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.
Principal and Materials Scientist/Engineer Dr. Ian D. Peggs has been working with polymers and composites in the field and laboratory for over 25 years, and in his “Geomembrane Liner Durability: Contributing Factors and the Status Quo” paper, he states that nothing is absolutely impermeable.
The three largest Naval Fuel Depots in the world rely on a flexible geomembrane for secondary oil containment for fuel storage. Secondary containment is provided both under the floors of the tanks and lining the fuel spill containment berms.
There are many uses of geomembrane liners. They can be used for floating baffles, secondary containment, wastewater impoundments, and more. It’s easy to bypass the important items and make blunders when selecting and specifying a geomembrane. Below are the five biggest mistakes in the selection process and how to avoid them:
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 geomembrane industry has been buzzing lately with a new interest in geomembrane covers which are left uncovered. It’s advantageous in some situations to leave a rain-shedding cover, over a closed waste or another site, uncovered, at least for some extended period of time. This allows the owner/engineers to perform various in-situ treatment of the underlying material, make modifications to the geomembrane cover, and/or leave the site available for new or anticipated technological advances for long-term site management.
This past June, Seaman Corporation’s Geomembrane group participated in PennTec, the 90th Annual Pennsylvania Water Environment Conference and Tradeshow in Hershey. This group is affiliated with the Water Environment Federation (WEF) and includes many members who are also members of the Pennsylvania Section of the American Water Works Association (PA-AWWA). On display were XR-5® Geomembranes used for wastewater and potable water applications.
Some of the harshest environs in the world are in extreme cold applications. Wastewater operations must be designed with materials and features which ensure those successes. Let’s take a look at one such installation, the 6-acre geomembrane lined wastewater impoundment at the Lowell Point wastewater treatment plant in Seward, Alaska. The reinforced ethylene copolymer has been in service at the facility for over a quarter of a century. Here are five features of the original site design, product selection, and installation, which were essential to its success and longevity.