Performing regular geomembrane inspections (where applicable) is critical and necessary for a successful long-term installation. Ongoing inspections can minimize field repairs and also prevent premature failure.
Many times, geomembrane leaks are caused by weather events or result from damage inflicted by personnel or equipment. As a result, the type of environment should be taken into consideration when deciding how frequently inspections occur. Some higher-risk locations that require more-frequent inspections include those that have surrounding trees and plenty of foot or vehicular traffic on the liner, subject to high winds, hurricanes or hail storms.
Once you’ve determined how at risk your geomembrane installation is based on environment, you should put an inspection and maintenance plan in writing. These are the steps you should follow to create an effective inspection and maintenance plan that will increase the service life of your geomembrane installation.
1. Schedule Regular Inspections to Occur Once Every Six Months.
- Visually check pipe boot connections to detect potential geomembrane liner leaks.
- Check all mechanically battened areas for wear or loose bolts.
- Check the top of slope on pond liners for rips or tears caused by lawn maintenance, vehicular traffic, etc.
2. Plan for Inspections Following Major Weather Events.
- Clean up any fallen tree limbs or debris.
- For floating covers, check for excessive water on the cover due to blocked drains.
- Minimize standing water on floating covers that is still standing at least 48 hours following a rain event.
3. Repair Geomembranes the Correct Way.
Too many times shoddy workmanship is used to patch geomembrane holes or tears. Sometimes patches are made using different materials or glue is used to adhere the patch instead of heat welding. Probably the most important step you can take to ensure a successful repair is to completely clean and dry the area to be patched before applying a hot air or extrusion weld.
4. Keep Detailed Records
By keeping detailed records of every inspection performed, you’ll be able to ensure that problem areas are properly monitored, which can potentially prevent future damage to your geomembrane installation.
What steps do you consider when developing a successful geomembrane inspection and maintenance plan? Tell us about them in the comments!