Like politics, religion, or how to build a fire, everyone has an opinion. There are actually pros and cons to either leaving the geomembrane exposed (no cover) or burying it (complete cover). Let’s look at the issues.
It is vital to consider the effects of a geomembrane’s exposure to weathering to ensure optimal long-term performance. The most important factor in determining performance in any given environment is the type of polymer used in the geomembrane.
When Fairway Energy Partners needed to expand its underground crude oil storage capacity at a facility in Houston, it turned to XR-5 geomembranes. The membrane liners were an ideal solution for containing brine and crude oil on the massive project.
When choosing the correct geomembrane for geofoam coverage in road and bridge construction applications, there are six properties you always need to take into consideration:
1. Puncture Strength/Abrasion Resistance
2. Tensile Strength
4. Vapor Transmission
6. Chemical Resistance
In April 2016, I wrote about what I learned watching a geomembrane installation at the World’s Fair Park Lake in Knoxville, Tennessee. Those lessons were fundamental, such as the importance of a stable and well-prepared subgrade, why you should minimize field seams and the ability to get a flexible geomembrane to fit a serpentine basin. Now, it is over 18 months later and I checked on the working installation and can offer five observations:
Containing fuel spills and chemical discharges is mandated by parts of the Clean Water Act—specifically the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) and the Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) regulation.
In the coming years, Alaska, the Arctic, and similar cold weather regions are expected to play a major role in supplying future energy needs for the world. As energy resources continue to be pursued in these extreme climates to meet the energy demands of society, protection of our natural resources is essential. Primary and secondary containment must keep pace with the energy - technology platform to guard against contamination of our environmental assets.
Seaman Corporation looked to the XR-5® geomembrane technology for development of high-performance, low-temperature geomembranes to protect our resources in these rigorous conditions. XR-5 geomembranes have provided protection of the environment for over 30 years in ambient climates. The transition of the XR technology platform into the Arctic geomembrane arena was imminent. In Figure 1, XR Arctic membranes offer superior performance properties in their respective markets.
Wastewater treatment plants often utilize geomembranes to help protect the environment and maximize resources. In San Diego County, the Olivenhain Municipal Water District (OMWD) treats up to 34 million gallons of wastewater each day. The treated water is provided to the community through 45+ miles of recycled water pipelines. With a seasonal increase in rain, the demand for recycled water drops off and the treated water is stored in a wet weather pond.
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.