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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
Design and industrial engineers rely on geomembranes to withstand the harshest conditions in a broad range of applications. They must be made of durable and chemically resistant materials to be able to optimally function as pond liners, floating covers, wastewater baffles and secondary containment—or to be used in other applications that require a long-lasting and impenetrable, yet flexible barrier.