The three largest Naval Fuel Depots in the world rely on a flexible geomembrane for secondary containment. Secondary containment is provided both under the floors of the tanks and lining the spill containment berms. Secondary containment is provided both under the floors of the tanks and lining the spill containment berms.
In a previous blog post, I discussed the benefits of using EPS geofoam for highway construction. Geofoam has many benefits in the transportation market and has found itself in many well-placed areas. In this blog I’ll review what geofoam is and how to install it.
Government agencies, utilities and industrial customers are increasingly relying on geomembranes for projects that could potentially threaten the environment. Cost-effective due to their ease of installation and proven to be reliable for decades, geomembranes have become a popular front line in protecting natural settings.
Environmental jobs are particularly sensitive because getting it wrong can be costly. Spills or failures can lead to long-term environmental damage, public health consequences, severe fines, and negative PR, among other issues.
Geomembrane liners are often used in impoundments to prevent the migration of wastes out of the impoundment to the adjacent subsurface soil, groundwater or surface water. Impoundment liners are used significantly in the energy industry to contain fresh water and wastewater, drilling waste, evaporation pits, and coal ash. Geomembrane liners used in these types of applications are made from a wide range of polymeric materials and different types of constructions, so how do you choose the right one for your exact application? In order to prevent contamination of the surrounding environment, careful consideration must be given to determine the best high-performance geomembrane liner that meets the precise requirements of the impoundment.
You may be wondering why you need to worry about installing a chemical/hydrocarbon-resistant liner to catch spills. After all, if you already have a permanent above-ground tank or a portable spill unit, the chances of the geomembrane receiving a large spill are very low. Further, the spill may be cleaned up within a short period of time.
The state of California recently announced a massive infrastructure spending plan. This is likely to be the start of a national trend as politicians on both sides of the aisle recognize critical infrastructure improvements are needed from coast to coast.
Increasingly, geomembranes have helped make infrastructure projects more durable and cost-effective. Geomembranes have been used in a variety of applications for decades, but within the last 20 years they have become important elements to transportation infrastructure projects.
For a geomembrane to function properly and protect the environment from contamination, long-term stability is crucial. With a multitude of options and varieties of geomembranes available, it can be difficult to make an accurate, direct comparison. For example, when filtering by specification, geomembranes may be similar in physical attributes but have unique performance characteristics. In addition, geomembranes may be drastically different based on standards, units, sample sizes, test consistency and mode of failure. This can make performing direct comparisons between geomembrane options more difficult. However, there are two product properties that influence long-term performance on all types of geomembranes, and they are tear and coating adhesion.
Next to the yearly IFAI Conference, the Geotechnical Frontiers Conference is the largest conference I have been to for the geomembrane market. Unlike the IFAI Conference, Geotechnical Frontiers covers all geosynthetic materials and design applications, making it very appealing for almost any type of civil engineer.
Recent studies have demonstrated heavy metals and other toxins seep from unlined ponds into groundwater, causing environmental damage and posing health risks. Now, dozens of companies in industries like power generation involving coal ash are scrambling to quickly and effectively place geomembrane liners in their ponds to protect groundwater.