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Optimizing the Resources for Water Management


Clayey soils compacted to engineering specifications are widely used as structures for hydraulic containment. Current applications include landfill liners, landfill covers, pond liners, and containment dikes; groundwater control using slurry trench cut-off walls is a closely related application. Regulatory requirements for performance specify low permeability. Compatibility is most commonly measured by noting changes in laboratory hydraulic conductivity during permeation by selected liquids. Research has provided reliable methods to evaluate the performance of compacted soil liners. Hydraulic performance evaluation of barrier dikes and groundwater cut-off walls is more complex than with broad expanses of relatively flat compacted soils.

Subject Headings: Compacted soils | Clays | Clay liners | Quality control | Soil water | Hydraulic conductivity | Landfills | Diaphragm walls

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